I am especially grateful to have the opportunity to hear from pastors’ wives since much of my focus is on pastors. Our recent, informal survey simply asked the open-ended question: “What do you wish you had been told before you became a minister’s wife?”
Thank you to the pastors’ wives who were willing to give us such great feedback. And thanks to Chris Adams for doing the survey and to Amy Jordan for assembling the data.
The responses are in order of frequency. A representative comment follows each response.
1. I wish someone had told me just to be myself.
“I am a people-pleaser by nature, so for me, not being prepared to handle being a pastor’s wife with my personality was a heavy burden to carry early in our ministry.”
2. I wish someone had prepared me to deal with criticism of my husband and me.
“It was hard to deal with negative experiences, conflicts or criticisms, especially in relation to my husband and our area of ministry. So I would harbor feelings of resentment when it came to ministry and my man.”
3. I wish someone had reminded me that my husband is human.
“I wish someone had told me that my husband could not be God for me. I was disillusioned at first to find out that he indeed is just a man.”
4. I wish someone had told me that others were watching us (the glass house syndrome).
“Even though they are watching us, we don’t need to be controlled by what they expect of us.”
5. I wish someone had told me there are some really mean people in the church.
“I was really surprised. I had to learn not to pay too much attention to them or they would get me down.”
6. I wish someone had told me how much my husband needs me to build him up.
“I need to be his cheerleader. Dealing with critics in the church is difficult. He needs to hear that I respect him now more than ever.”
7. I wish someone had told me that my schedule will never be normal again.
“Your husband will be very busy. Expect that. But come alongside him in the areas of time management and organization.”