The Joys and Pains of Being a Pastor’s Wife

by Morgan Idleman

“The Pastor’s Wife” It’s how most people introduce me.  Some have asked if that bothers me? I lean toward taking it as a compliment.  Yes, I am my own person, and have my own identity. However, I learned long ago that my true identity is found in Christ… and Christ has called me to be a helpmate to this husband of mine, who just so happens to be a pastor. It is an honor to serve alongside him, and my privilege to be associated with him.

Over the years, I’ve received questions and comments like these: “What’s it like to be pastor Shane Idleman’s wife? How do you do it all… kids, a husband, the pastor’s wife? I could never do that!”

How do I do it? By God’s sheer grace.

I’ve only been doing this for (almost) 9 years. While I certainly haven’t mastered it, the Lord has definitely taught me a lot along the way.

Trending: Feinstein Guilty of Violation of Federal Act

It is such a blessing that it’s almost embarrassing to share the more difficult parts with you, because in no way do I want anyone to walk away with the impression that it’s more a burden than a blessing. That said, there are indeed difficulties that come with the territory, so I’ll give you the whole picture you’re asking for.

I didn’t marry a pastor, I married a construction worker. It was about 8 years later that we entered into full-time ministry.  I’ll pick it up at the point where my husband finally submitted to the Lord and told me, “I feel like we are supposed to plant a church.”

This is how my thoughts played out.

  1.  Ok, great! I’m in.
  2.  Oooh, that means I’ll be the pastor’s wife.
  3.  Oooooh, that means our kids will be pastor’s kids.

So naturally, I contacted a few pastor’s wives I knew, and googled “pastors’ wives’ articles.” You’d want to scream at the redundancy of it because they ALL. SAY. THE. SAME. THING! I found it interesting, though. I also found it scary. If they were all saying the same thing, I’d better sit up and pay attention. And what I was hearing was enough to make the hair on my arms stand up.

The expectations. The loneliness. The pastor’s kids. The struggle to guard family time. The pay cut. The insecurities. The criticism (of husband and yourself). The fish bowl. Etc. While most trials are common to all pastors’ wives, there are some variations depending on a few factors… do you have a small congregation or a mega church? Are you a church planter or did you step in to an established church? Do you primarily serve your local congregation, or does your husband also write and speak, being known nationally? I would soon find out what all of that meant and what came along with it.



The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.