Who is a Pastor’s Wife?
In very real terms, a pastor’s wife is any woman who is married to a Pastor, has the opportunity of knowing God, serving God, believing in God and has been called by God to serve or has been appointed by a church to serve.
Either way, a pastor’s wife is first a human being, a woman, wife, mother and a member of the society. It is therefore in this order that a woman will function effectively in any given society.
Being a pastor’s wife is a high calling, a great responsibility and a great blessing. The pastor’s wife is undoubtedly connected to the success or failure of the husband/pastor’s ministry. Considering the significant role of a pastor’s wife, her wholesome health – her spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health is of paramount importance to the ministry and the people she has been called to serve.
We must not fail to mention that it is indeed an awesome privilege to be a pastor’s wife. It is like an opportunity of many are called but few are chosen. The good parts outweigh the bad parts, The good parts include the joy of being known and called the leader of women, you inspire hope in others where they have failed, you bridge the gap as a mentor to young women in upholding marriage values and solving issues, many seek your counsel in managing their homes and children, they appreciate you as a listening ear. You are often celebrated as the mother of the church. Also, a pastor’s wife benefit from zealous and committed members in the Body of Christ that are a pleasure to serve, and to serve with.
In the same vein, a pastor’s wife is one who is either liked or disliked, depending on the angle she is being viewed from. She is often judged by what she says or does not say. How she dresses, what she drinks or eats. What kind of music does she listen to, what kind of friends she mingles with, who does she support? Who does she condone? How does she sit in church, who is in her caucus in church and the list goes on and on… but the most painful part of these judgmental views are when they view the pastor’s children and the pastor himself as though they are super humans and should never been found making a mistake or living their life.
This hurts and it hurts badly. It is true that the people who you love the most have the power to hurt you the most. The people who you give your time, efforts, resources and goodwill to hope and support, may turn around to hurt you in future and thus us one case that the pastor’s wife faces every now and then. As Christians and human beings in general, we are all flawed people and sometimes we hurt each other. Purposefully at times. Unintentionally quite often.
The Needs of a Pastor’s Wife.
A pastor wife as established earlier is a first a woman, before being a pastor’s wife and just like every other human being that is a woman, she is made up of a million emotions. These emotions can be joy, happiness, sadness, anger, anxiety, excitement, longing and of course depression among a host of many others.
Like anyone else, the pastor’s wife has hurts and needs, but unlike others she is expected to be ideal. Everything she says and does, may be under scrutiny and considered a reflection on the pastor. But little do we know nor acknowledge that the pastor’s wife also passes through a whole a lot of stress. She may suffer from stress overload or ministry burnout just like other ministry leaders. But who cares for the pastor’s wife? Who is a safe and appropriate person in her church to meet her needs to? Often no one.
Where does a pastor’s wife go for support? Who can she trust to keep confidence? Even if she could trust a church member is it wise for her to share honestly with her? Does a pastor’s wife suffer from burn out? does she get annoyed? does she ever get tired? is she expected to breakdown? if she does, who will comfort her?
A woman who has lined up plans and expectations in various spheres of life and whose life desires and expectations have not been met may lead to depression. Depression when untreated for a long time, turns into mental health breakdown. Quite often, she is expected to be a superwoman, therefore hopes are forever placed in her to stand firm and strong even the weight of her struggles is bringing her down. Many pastors’ wives don’t know where to go for support and prayer. Many are lonely.
Do pastor’s wives face burnout? YES!
Should they take a break when faced with stress, burn out, lethargy, depression and self-pity? YES!
When facing imminent burnout, the wisest choice is to remove oneself from the daily activities that are causing stress, mental and physical fatigue in order to get refreshed, regain perspective, and renew our spirits she can step back into the fray and continue to fight the good fight. Because this is the calling every single day. We must continue to fight the good fight of faith as well the spiritual forces of the enemy in real time. Every 24 hours each day, the enemy is devising plans to steal, kill, and destroy and that means us, our families, our homes, our children’s attention, our business and our congregations.
Some Useful Mental Health Checkup for Pastor’s wives
Cultivate a healthy friendship with at 2-3 friends or a support group
Pastors’ wives need safe, soul friends. Many have shared vulnerably with certain women in their church and felt their trust was violated. Many are ashamed to even speak out about their challenges for fear of being judged.
Appreciate yourself for all you do
The blessings of the Lord maketh rich and adds no sorrow (Prov 10:22). He who has called you has given you the resources to serve. He is the only one who rewards.
If men fail to appreciate you, believe in yourself that there is a God in heaven who will reward at the appointed time because he makes all things beautiful in His time.
Allow others to take the lead
It is safe and wise to let other women champion some activities and projects in the church. Appoint faithful leaders who will also pursue the vision. Be a faithful supporter of such persons and applaud them at every step of the achievement.
Take a deserved rest or break
Every once in a year, take a break from church to refresh and bond with your family. A healthy family translates into peace of mind this will be evident in how a woman manages others. Every member of the family should feel a relief of church work pressure.
The word of God as a standard
The enemy comes at a woman like a flood, the word of God should be the standard of defense. Let the word of God dwell richly in you in all wisdom. Let the word be the barrier that is set against evil rumors, let the word guides your steps and lights your path. Because the enemy as lion is still roaming freely but we must always be at alert and sensitive.
When in a quagmire and everything else fails…the word of God is sure. It never fails. Effectual and fervent prayers of the righteous avails much…prayers will end the threat.
Pastor’s wives pay attention to your mental health and wellbeing.
Mrs. Solabomi Antwi, BA, MBA, AMIN, AIOD
Sola holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Diploma in Mass Communications from University of Lagos. She also has a Masters from London Metropolitan School of Business and Management, UK and has attended various Executive Management Courses at the prestigious Lagos Business School in Nigeria and Ashridge Executive Education HULT, England, United Kingdom.
She has a ministry towards children and teenagers which began in 2006. This teaching experience has spanned over 14 years in churches, schools, orphanages and other outreaches. She is a Pastor wife and has been Head of Children’s Churches across various Rhema Chapel installations and the Coordinator, Teenagers Camp from 2014 till date. She is an ardent, strict and firm believer in the rights of a child and advocates for women’s rights as well.
She works in Pilgrims Arcade in the teaching, reaching out, counselling and volunteering on issues that concerns children and teenagers.
She is married to the President and Founder of Pilgrims Arcade NGO and they are blessed with 2 children.