pastors wife helper or hindrance

Being a pastor’s wife comes with its challenges and I talk more about that here. Last week I was struggling with my husband’s schedule – more specifically, his late night meetings. Most of the people a pastor deals with have jobs or other duties during the day. This means that when he needs to meet with leaders, counsel parents, or hang out with students, it needs to happen at night. Between summer mission trips and gearing up for the new school year, I feel like my husband has been gone more than he has been home.

When I became a pastor’s wife, I knew there would be days or weeks my husband would not see his wife or children due to overnight retreats or mission trips.

However, I did not realize that there would be normal workdays where he wouldn’t see his children. This past week was quite busy for my husband as they are preparing for the new school year. One day he came home and saw the children and me for an hour before he headed back to the church for a meeting. The very next day he was able to come home for 30 minutes, over naptimes, and then went back to the church to prepare for another meeting. In two normal workdays, my husband saw his children for a total of one hour.

Because I am admittedly a bit selfish, the first thing that came to my mind was the extra work that my husband was leaving me with. There were two days in a row where I was left to get the children up and fed in the morning, hang out with and do naptimes in the afternoon, and do dinner, bath and bedtime at night – ALL BY MYSELF. Couldn’t he schedule these meetings for a different time? Don’t the people he’s meeting with realize that he has a family he needs to get home to? I was so angry at my husband!

The next morning I woke up and my husband was still in bed. This was a little surprising because he usually leaves for work before the kids and I get up for the day. Then my husband went and got the kids up and ready for the day and proceeded to make breakfast. The first thought I had was that he was probably making it up to me because he felt bad that I was doing everything by myself for two whole days. Again – just thinking about myself.

As I watched my husband and the kids eat breakfast, I realized that my husband just missed his kids! Here I was thinking about how much extra work I was being left with, and I wasn’t thinking about how my children or husband felt. The kids missed their dad terribly and I know my husband didn’t want to miss out on seeing his kids for two days.

I know being a pastor or pastor’s wife is hard, and it’s true that our plans often depend on congregational needs that arise. But when I am mad at husband for leaving for a counseling appointment, what kind of mood does that put him in? I would guess it doesn’t make him real excited about pouring into the life of others.

I don’t want to see the church as my enemy and I don’t want to feel like I’m in a battle with the church for my husband’s attention. I don’t want to hinder him from doing as much as he can and I don’t want to stop him from being all he can be. When someone calls and needs help, I don’t want to be the reason he says no. When a student wants to get dinner and talk about the hard times they’re going through, I don’t want my husband to be nervous about telling me.

When I became a pastor’s wife, I wanted to come alongside him and partner with my husband in ministry, and I still do. I want to be his helper. I want to be his supporter. And I need to do a better job of showing him that.

Tonight my husband had an event with students. As he was leaving I gave him a kiss and said, “I hope you and the students have a great time!”


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