Pastor’s Wives: Servants of the Church

Fifty years ago, the “perfect” pastor’s wife was one who was involved in the Ladies’ Aid, taught Sunday School, was in charge of VBS, and accompanied her husband on hospital visits occasionally. Even now, sometimes it is assumed that a pastor’s wife should be active in the Church, serving on boards, showing up to funerals, and being “visible.” Those who don’t are sometimes seen as not being very supportive of the Church or their husbands’ ministry.

My feeling is that pastors’ wives serve the Church best by serving their husbands and their homes. A good pastor’s wife is one who is a Helper to her husband. Not saying that it is wrong or bad for pastor’s wives to get involved, if that is their choice. But our wives should not feel pressured to do all of the things that others do. Thankfully at Immanuel there is not a lot of pressure put on my wife. But still, it is hard to find one’s niche in a new place. I would encourage pastor’s wives to serve the Church by serving their husbands, by making a comfortable home for them, by “holding down the fort” while their husbands are ministering to others. It is a big sacrifice. It is hard work. Pastors are gone many an evening, and I know that my wife puts our kids to bed way more often by herself than together with me.

I am grateful for her willingness to do this. She is a servant of the church, but not in the way that people would expect, or used to expect of a pastor’s wife. She cares for me, and that is enough. If there is more that she wishes to do, then that is wonderful. I hope that other pastors and congregations feel the same way that I do. God bless our wives for all they do.

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About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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7 Responses to Pastor’s Wives: Servants of the Church

  1. Mark says:

    One congregation I interviewed with, and eventually became the pastor, asked me how my wife was going to be involved. My response was that as my wife, she is a member of the congregation like anybody else. She does what she wants and is interested in doing. When pressed with just such expectations as you raised from 50 years ago above, I said, “well, you’re welcome to call her as my assistant and give her a salary commensurate with her duties.” That stopped that conversation quickly.

  2. Mrs. Childers says:

    That is good.

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  4. William M. Cwirla says:

    A pastor’s wife should be expected to do no more nor less than any other woman in the congregation according to her gifts and circumstances. If anything, she should be given particular honor as the one who is one flesh with their pastor. I like the Orthodox practice of referring to the priest’s wife as “presbytera,” an honorific title.

  5. This is how I have done it for 27 years now. Many along the way understood, but there were some who did not and hung to their expectations of the Pastor’s wife.

  6. Dennis Voss says:

    Well said Paul. For 26 years, my wife kept the home fires burning as I served in the Air Force. When I was ordained, the location just changed; her role, her service didn’t, and I thank God for her and her service. She was asked when we came here as vicar if she played the organ. She didn’t, piano though. She’s been the organist for many years, but it’s her choice. Same with her involvement in Ladies’ Aid.

  7. Karina says:

    As a pastor’s wife, I appreciate this post!

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