Pastor’s Wife A, B, or C

I had been a pastor’s wife for about three years before I discovered there aren’t two types of pastors’ wives (as I’d assumed), but three:

• Type A is the PW with her own specific call to ministry. I assumed she soared — anyone with their own “God-mantle” surely didn’t battle the same doubts and fears that I did.
• Type B married a man with a specific call to the ministry. In this category are actually two sub-categories: those who are thrilled to share their husband’s call and those who feel that their husband’s call is just that — their husband’s – and spend their life busily drawing the boundaries between his call and their life.
• Type C, however, are pastors’ wives who didn’t marry a pastor at all. They married an electrician or an accountant, maybe a bus driver. However, sometime after the marriage their husband admitted to or received a call to the ministry and their life changed drastically.

I have great empathy for what they must go through. It is one thing to get on the road of life and aim your car for a specific destination. The road may be bumpy, but there’s security in knowing where you’re going. To suddenly be driving to one destination and have the driver wheel onto an exit and head in exactly the opposite direction must be catastrophic to the emotions. Jill Briscoe, in “Renewal on the Run” has encouragement for those who fit Type C. She uses Peter’s wife as the example. This is a woman who married a fisherman. It was a lifestyle she knew, it had a stable income and was socially accepted. However, God had another agenda for Peter’s life and took him down another road.

What this boils down to is it does not matter if you have a personal call, you’re sharing a call or whether you were drafted mid-season, for in whatever situation you find yourself you can rest in the knowledge that God foresaw it, even foreordained it, and with His help you can succeed.

6 Replies to “Pastor’s Wife A, B, or C”

  1. This applies to all types of women who have married all types of men and had a drastic change in the direction of their lives.

  2. Wow! You must know us personally! I am a “C”. I actually did marry an electrician who had been a dedicated Christian for many years, and 3 years into our marriage accepted the call into ministry. 6 years later, we stepped out of the boat and began a brand new, non-denominational church. I was reluctant, but knew enough not to fight what God had ordained. Yes, life has definitely changed, and the uncertainty is difficult for those of us who like life perfectly planned. As long as I look up at Christ and not around at the unknown, I’m safe.

  3. I seem to fit in type “B.” This is timely however, in the fact that we are about to take a church. Currently, we are on staff at another church. My husband is one of 4 Executive Pastors. Though I can confidently carry myself as his wife, helping him in any way I can to fulfill God’s call on his life, I am a little skiddish about being in that “1st Lady” role… Much more responsibility (which I don’t mind) in things I have not run prior to now. Any advice? I just found your website and will be returning….I am a great proponent of mentoring. Young and old alike. Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom!

  4. Hi Janice, My husband just surrendered to the ministry on May 27th 2010. I always knew that someday I would be a pastor’s wife. When my husband called me from work to tell me, I was not surprised at all. The call was all over him and had been for some time. I guess I am the “Type C” since my husband was not even a Christian when we met. He accepted Christ in 2004 just as I started seminary. Six days after he became a Christian he ask me to marry him. He jumped in feet first and went to seminary with me. We were only taking the classes to futher our knowledge in God’s word. Here we are six years later and I have to say my husband has grown by leaps and bounds in the faith and knowledge of Christ. I just want to be a good pastor’s wife. I know that is down the road a bit. He is in our home church under great leadership and will have wonderful training. Just don’t know how much training I will get in my role. However, I will press towards the mark and do my best for God. Prayer is much appraciated! PS: Loved your post!

  5. I must say that this site, at least what I have read here is so refreshing. As a Pastor’s wife I will say that I also have a call on my life, BUT I am also fully aware that I must fill my role as a Pasotors wife. I believe that far to many PW have left this post with the thought that the the PW of past is not needed in ministry today. Nothing can be further from the truth.
    The PW plays a vital role in the flow of the ministry; she offers if you will a softer side. What I miss as a new PW is that “1st Lady” to mentor to me the ups and down of this role. Where are the seasoned PW ? We newbies PW need to hear the bitter and the sweet; we need you to return to your post.

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