27 Comments

  1. You are blessed. I’ve always loved church life as a parishioner; I love the idea of all those grandmas! A close church family saved me when my parents died. It’s a fine thing you do—your husband is blessed to have to have you right there by his side 🙂

    • It might be a blessing, but I wonder if sometimes it’s not to annoying: everybody looking how you act, what you do, etc. Too much attention isn’t too stressful? It’s like a gate that you keep open to everybody, but for yourself, for your frustrations.

    • It really is so special to me. I love to watch those relationships flourish. I used to feel guilty, like the kids were “cheating on” our parents, but really, there can never be too many grandmas!

  2. Brenda

    Pam, thank you so much for posting this. I too believe that there are far more blessings to being a pastors wife than downfalls. I can’t imagine Tom having a secular job.

  3. BethAnn

    I really needed to read this…it has been hard! Thanks for the reminder. I am Jane Kuva’s neice by the way a PW in Northeast NE!

    • BethAnn, it gets better. Being far from family and struggling, often like a married single mom, can make the days long. But trust me, God’s loving hand is there with you.

  4. Hi, I’m a first time reader (someone linked your blog via Facebook). I was wondering if you could elaborate what you mean by being a pastor’s wife is a vocation? My husband is currently completing the last few months of his vicarage and we’ll be heading back to the sem. after this so he can complete the last year of his education. When my husband and I decided to get married, it never occurred to me that I would someday be a pastor’s wife. I knew that he was in the seminary, I knew that he wanted to be a pastor, I just never connected the dots on how that would affect me as his wife. Consequently, I don’t feel called to be a “pastor’s wife”–I more feel like I’m muddling along trying to stay sane as we find a balance between his work and our marriage.

    • Hi Katrina,

      Thanks for coming by! It is a calling, but it is connected with your husband’s! I think you will find a lot of reluctant PW’s. I was one. My childhood dream was never to be a PW. . .or to have six kids, or even to hold the job I now hold; but God places us where he does, and we bloom and grow and flourish.

      I think it is a vocation to be taken seriously. There is one camp that says, “I’m not the Pastor’s wife, I am Matt’s wife and he just so happens to be the pastor.” The problem is, when your husband comes home from church, he never stops being the pastor, and while he is serving in the role of pastor, he never stops being your husband. And, whether we like it or not, the actions of his wife and family, DO affect his ministry.

      Now, before we let that get us all bent out of shape . . . a lawyers wife and children reflect on him and his profession as well. A school principal would be frowned on if his child was expelled, etc.

      But no, it is not easy. The balance will come. Like my dear friend, Esther pointed out, the relationships you form with fellow PWs will be most valuable. Please, please, please do not let things descend into war stories though! While we do need to be honest about the hard things, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus, not on the failures of this flesh.

      Blessings on the remainder of vicarage and seminary!

      • Thanks for the clarification–it makes perfect sense. I was originally inclined to be part of the camp that says, “So-and-so is my husband and he happens to be the pastor,” but this year has taught me that I can’t separate the two as much as I would like (and that was only by being the vicar’s wife!). Nothing horrendous happened, but there were some things that I had to do that I wouldn’t have done if my husband wasn’t working for the church. I suppose I should be happy that I learned that lesson without too many painful consequences. 🙂

        • It gets easier to say no to things. However, sometimes that takes some “capital”. For the record I don’t play piano and organ:) I vaccum the church more than I do my house, but, in the end, it is so worth it.

  5. Pam, may God continue to bless you and Dakotapastor and all of your family – natural, extended, adopted, and other!

    Your words about living the life of a Pastor’s Wife as a vocation could be applicable to many other circumstances. We make a choice to support the goals and dreams of our spouses, no matter what they are…doctor, lawyer, pastor, musician, businessman, etc…. Seeing our lives as vocation choices is key to happiness, I think.

    Great post.

    • Thanks Lisa! I often gently remind my sisters in Christ, that doctor wives don’t see their husbands much and there are similar confidentiality issues. You are right. Our vocation is tightly intertwined with the vocation of our husband’s, whatever that vocation may be!

  6. Gretchen Areosa

    Once again you have brought tears to my eyes! You are an amazing daughter and I’m so very proud of you. You know just how to put things in writing much better than I could ever do. Keep up the good work, I love you so very much.

  7. Kay

    My son-in-law is a “pastor’s wife” this could have been written as a he/she blog, as most of these things also apply to men, for it is true without the Spouce’s help the Pastor wouldn’t be able to do as good a job.

  8. Jenny

    Thanks for this post; I’ve never read your blog before, but it was linked on Facebook. My husband and I are heading out on vicarage this summer, and I’m more nervous than I anticipated. I’m going to be a 5th generation pastor’s wife. NOT my initial life plan. I had a great experience as a PK, and I thought I knew what it would be like because of coming from a family of church workers. Ah the foolishness of the young. And yet I am in awe of God’s goodness as I’ve gained a new understanding of my mother, been able to watch my husband grow so much as a godly man the last two years at seminary, and am humbled by how much I have to learn. I appreciated your explanation of your husband’s identity as a pastor, whether at home or at church, and vise versa. It actually cleared up a lot of questions I had about how to deal with confidentiality but still be supportive, what my role is in the church, etc. Thanks again, it was good to hear some positive feedback; so often we’re warned about how to avoid this or that debacle; while at the end of the day, it’s God’s ministry. Seriously, what better boss could you work for??

    • It sounds like you have a great attitude going into vicarage! And wow! 5th generation PW! I’m guessing you could teach ME a thing or two! God’s Blessings on your adventures!

  9. Karrie

    Great post, Pam. Being a PW I always joke about living in the proverbial fish bowl. This is even more true when your parsonage is at the edge of the church parking lot! I take comfort in the close friends I have made at church and in my fellow PWs although my favorite two both moved away in opposite directions. LOL. I completely agree with your top 10 list. Also, your statement that the vocation of a PW is not for the weak of heart is 100% accurate. As you know, I have a strong personality (which is probably stating it too nicely) and realized early on that not all the parishioners would care for me. My best advice is to be yourself and always support and defend your husband, and God will take care of the rest.

    • Karrie, do you really have a strong personality? Love and miss you. My friendships with you and other PWs really helped form me into the helpmate that I am. MAtt still sometimes mentions that I should do some things more like you!

  10. Rachel

    I just stumbled across this but what perfect timing. In just a few hours, I’m marrying a wonderful man who is halfway through Seminary and it can be very daunting thinking about my role in the future as pastor’s wife. Thanks for your insight.

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