I’m going to preface this because I know there are two groups of people reading this post. So…

If you are anything BUT a pastor’s wife: Take these points and use them as prayer prompts for the woman behind the man that God has appointed to be your shepherd. Would you consider making it a priority to pray for your pastor and his wife? Here’s more information about praying for your pastor.

If you’re a pastor’s wife: These are lies that Satan wants to use to distract you from genuine ministry. He has cleverly cloaked them as your own ideas. And you face them every day. I’m there. I understand because I have faced them and will continue to face them, BUT…there’s a key that I learned from an experience Pastor’s wife (number 8) that I want you to see. Read on, sisters.

 

1. Not holding your tongue 😛

I’m not the best at small talk. There are times that during the time after Sunday morning worship, I end up saying something that I repeat in my head all day, questioning my wording and my tone. I’m working on letting “my words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2). I have regretted saying too much WAY more often than I have regretted saying too little. Is this true for you, too?

 

2. Holding a grudge 😡

When you hold a grudge, the person you hurt the most is yourself. Grudges are not only unchristlike, but I believe they are one of Satan’s most commonly used tools.

I see it all the time in families and in churches. When the person you are holding the grudge against actually is AWARE of said grudge, when it’s been revealed…they usually think you’re foolish for not communicating. When they aren’t aware, you are simply imprisoning yourself in a lonely castle of unforgiveness. Seems kind of like a lose-lose situation to me. And yet it’s a mistake that I have made a time or two. Take a moment now and ask God to loosen the tightness in your heart towards the people in your life that have wronged you. Take a moment to look at the Lord’s prayer. You might have it memorized, but if you don’t, check it out here:8 Pastor's Wives Regrets

Jesus said…Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
    may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
    as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
    as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
    but rescue us from the evil one.

Seems kind of necessary to forgive people, if it’s in the prayer guide given by Jesus. Right up there with food for today and salvation for forever… we should pray that we can forgive others so that we can be forgiven.

 

3. Never being vulnerable 😭

Satan has a lot of popular lies he likes to whisper in the ears of Pastor’s wives. I think one of the most painful ones is “you can’t let them see”. A few hurtful comments (even if they might be well-meaning) are all it takes to let me know to start building a wall of protection around myself. When I catch myself, I realize I fell for the lie again.

The Bible says  “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2. Find a woman that you trust, and start building a relationship with her. Take on some of her burdens and give her some of yours. This is God’s plan. Satan’s plan is to keep everyone brooding over their pain and NOT growing spiritually. When you share burdens you are obeying the law of Christ. Wow. Pretty cool. Don’t miss out on that experience. Be vulnerable with the women in your church. 

 

4. Not balancing your home life and ministry 🏠

Your first ministry is raising children who don’t hate ministry, don’t hate God, and don’t hate church. Seems harsh, but it’s true! If your family is having communication and/or relational problems, you need to attend to those. Check out Titus chapter 2… “These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.” (Related: How to be a Good Mom, from Titus 2)

Your home life is VERY important to the Gospel. People HEAR the Gospel from words but believe it from homes.

If your home is dysfunctional, broken beyond repair, stuck in the same cycles of sin… you are the perfect candidate for the Gospel. Apply the gospel to your home life. If you’re looking for more details on how to turn your home around for the Glory of God, check out this article…written by one of my favorite bloggers. Setting the Atmosphere in the Home… for God’s Glory

 

5. Not taking risks 😮

The safe zone is safe… for a reason. Take some risks in your family. Have boldness in your marriage. Forgive your husband (yes, forgiving is definitely a risk.) Have boldness with your kids. Do fun family trips that they will remember. They aren’t easy… and they are inherently a huge risk. Do it anyway! Give money to churches and other like-minded non-profits. Give a little more than you think you can afford. Why? It’s a huge risk! Because God will bless you…you’ll get it back, if not in this life, definitely the next one.

Take risks in ministry. Try a new outreach to women in your community. It’s a risk. What if no one comes? What if it dies off after 3 meetings? Or what if it gets expensive? Try it! You might gain an important relationship through that experience. God might be trying to grow you, but you’re stuck in your safe little corner. *Cue the song from the Cinderella musical * 😉

Ok sorry for the musical reference. Here’s some scripture to back me up…in case you weren’t convinced.  (or distracted because now you have a Rogers and Hammerstein classic stuck in your head… 🎶)

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”    Ephesians 5:15–17 

6. Defending yourself 😣

Story time. It was required for me to read the whole Bible in my first year of college (a feat I had never even seriously considered before!) and when I saw this verse, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Since then, it’s been sort of a favorite of mine. Check it out and see if you agree.

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14.

Now this applies specifically to an Old Testament war situation but I feel that it is applicable in spiritual warfare. And these “regrets”? They are actually lies that Satan LOVES for you to dwell on and live in.

When you defend yourself as a pastor’s wife… you can end up hurting more than you help. It’s hard to find the balance here… Didn’t I JUST say to take risks and be bold? But if you are being accused of something that you didn’t do, you should state your peace calmly and not engage in that battle. Take it from me.

 

7. Pouring out without pouring in

This is probably one of the biggest regrets that ministry wives don’t even know they have! Pouring out without pouring in (i.e. feeding your own spiritual health and emotional health) is a mistake that you often don’t know you’ve made until you have a breakdown. Pastors (and all Christians) are often compared to shepherds throughout the Bible. The shepherd obviously has to feed himself, he can’t expect the sheep to feed him… and you shouldn’t expect to be spiritually fed by doing ministry. You need some serious one-on-one time with God. You need a renewed mind! “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Allow God to transform your mind (through prayer. through studying scripture) and you’ll see spiritual matters more clearly. And you’ll be able to lead better!

And the last regret is perhaps the MOST important regret! It’s a tip I got from a more experienced ministry wife about 3 years ago.

 

8. Dwelling on your regrets (including the ones above) 🙏

Don’t allow yourself to dwell on your regrets and mistakes. Remember, God wants us to live in harmony with each other… and forgive each other.

God knows it is in our best interest to not think about the negatives, but to think about “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. – Philippians 4:8.”

God wants you to think about think about things that are lovely. And excellent. And praiseworthy.
Satan wants you to think about you first. Satan wants you to think about your failures and shortcomings. And maybe how you can use other people for your selfish purposes.

…Should I have written this?

I hesitated writing this blog post. I wanted people who are NOT in the ministry to see that pastor’s wives are real people, often dealing with issues right there in their padded front pew. But the main reason I wrote this was because I wanted pastor’s wives to see that they don’t have to live in regret. It’s a trap that God wants to help you out of!

You shouldn’t live in regret because when you do… you’re letting Satan win. Share your burdens with others.

If you don’t have someone to share your burdens to, email me at sarah@christcenteredmama.com. I’ll take some of your load in prayer. 

 

What about you?

Do you have any other regrets you’d like to add to my list? In what ways does Satan want to control your emotional health? Do you think Satan has a particular interest in ministry wives?

14 thoughts on “The 8 Common Regrets of a Pastor’s Wife”

  1. Thanks for this post, Sarah! It’s a great reminder of how I can be praying for my pastor’s wife! And good preparation for the future if and when I become one.

    I think a lot of this also can be true for women who aren’t pastor’s wives as well! But I understand the importance of speaking and praying specifically for pastor’s wives! 😊

    1. It’s sort of awkward to ask for prayer for a people group that you are a part of… but I strongly feel that spiritual warfare is especially strong on those who are seen as the public face of the church! Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. I think these are great things for all women to remember.

    Number 4 is a big one for parents in the ministry. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen kids that grew up in the ministry come to hate their parents/God. It almost always stems from mom never had time for me…it was always about her ministry.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Amanda. I love hearing from Pastor’s kids and might even write a blog post about it so keep those thoughts running for me!

    1. Yay! My blog mentor responded to me! You inspired me to go into this ministry. Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly! 😄

  3. God gave me this post at a time I truly needed it. My husband has resently stepped up as Pastor of our church. Oh how I have struggled as a “pastors wife” thank you

  4. Hi, Sarah,
    I think this is my first time coming across your blog, but as a pastor’s wife, I can really relate! Thanks for sharing these.
    Jen 🙂

  5. Great post! I am definitely guilty of some of these. My biggest regret is trying to live up to people’s expectations of me as a pastor’s wife, rather than focussing on God’s expectations of me. It’s a constant challenge!

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