What Your Pastor’s Wife {probably} Wants You to Know

Imperfectly Brave


Before I get too far into this post, let me say this:


She knows that she doesn’t need your accolades.


Believe me, she knows.


At this point, depending on where she is personally, she has already learned enough to de-sensitive herself to human applause. If she were functioning off of man-made head nods and whistles, she would have already up and left the ministry.


She also loves her husband and believes in his calling. She knows, more than anyone, what he does for the church: the way he lays down his life to shepherd the flock, cares for the widows, prepares fresh meat every week, gives hope to humans and prays like mad for a church body.


Yes, I’m talking from personal experience.


And no, I’m not ashamed about it.


Imperfectly Brave
{photo credit | Sarah Rudolph}


I recently read a blog about what it feels like to be a pastor’s wife and it’s stuck with me all week. Maybe its because it refers to tex-mex, or maybe because there is radical truth to the illustration; either way, it bears repeating.


While eating Mexican, a woman looked over to her friend and asked her, “What’s it like to be a pastor’s wife?” She responded honestly and then took a moment to look down at her food.


She then took note from her plate and said, “Actually it feels a lot like being the rice and beans lined up next to the loaded enchiladas.”


Let me break that down: The Church hires the pastor, gushes about the pastor, loves the pastor. He is the whole enchilada, after all. And don’t hear me wrong. They sure are glad that enchilada comes with a side of rice and beans, but they aren’t writing home about it.


So, to get back to our story, the friend looked to her friend who happens to be a pastor’s wife and says, “But you aren’t like rice and beans, you are tableside guacamole.”


And the pastor’s wife nodded. Yes.


(And if it were me, big, hot tears would have rolled down my cheeks because YES.)


Now, friends, I don’t open this sensitive place of a pastor’s wife’s heart so you can simply go and applaud her next Sunday morning. That’s not the point of why we do what we do. Remember: Jesus is enough. She has learned that from her lifestyle. She has learned after the tiring Sunday mornings getting to church, the long Wednesday nights, the countless prayers for the church, the long chats with her husband, the tears bottled up in her heart.


Dearly beloved, she has learned that Jesus is enough.


Imperfectly Brave
{photo credit | Arvee Marie}


Imperfectly Brave
{phot ocredit | Annie Sprat}


The reason I am passing this truth along is so the church can help her come alive. Because a pastor’s wife, who has come alive, can keep your church coming alive, too. She does, after all, know the pastor.


So rather than lumping the rice and beans into the enchilada, below are some ways you can love your pastor’s wife. They are extremely practical because practical wins when it comes to loving well.



She has initiated a conversation with you. Maybe she has invited you out to coffee. Maybe she has opened her home. Maybe she’s even served Mexican food.


She is often the initiator. But you and I both know, women long to be pursued through initiation. To be asked, “I want to get to know you for you. Let’s make that happen.” So, maybe you can call her up and treat her to lunch. You might be surprised how excited she is. And you might also learn a lot about her tableside guacamole traits. And that could be yummy and beneficial.


Pursue her, as she is often the one pursuing you.



You know her husband’s dreams. You hear them every week from the pulpit. But, do you know what her dreams are?


They are different than her husband’s. Of course, she shares dreams with her husband. And yes, she champions her husband’s dreams while he champions hers. But she has dreams unique to her, too.


Make time to note them.



Do you know if you send her a three-sentence-card letting you know you are thinking about her, that those same three sentences will end up on her refrigerator? And then that same refrigerator will be seen by her husband, who is drinking that same milk, and that same husband will be mutually encouraged.


It’s true. Pastors and pastor’s wives share a refrigerator. And the encouragement will be exponentially applied.


This is a win for your church.



She is after all, a human. She is a human who has probably set aside a few dreams to follow Jesus alongside her husband. She might need a good, old-fashioned breakdown. Let her.


On the same note, don’t hold her to superwoman standards. She’s not superwoman and sure as heck can’t even think about wearing that costume because MODESTY and OPINIONS.


Let her be her. And your church will flourish because of it.



Help her in extremely practical ways. Do you have a son or daughter in youth group? Plant them at the door to watch for her pulling up 5 minutes late because she just got her entire family to church and that alone is a victory.


Have them help her get from point A to point B because she might not want to be sweating throughout the entire service.


Let her linger. She likes to have real conversations, too. And when she is ready to leave while her husband stays behind for a meeting, help her (again) with the kids.


Sunday can be a tough one for the PW. Give her a hand.


Dear friends, you have a hidden treasure in your pastor’s wife. In one hand, hold her and her husband together; in the other look at her as a woman bursting with talents and passions.


Love her well. Spur her on. Be excited about her, too. She is, after all, tableside guacamole. And I don’t know about you, but guacamole makes everything come a bit more alive.


Let me know ways you have encouraged your pastor’s wife. And, pastor’s wives, let me know what has been the most encouraging thing for you!


PS Not meant to give the PW special treatment. We can all be looking out for each other like this. Maybe these are good pointers to {love one another well}

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