7 Insights for a Pastor’s Wife
by Karen Blandino
My husband, Stephen, and I have served in various ministry roles, including the last 4 years as lead pastors for 7 City Church plant. None of the pastor's wife roles came with a rulebook, but each role did come with unwritten rules that changed with each position and set of church expectations.
I wish I could go back in time and give my younger self some helpful advice.
I would say:
1. Champion Your Spouse’s Dreams
My husband and I are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. When new dreams are birthed, we have learned to speak life into one another. Whether it is deciding to go back to college, looking for new job, writing a book, or starting to exercise, we cheer for each other to succeed. Don’t let the enemy speak insecurities, such as, “he will outgrow me.” Dreams grow best when we have each other’s backs.
2. Find a Healthy Place on the Tammy Fay–Mother Teresa Spectrum
How many times have you wanted something but were afraid to buy it because it would look extravagant? You don’t need to throw on sackcloth. If you love pretty things enjoy them without feeling guilty! We all know things are not eternal, but it doesn’t mean we can’t sport a great pair of shoes on earth.
3. Don't Hold Grudges
One of the hardest things in ministry is when people leave the church. Social media can bring them to your doorstep every day. It can be difficult when they post things like, “Glad to be at a church where the Holy Spirit is moving.” The emotional part of me thinks, “What?!” Then, I remind myself of a decision we made when first planting the church: keep an open hand. In other words, we don’t own people. We won’t hold the congregation God has entrusted us with a closed fist. These are God’s people and His church. Choose to let people go with grace and a blessing. You shouldn’t have to escape down another aisle the next time you see them at the grocery store.
4. Mission Trips Do Not Count as Vacations!
Take time off with your husband. This was one of the biggest mistakes we made during the early years in ministry. If your ministry can only survive if your husband is preaching 50+ weeks a year, you are headed for burnout. A healthy church will provide at least 3-4 Sundays a year to be refreshed. If money is scarce, borrow a tent and go down to the lake. Do something fun that does not involve church.
5. Love Yourself
Don’t hide who God created you to be. God has called you to that church, with your personality, quirkiness, intellect, and strengths. When people see your authentic gifts, they will love the real you and give lots of grace when you fall short. My sweet sister, you will fall short at times. It’s part of the journey. But God doesn’t define us by our worst day, and neither should we.
6. Foster Ministry Friendships
Connect with other ministry wives. You can understand each other’s struggles and provide a unique community of support. Don’t let insecurities prevent you from reaching out. You’ll be relieved to discover that your ministry/personal struggles might be someone else’s struggles too. The enemy would like nothing more than for us to isolate ourselves, but don’t give in. Reaching out may feel awkward, but push through the awkwardness!
7. Take Care of You
You will spend a lot of time investing in others; don’t forget to invest in yourself. Travel, read, exercise, and get rest. Find your niche (this will change in different seasons), and soak in some good Jesus time. There will be times when you feel empty, wondering if you have anything left to give others. That’s normal. Let these times push you to a place where God can fill you up. There will also be times when you have so much in your heart that you can’t wait to share; go for it!
You are precious and have been called into a wonderful role. Although it comes with a spectrum of emotions, to stand in front of the Father one day and hear, “well done my sweet girl,” makes this crazy calling worth it.
Karen Blandino is a pastor's wife, Texan, mother and counselor. She holds a Master's Degree in Counseling from TCU and a Bachelor of Arts in History from UTA. She has served 12 years in education. She and her husband planted 7 City Church in Ft. Worth, Texas, where they serve as lead pastors.
Co-Authored: Unexpected: What to do when God disrupts your plans