Survey: Are You Called With Hubby?
Not long ago I had an interesting conversation with a woman whose husband had enrolled in seminary to prepare for ministry. “He can take classes all he wants but I didn’t sign up for the preacher’s wife thing.” Since she didn’t believe her husband would actually follow through, she went on to tell me she planned on humoring him until the day his calling affected her. And if that day ever came? Well, she’d just cross that bridge when she came to it.
In the same span of time, I attended a ministry wife conference where there was a panel discussion at the end. Five women, each in different seasons of life and ministry, lined across the stage. The question was asked, “What is one of the most difficult things you deal with in ministry?”
I’ll never forget the youngest woman’s response. She was the mother of toddlers and basically shared that she felt like everyone wanted a piece of her husband and that she was just there to be his babysitter. That she was dispensable. That his ministry was just that. His ministry.
Which leads me to the next discussion question in our series of surveys for the ‘Married to the Ministry’ book.
* As a ministry wife, do you feel a sense of calling? If yes, what do you perceive it is?
* Were you a reluctant ministry wife? Are you now? If you felt that way in the past, what changed it? If you still feel this way, how do you perceive it has affected your husband’s ministry?
* Are you able to sense when a ministry wife isn’t fully engaged or supportive in her husband’s work? How do you see that manifested?
I want to thank you all again for sharing so openly with me during this process. Your input is KEY. These current conversations are ones I feel will make this book relevant to what ministry wives are truly experiencing in this post-modern culture.
Keep your thoughts coming….Don’t hold back!
P.S. If you are a ministry wife and haven’t yet registered for the Ministry Wife Blogroll, go here.
I have witnessed this in the past. The pastor’s wife was at times verbal about her feelings of not being called. It was also apparent with her lack of stewardship in the church. Thankfully I was also able to see when that all changed and she realized her call and became devoted to working in the church and supporting the pastor.
I have known 2 pastors’ wives that did not feel as if they had been “called”. I think that our church most definitely suffered because of this, but more importantly, I think their families suffered. Both families were devastated in their time at our church. One through tragedy. The other through an unfortunate mistake. Neither marriage was saved.
And it caused much division in the church.
Can a pastor be called to serve and his wife not be called? (I am asking that question in all seriousness…I don’t mean it to sound sarcastic!!)
Hi, I’m a soon to be pastor’s wife. Through our internship I’ve gotten a taste of life in ministry. I have to say that I feel called to ministry in a different way. My ministry is more one of friendship & hospitality. I don’t think mine is as visible as my husband’s, but that doesn’t make it less important.
My husband changed career choices a few times before steeling on the ministry, so it wasn’t what I planned on when we married. There are other careers that I would have rather he follow, but God had other plans.
Lisa, my husband isn’t a ‘called minister’, but he has been our youth director for 7 years. When he felt God leading him to take on this role at our church, I was pregnant with our first child. I was furious and had the same attitude that this was his ministry (I know … selfish). I felt like he was running out on us – long nights with youth, lock-ins, family vacations sacrificed for youth camp. It was long after our daughter was born that God began speaking to my heart about our ministry. I began to see myself in the girls in the youth and wanting so much to share with them about God’s plan for their lives. By the time my daughter was 6 months old, she and I packed up and went with him and have been at every function ever since. It’s a family committment and I wouldn’t want him doing anything other than what God wants for him. As a result, our family gets to see God do amazing things through the lives of our youth. I now teach SS to high school girls which goes right along with my entire testimony. God knows so much more than we do, thank goodness.
Isn’t every believer “called” by God? And if we are wives, then one of our callings is to be helpmeets to our husbands. My husband is a senior pastor; my calling is to be his wife and support him in whatever way I can. And that by default makes me the pastor’s wife. When we were first married, he was a youth pastor. So when I married him, I already knew that ministry came with the territory. But, even if I had not known ahead of time that we (he) would be in ministry, don’t my marriage vows “richer, poorer, better, worse, sickness, health” cover this area? I have often heard about pastor’s wives who don’t feel called to be a pastor’s wife – and I’ve always wondered…if there is some issue they have in their hearts that needs to be resolved toward God or the church, if that is what is causing they’re hard feelings. It doesn’t really matter what vocation my husband is in – bank presidents, professional athletes, political figures – they all have very demanding schedules and little family time, so I don’t think we’re all that different in the end, except that we have Jesus in our hearts and are led by Him in our daily walks and attitudes.
Well, I do feel a sense of calling, and always have, even before I met my hubby. I didn’t know what God was calling me to do, but I always knew there was something. I knew I loved kids and that I loved to sing. I also knew that he loved music and that he loved working with youth.
I have since learned that my ministry is to the girls in our group and to women. The ministry to the girls has always been there, but is just now really starting to evolve into “something big”. God has recently given us a population of girls that really need some mentoring. Girls that don’t have the role models they need to be the “women” that He wants the to be.
The ministry to women is just starting to evolve. I think that God has used these past 10 – 15 years to teach me many things that He will be able to use as that ministry to women grows.
It is sad to say, but I have known many “ministry couples” that while in Seminary find themselves in the middle of divorce. I do think that being a minister’s wife is a bit of a calling. Did I ever feel that God had “called me specifically to be a minister’s wife”? NO. And do I believe that his ministry has to be your ministry? NO.
I do believe that it is something that two people should discuss before getting married. Not just between themselves, but with other minister’s families. (that’s something I think they should add to the degree plan at Seminary…a seminar with a pannel made up of minister’s and their families where they discuss issues that they all face…everyone should be required to attend. Don’t you think?)
I had not seen ELISAROSE’s comment before I left mine, I guess we were both commenting at the same time, But I have to say that I totally agree with her on that. WE are all “called” by God, and to be a wife would meant that we are our husband’s “helpmeet” and that would be the case whether he had a job as a minister or at a bank or any other place.
Well put Elisarose!
As a lay person, I think that it is obvious when a pastor’s wife doesn’t share her husband’s passion for ministry. I remember one wife (not the sr. pastor’s wife) in our former church who was totally uninvolved, totally unfriendly. I don’t believe that a pastor’s wife has to be everyone’s friend, nor at every church event. But I do think you can tell by her general demeanor if she is ministry-minded. And, rightly or wrongly, the vibe I get from her reflects upon the husband.
I agree, we are all Called by God to serve a purpose for His kingdom. As a wife, I am called to support and serve my husband and family. My personal calling is to serve and minister to women and open up my home for hospitality.
When I first met my husband, he said he was called to be a pastor, and my first thought was that he’s not my husband then, because I’m not called to be a pastor’s wife. Through the years, I really sought God and His calling on my life. God is amazing because my calling and my husband’s definitely work well together. We both love God’s people and love to serve them and minister to them.
At times when my husband is traveling or out of the home a lot, selfishness can really come in and Satan can really start putting doubts, abandonment and prideful thoughts in my mind. But that’s when I know that I need to spend more time with God. Because no matter if my husband is with me or not, my First Love is always with me.
The senior pastor’s wife of my last church said something once that really stuck with me. When our husband’s are first starting in the ministry we may feel abandoned while he’s running out of the house more then he’s coming in to serve others. That’s when we need to cling to God and find our First Love with Him and get our needs of relationship primarily met with Him. And the more we draw near to God and fall in love with Him, the more our husbands will fall in love with us. Our husbands love to see us content in God, not having fits and crying over him being gone or away from home. That just makes him torn between us and what God is calling him to do? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my husband worrying about me to the point of not being able to minister to others. I never want to “get in the way” of his calling, I want to always support him in it. (Even though sometimes it’s not always easy.)
As a Christian, I have a sense of calling…to bring the light and Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world in which I live. To fulfill God’s calling upon me to be his minster of reconciliation. I’m married to this ministry…I just also happen to be married to a preacher.
Reluctance? No. It is a high and holy privilege to serve God alongside my husband. I give my husband full credit for the balancing of church and home life. If this wasn’t in check, then I am sure the reluctance would take on new life.
Can I just tell you how thrilled I am that you are doing this book?! You are going to bless so many through your words, and I loved offering my input. (I’ll give you the truth…not what I think you want to hear!)
Actually when my husband and I first started dating he asked me how I felt about marrying a pastor. At the time I thought, I’m sure it is no big deal, right? I can’t say that I have ever been called to “ministry” in the church. I do know after 12 years of being married now, that I married who God had for me and my ministry is our family. Whenever we have had an interview for a position at a church, my husband has always been clear to say that they are not hiring 2 for the price of 1. I feel like my role is to be supportive of my husband by keeping up with things at home and the kids. I serve at church just like we would expect any other lay person in the church to serve where I feel like God can use me. So I may not feel called to “ministry” in the church, but i now realize when my husband asked me that question of “how do you feel about marrying a pastor” there was a whole lot more too it than I knew at the time. We have our share of challenges just like any other pasotoral family has but I have enjoyed seeing God at work in our family!
I met a man in a bar named Jesus Christ and HE changed the direction I was in which was drugs, drinking, sex, and ambition. Transfered from domain of darkness to kingdom of LIGHT in a moment and still “fleshing” my salvation. My beautiful God called me into ministry at that same time and I went to Seminary and met my husband after I graduated. I believe I am called to Galatians 4;19 that Christ be formed in everyone I know.
Without a doubt it’s a partnership in ministry…it’s life…you don’t clock in and out, for us, it’s always been something we do together. If we both didn’t feel that God had designed for us to do this together, then I think it would be MISERABLE!
I never wanted to be a pastor’s wife. When Ben felt called (before we got engaged) I had doubts…but what God wanted and had planned were far greater than I knew at the time. HE eventually convinced my heart to follow Him…and the journey continues!
On this subject I can speak from both sides but tonight I want to take it from the lay persons prospective.
Coming from a place where the wife is just a side piece and cant or doesn’t take her rightful place in ministry you see it in the way the woman around her or in the congregation never reach their potential in ministry or even in their walk with the Lord. Their devotion is wishy washy and the depth of spiritual knowledge is sadly lacking. There is no motivation to reach higher in the things of God. Its difficult to be led by someone that has no vision.
love always me
I feel I am called. I think it would be very hard (rather harder) to live this life without being called.
Our life is Jesus, our family and the CHURCH. There is nothing else. Maybe an ocasional trip to walmart ha-ha! Maybe I need to read one of those boundry books… but anyway. We are called together.
I don’t believe that I actually heard a “call” from god to go into the ministry, but when my husband did, I was totally supportive. I thought it was interesting at the time that I had to fill out part of the seminary application even though I wasn’t planning on going. It was great for the seminary to make us think about and see if we were both onboard with this. I do have to admit that I really had no idea what we were getting into (not being raised in the church) and had i known what our first few years in ministry would be like, I might not have agreed! no, I would not have agreed! However, I do believe that Steve and I are a partnership and God is using us together to build his church. My ministry is different than steve’s, first it is to support and encourage him and make our home a safe place for him to come home to. But God has called me to use my gifts and abilities to serve along side my husband. I have seen so many ministry couples that aren’t together on this and it almost always leads to heartache and trouble. I don’t think Steve could do his job without my support, that is why God brought us together….we are a team.
I did not go into the ministry reluctantly, but our first church basically chewed us up and spit us out. I told my husband as we moved that if this was what ministry was like….I wanted out!!! But God led us to a church where we could heal and showered his love on us. I look back on that time and think “i wouldn’t ever “choose” to do that again, but I would willingly go through it if I knew that I would grow as much as i did during that time” God showed his faithfulness to me in so many tangible ways! I have been through many more difficult times, but I can’t imagine doing anything else!!! I love being in the ministry!!
As a layperson I have only had one instance of a wife seeming reluctant! Actually it’s at the church we now attend, but years ago! I have to tell you that I never know who she was and we atteneded there 4 months before they left and divorced. Whats funny she is attending our church again and I just heard her introduce herself to someone the other day! Otherwise most everyone has been involved to some extent and supportive of their husbands. I do believe if you are married to a minister then you had better feel called to, to some respect, because you will be called upon to make alot of sacrifices.
I left a comment earlier and got to thinking more about it so I just want to clairy ….maybe I am misreading the question, I do not feel called to full-time ministry in the church, but I suppose the more I think about it I am called to full-time ministry in other ways, which one huge way I feel called is to be supportive of my husband who is in full-time minstry. I truly feel like God has given me my home and my family as my mission field. I think in order to make things work, you need to be supportive of your husband. My husband would say that we never go to a church where we did not BOTH feel like God was calling us to.
I knew what I was getting into when I met hubby in college. He was straight up about his degree in ministry. I do feel it is a calling for a woman to be a pastor’s wife. Unfortunately, I have seen ministry’s destroyed because the two were not in agreement. In the two times that I have seen pastor’s leave the ministry, it was because of the wife who just “didn’t fit the calling”.
I definitely believe that being a Pastor’s wife is a calling. I felt called as a very young girl. In fact I would always “interview” my various pastor’s wives to try to glean an understanding of my future place in life! I read every book I could get my hand on. I think it helps when both spouses share a calling. It makes the joys and the heartaches better when you are “three cords” that cannot be broken.
Great question Lisa! I just wanted to let you know that I will be answering if not tonight on Sunday or Monday. We are attending Passion Conference in Atlanta with our high school seniors this weekend. I would answer now but I the MIL is on the way to keep Emma Kate this weekend and I need to clean!
My husband and I are one. Therefore, I can’t imagine that God would call him without calling me.
I see my calling as a leader to the women in the church. As their servant. Even though my husband is their pastor, there are just times when women need other women. We get each other in ways that men never will. My job is to serve in the areas of my spiritual gifting and be a godly example to the women in our flock. I want to always be available and approachable.
I also feel called to be a support to my man and a mother to his children. My goal is to be his biggest supporter and do everything I can compliment his ministry, not to hinder it. I want the heart of my husband to “safely trust in me.” (Prov. 31:11)
I have never felt reluctant. This is such an honor and privilege, that the Lord would trust us with the hearts and lives of the precious people of our church. I take that very seriously. I thank God for the great example I had in a pastor’s wife for 14 years before my husband became a pastor.
My husband started the ministry for 2 yrs before I accepted my call, I had to overcome a 10 year fear of riding a motorcycle again after being involved in a huge accident. But through our Lord using a Pastors wife asking me Who’s voice was I listening to? Well. . The story continues on, That is why I ride FREE now. Free In Him, Amen!!
I need to chew on this one for awhile. I will definitely respond in a day or so, though!
I have always felt called to be in ministry of some sort, and knew I would marry someone headed for ministry. when he showed up to go to seminary and we met, I loved how he related to people and knew he’d be great in the ministry. We both felt called. Then we started out…in youth ministry…well, it didn’t take long for me to realize I had very little patience for high school kids. But my husband is good at everything…and would do well in any capacity…so we were in youth ministry for a few years together, and then God moved us to another kind of ministry. And we are very happy and love it. We’ve been in this ministry for about 15 years.
I honestly don’t think a husband can be called, and a wife not be called. I think that is a sad thought!!!
I was actively involved as a teacher and ministry leader at my church before I even started dating my husband. I would definitely say it has been easier for me than someone who doesn’t feel the passion to be “in charge” of things at church. But a downfall has been that I spend so much time doing and planning, that I don’t build relationships with other women and end up feeling isolated.
I feel like I was called to minister with my husband which can sometimes cause problems to the other extreme where I go past my boundaries and try to tell him how he should minister instead of letting God lead him.
By the way, did you go to the Beth Moore conference that she had that was just for minister’s wives?
Lay person here…
The pastor’s wives I’ve had any real contact with all felt very strongly that God had called them just as surely as He had called their husbands.
When I got married my husband was an ordained minister and leader of a parachurch ministry for college/career types. I was as committed to that ministry as I was to him. Its a package deal.
I have always felt that if I am creating to be his helpmeet. Then my job is do be the vice president of our family corporation. He is the president and cannot be at home all day to tend the “garden”. When the president is doing what God has commanded him to do then I am to fulfill the role that God has commanded me to do. You find that in Titus 2, 1 Peter 3 and all over the Bible! I am not called to have a separate life from my husband. My home is my mission field. And my children deserve to know the gospel and be nurtured. I have already been accused of being too submissive, and too much of a homebody and so on. But the reality for our ministry together is that I am available when my husband needs me. And he never asks me to do things that he knows I cannot do. How can I go door to door evangelizing with six children? I don’t have to. God sends people to my door! Sends them through the phone. When my husband was saved my whole world changed…for the better! He was called to preach shortly after, and it can be intimidating considering, people look at you like you are the “First Lady” and they want you to look and act a certain way. My husband says I am HIS helper not the church’s. So, that is our ministry together. Our marriage is to reflect what the “church” is to Jesus. That is ministry.
My husband is an Army Chaplain. I do feel a sense of calling as a minister’s wife. I actually felt a call before I met my husband and realized what it meant after my husband began serving in the church.
I preceive it as supporting him and his ministry. There are many ways that this can take place. First of all, I take care of our home and children so that he is free to serve. I also take part in his ministry by being actively involved in the chapel community on the post where we live and in his unit.
I think that my willingness to serve along with my husband and a conviction that I have been called to this has helped him in his ministry. He has told me this on many occasions. I think it also been an encouragement to him when he faces struggles and hardships.
Oh! PTL for heritage of home!!!! I love what she said! As a pastors wife, we need to keep our home fires burning! It distresses me to see a ministers wife doing more ministry than the minister.
I think that it’s important to define what “fully engaged and supportive is.”
A young PW with 3 small children can be fully engaged and supportive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s going to have the same level of involvement as a PW whose kids are older or grown.
“Fully engaged” doesn’t necessarily mean “there every time the doors are open.”
Conversely, I think a PW can be up at the church all the time but “doing her own thing” without being supportive of her husband. They can have two different ministries that never intersect and mesh. And that can be just as harmful as if she never came.
It all comes down to the attitude of the heart, not the external stuff. If the relationship with God is lined up correctly, only then will the marriage relationship be at its optimal health. And only then will the outflow of the ministry be effective.
And that is true for pastors, other staff, Bible Study teachers, janitors, and all the rest of us!
Oh, my heart aches for the young woman on this panel who stated she just felt like the babysitter. But sadly, I think this is very much a reality for many young women.
Lisa, I will have to email my thoughts at some point when I have some free time. Just getting back from a short trip and catching up.
My husband was already in the ministry when we met, so I knew that if we married, I would be a ‘pastor’s wife.’
Like so many before have stated, I agree that my first ministry is to my husband and then our family.
“His” ministry is truly “our” ministry because we are one. I may not go visiting, or be a part of meetings or prepare messages but my husband seeks my advice, input and shares with me about all the aspects of ‘his’ ministry.
But as someone stated before, as Christians, we are ALL called into the ministry!
I have seen Pastors wives take on a “sit on the pew” role in ministry. Someone has already stated that we are all called into ministry, it is up to each of us as to what we do with that call.
When my husband was called into fulltime ministry, he did not tell me…but he didn’t have to because God was also dealing with me, calling me into fulltime ministry. I believe as a married couple, that God will place the call on both the husband and wife. God is not a God of disorder or confusion!
I am not saying that as the wife of a preacher, that we are all called to stand up and preach, but I believe God will call us into a ministry as a helpmate to our husbands ministry, the first and utmost of importance is that we become armorbearers for our pastor husbands. This is a ministry of prayer!
No matter what our personality, or gifts, or talents, or desires….every wife of a pastor has a ministry within her. God is looking for not only men of the pulpit to raise the bar but also women of God that will set the standard and be role models. This is one of the highest callings I believe pastors wives have, because we are looked at from top to bottom and side to side, but let them look and Lord please let them find godliness, love, acceptance and forgiveness when they look me over!
I never want to be heard saying, “I am not called…this is my husbands ministry not mine”, we are united and together ministry can be so fullfilling, and joyous and blessed!
God bless your efforts Lisa. -Laurie
Yes, I felt the call as a teenager. It has definitely helped me during the troubled seasons of ministry life to know that I am following God’s plan for my life. I echo some of the other comments about being called to be a help to our husbands in their ministry. It’s important that we have our priorities straight so that our focus is correct. My husband may be called to be the shepherd, but I can have my own area of ministry that will be more effective that he could ever be — all because I am a woman. The bottom line is, we are a team!
I don’t know of any other occupation that my husband could have that would require me to be a part of the “package deal” (for free) except in the ministry. That took some getting use to.
Can we talk honest here? There are still times that I long for a 9 to 5 life again. We have been in full time ministry for 35 years and for the past 16 years I have lived in someone else’s home; a home I did not choose for myself (a very nice home – but small). It would be so nice to not have to go to plan B or C. In other words, working around other peoples’ plans, schedules, ideas, etc.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade this life for another. Life has it’s ups and downs, pros and cons no matter what the vocation. The “ups” of ministry are awesome. There are highs like no other. It’s a life with more opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people than any other I can think of. We are able to minister to people when they need it most.
I am very blessed with a husband who has made sure that I knew our family came first before anyone else — except God. If we need him, he is there. He tells me that next to God, my opinion is the most important to him. God bless that man of mine!
My husband is not a pastor, but I do know that I have had to support him in his job as an attorney. I do believe that women are called to serve thier husbands in whatever capacity the man serves in his job. All professions require sacrifice. My son is a firefighter and his wife has total responsiblity for twenty four stretches and the knowledge that every day when he goes to work that he is putting his life on the line for others. He definitely feels as called to that job as other men are called to the full time service of our Lord. Our present senior pastor’s wife is very involved at church, she feels led to do what she does. It shows that she supports him totally. He has also made it known that his family comes after God, he is very supportive of them. It makes for a very good role model. Men in any profession are not home at all hours because of their job. Mine has worked on the week ends when necessary and he works at home on the computer at night. We are all “called” to share and support our husbands in whatever job the Lord leads them to do. Thanks Lisa for writing this book it will be of great service to our Lord.
I do feel called in many ways. It is clear to my hubs and I that we are both gifted in skilled and passionate in some similar ways, which can lead to us being a great team.
I’m definitely not minister material, but I think I enhance his ministry. There have even been times when his ministry has changed somewhat and it has shaken me a little; not sure what my role is anymore.
Like Linda said, there have been seasons where I am more heavily involved in the building than others, but I am at least in some way always involved in Scott’s ministry, even if it is just talking through ideas and plans with him.
Have I told you I can’t wait for this book???
I felt a call to ministry years before I met my husband, and deep down was hoping that call meant I would marry a minister. My dreams came true when I married Mike, a collegiate minister. My challenge came several years later, when he started thinking about leaving the ministry, and I thought, “wait a minute, I married you as a minister, you have to stay one” and had to come to realize that I was married to HIM, a person, not his title, and I would love him no matter what. (This was a good and healthy process, and he did stay in the ministry.) My participation in his ministry has looked different at different seasons of life (ie: the ages of our children). Sometimes my part is just supporting him and having a safe place to come home to, sometimes it’s leading girls’ Bible studies and being there for the students. Right now I’m getting involved in the international ministry, attending events and meetings on campus, and helping proofread papers he’s writing for his DMin. There have been times when I felt like the students took him away from us too much, but he has learned to be very careful in protecting our family time. And as our kids have grown, they go with us to campus activities. And sometimes it was my attitude/perspective that needed to change.
Lay person here . . .
In my experience it is as easy to spot an “unhappy/unengaged/not-into-this-whole-partner thing” in ministry as it is to spot in non-ministry marriages. A woman’s face gives her away. Maybe I just recognize the symptoms because I’ve had my own marriage struggles in the past and “the look” in a sad woman’s eyes is familiar.
Also easy to spot is a woman who’s happy for and proud of her husband’s life/accomplishments/calling. It may not be easy for her to “follow” or be in the background with young children (early on) but she is proud of her man’s walk and character. THAT is a beautiful thing to see, I might add.
I think that both sides – fully engaged and fully opposed – are easy to see by anyone who is paying attention.
(As you read my comments, please keep in mind that this is coming from a wife of only two years with no children. So far, we have served in a small church.)
I absolutely feel “called” to ministry with my husband! My husband and I grew up together, and even before we were dating, I watched our spiritual passions grow in the same direction. I’m a preacher’s kid, so I always swore I would NOT marry a minister, even though God began to change my heart in my early 20s, and I knew I would.
Oneness is part of God’s design for marriage, and I believe that being called together is a huge part of being one. I’m still figuring out my role (it’s always changing), and I’m learning how to use my spiritual gifts to complement my husband’s and vice versa. Though I act as a helper to him for the most part, I also have my own “jobs” within our church.
I know firsthand that ministry is not always fun or easy, but I couldn’t imagine not following God in this role. In my opinion, my husband’s job is the most important one a person can have. So far, I’m loving it!
My husband was called into the ministry while we we’re dating. We knew that we would get married but weren’t engaged yet. As soon as he was called I knew that I would follow. I didn’t understand all that would entail at the time, mind you, but I knew that if he was God’s best for me, I would follow him. In the same way that I ‘follow him’ in the ministry, I definitely feel called along with him. He is my husband, we are one. Now of course our service in the ministry is different but our hearts are both going in the same direction. I feel like my highest calling is to be his supporter, his encourager, his helpmate. I believe also that my service in the home, especially at this season in our life with small children, is the biggest call in that ministry. He could not focus on doing the greatest part of his calling, preaching the gospel, if I didn’t do mine.
When we started dating, i had not been “called” to be a preacher’s wife, so i thought i had no business dating him. i just couldn’t resist. he was completely unimpressed by that argument, anyway. “i’m not looking for a secretary, or an assistant pastor. i just want a wife.”
i am called to him, whatever his job. if he quit today to bag groceries, or sell insurance, or get shipped off to iraq, i would still be called to him. and i would still be called to serve my church, just as i was before i met him. the actions required by those callings might look different, but the underlying principle is the same.
the two callings, to husband and church, dovetail nicely when hubby is a minister. but they aren’t inseparable.
we have young children, so right now my ministry is mainly at home. at some point in the future it might look different. but family will always get the first and best effort.
in the name of honesty, though, i do have days like the poor girl at the conference. i have felt like a babysitter plenty. i don’t believe that in my heart, but i am susceptible to those lies when i’m tired, feeling forgotten or lonely, underappreciated, or wallowing in self-pity. i’m learning to recognize those lies, and their source. still learning.
For several years my husband has been wrestling with the call to pastor a church. Over and over again, when he would share this with me, I would say, “No way! We’re married…if God’s callin’ you, He’s callin’ me too…and I have NOT heard my phone ringin’!”
Come to think of it, my connection was fuzzy…
A little over a year ago, at a church leadership conference, that call was heard LOUD AND CLEAR!! (Amazing what happens when you have good reception!) I held up my hands and surrendered, right then and there on the SPOT!
Later, on the 3.5 hour drive home, my husband leaned over to me and said…”I’ve got something to tell you, it’s FOR REAL this time”. I immediately started crying and said “I know!”. Since then we have been enjoying the ride of our lives. And while it ain’t always easy…we BOTH know, beyond a SHADOW OF A DOUBT that WE have been CALLED to this…and THAT has made all the difference!
My husband was a music teacher for the first 2 years of our marriage, and has served as a worship pastor for the past 6 years of our 10-year marriage. Our church (wisely) interviewed me along with him, and our pastor’s wife (also wisely) asked me what I thought it would mean to be married to a man in ministry . . .
I said, “I have this vague idea that I might have to wear dresses and play the piano . . . and I don’t actally play the piano.” She told me to keep on being myself, doing what God asks of me and created me to do. (I love this woman.) For me, that means being a wife, mom to three kids ages 1-7, and helping lead a ministry to women who work as exotic dancers.
Our head pastor preaches from the pulpit that he believes God will first hold him accountable for the job he does as a husband and father, THEN as a pastor. So, I have always felt very supported as a couple and family.
There are seasons that are busy and hard to get through — when you’re home sick kids for 7 days, which happen to be the week of Easter, so worship-pastor-hubby is very busy! And there have been a few wounds inflicted by church members that have occasionally taken my breath away.
But I’ll echo those who’ve said they would be called to support their men no matter what occupation they happened to land in. We are a team as of our wedding day, forever.
my husband and I have been in the ministry – in one form or the other – since we were dating. I knew the mission field was in our future and I knew pastoring was in our future.
I absolutely feel called with him – that doesn’t mean that I’m gonna be doing everything he does. Different times, different places, different responsiblities all affect what I do in the church.
No matter what though – I am called to support him, to pray for him, to love him, to be his partner in life.
We’re just about to take our first senior pastorate and I’ll admit I don’t always feel like “pastor’s wife” material – but I am – because I’m his wife. And besides that whole thing is just my fear of not meeting others’ expectations. We don’t really need to though, do we? We just need to make sure we’re walking the road God has set before us.
Anyway – I’ve also been part of churches where it would appear the pw doesn’t share the call with her husband – only to realize that she doesn’t share the spotlight with her husband – big differenc!