The Role of a Pastor's
By Shannon Parish
one of the most often asked questions that come through
Sarah's Tent is from the young, new pastor's wife who
asks, "How can I be the best pastor's wife that I can
be?" "What is expected of me as a new pastor's wife?"
Memories instantly leap to my mind as I remember asking
that myself. Now, after years of ministry experience and
people experience, I see great wisdom in Shakespeare's
words ... "To thine own self be true".
There is no greater praise or gift to God and the people
you serve ... and your husband and children ... that you
remain true to yourself.
Staying in truth and integrity, love and joy, reflecting
God's grace, mercy and love on this Earth, is greater
than any skill or talent that hides who you were created
A pastor's wife is not a trophy wife. The worse thing
that a woman can do (or anyone for that matter) is to
try to live up to what they THINK other people expect of
them. Focusing on an undefined goal dooms you to failure
- because you'll never know when its been obtained -
because it never really existed!
The greatest thing that you can do as a pastors wife is
to first discover who you are. Know your strengths - and
your weaknesses. Embrace your strengths and rejoice in
"What?" you ask, "Rejoice in my weaknesses?"
You bet! That means that you are leaning to your
strengths - which are areas that you excel in and love
to do (which blesses everyone who partakes of your
gifts) and understanding your weaknesses allows others
to bless you in kind, because they are strong where you
Pride will say that you must be excellent in all things.
Walk away from people who insist such things because if
you aren't aware of it right now, you soon will be ....
You are not Jesus Christ! Get over it and relax.
Understanding your weaknesses gives you opportunity to
encourage and validate others who have strengths that
they are called by God to give. Did you hear that? We
are CALLED BY GOD to give what we have. Not what we
That also means that when the temptation comes to enter
into competition, you participate in exactly the
opposite of what a pastor's wife should do. She should
love and extend grace and mercy to those she serves -
just as much as she wants it in return. (Besides,
staying away from things you are weak in, means you have
less things to be responsible for, and more opportunity
for others to do what they love to do!) (Nothing wrong
with an easier, happier day now, is there?)
Its true, that there will always be expectations from
others that are impossible to live up to. How you
respond to those expectations will teach those around
you not only how you expect to be treated, but gives
them permission to do the same.
How to begin? Discover who you are. Take some very
important private time, away from interruptions and
outside demands. Bring paper and pen to write down your
thoughts, and give yourself permission to imagine and
dream about what your perfect life would look like.
Think back to the times when you excelled at something
that made your heart soar. That was when you were in
your strength. Jot those moments down.
Now think about when you felt like a total failure or
hated what you were doing. Jot those down too (don't
worry if you can think about more of these than your
strong moments. Our world reinforces looking at the
negative. This just gives you a nice list of situations
to avoid - and to examine. (by asking yourself if there
are any common denominators in these events and what to
ask yourself what the 'truth' was that your inner voice
Once you've identified core belief systems, bring them
to the light and lay them on the altar. They are
opposite to God's plan and purpose for you and are lies
to who God has created you to be. Repent from embracing
(To repent means to GO ANOTHER WAY. It means that you
are acknowledging the error of continuing in this way
and you have chosen to go another way.)
Re-visit the FUN MOMENTS where you were in your
strength. (This list will build the more that you open
yourself to remember these moments. Determine that you
will give yourself permission to enjoy these events more
* If you love to play the piano, play more often
* If you love listening to people, listen to more people
* If you love to cook - cook more often
* If you love to sew - sew more often
* If you love business - network more often and pursue
* If you love to dance - dance more often
* If you love to encourage - speak up!
* If you love to be with senior citizens - be with them
* If you ... well... you get the idea, right?
There is no such thing as a cookie cutter pastor's wife.
Each place of worship, each home, has its own flavor or
atmosphere and focus. Some churches specialize in prayer
and intercession, not only because the pastors love this
area of ministry - they are called by God to intercede
Other churches specialize in excellent worship. Those
churches will attract people who have those needs and
will set others free who are captive and do not know how
to enter into those special ministries. (this applies to
witnessing, helping less fortunate, etc.)
Giving yourself permission to embrace your strengths
builds confidence and creates a world of thanksgiving
and joy, forgiveness and understanding. The fruits of
the spirit are abundant in those who are filled with
praise and worship. Truth sets captives free ... and
frankly, is a whole lot more fun!
When you give yourself permission to be who God made you
to be, then you give permission for your children to do
the same, as well as any one else who is watching your
life. There won't be any guessing in who you are today -
or who you might be tomorrow and because of this
consistency, people will know that you are someone that
they can trust and feel safe with.
Need a jump start? Click on the link that is embedded in
the title above, or ... click here:
Answering the questions on this work sheet will reveal
your strengths and common denominators. What you uncover
will tell you what type of pastor's wife you should be.
If you need more feedback - have your friends fill out
the form for you, and you do the same for them (why
not?) ... print off your sheets.
Now, sit down with a nice cup of tea (do you take one
lump of sugar or two?) Discuss what the questions
revealed. Tape the sheet where you can see it and be
reminded of where your joy resides.
God dwells in the praises of His people. Being in joy
will cause you to praise Him in all things and at all
times - and it is there that you want to dwell as well.
A Cartoonist, Graphic Facilitator and Creative Life
Coach, Shannon Parish devotes her life
to encouraging those who are fed up with the 'status-quo' and are determined
and pursue their purpose and destiny in life through one-on-one mentoring,
facilitated workshops and retreats.
Follow Me on
(c) copyright 2010 All world
rights reserved, Shannon Parish, Living Stones Center.
Back to Articles Table of Contents