Good morning! I’m really excited to kick start our 7 Days of Q&A for Pastor’s Wives today and I hope you’ll stick around to read, share, and join the discussion!
Our first question comes from a comment I received in response to this post last year. Here we go- Can a pastor’s wife have a career?
I have a great career with all kinds of flying around the world for business purposes, and my boyfriend (he’s going to be a pastor soon) and myself will probably be getting married in the near future. Knowing that he will need a lot of support from me, I can see that the demands of my current job will be conflicting with the needs of my husband.
Does a pastor’s wife necessarily have to be a housewife?
Can you give me some advice?
Wow, Kylie, that’s a great question!
I’m going to try and respond in a way that I pray is helpful to you, and I hope the other pastor’s wives here will chime in too!
As a sister in Christ, I’m going to share a few questions for you to ask yourself. I know, that may sound a bit ironic, since you were the one asking the question, right?
I think you’ll see what I mean! These are questions I would ask myself if I were in your shoes… and questions I would ask if you were sitting in my living room in need of advice. Here we go…
1. How does your future husband feel about your career?
Ultimately, this is an issue for you to work out between yourself, the Lord, and your man. How does your future husband feel about your career in the context of you being a pastor’s wife? (What other people think doesn’t really matter.) If you haven’t already asked him, ask!
2. What are his goals for you in the role of a pastor’s wife?
You’re absolutely right that your future husband is going to need your support in his role of being a pastor. Ministry is teamwork. What kind of role does your man foresee you having as his partner in ministry? Does he want you to be highly involved? Contribute financially?
3. Are you willing to keep your career if the Lord blesses you with children some day?
How do you feel about being a working mom? How does your man feel about that?
4. Do you feel like your career could be an asset to your life as a pastor’s wife, and possibly someday a mom?
Brain storm with your man and write down your priorities about life as a pastor’s family. How will your career play into realizing those priorities, both in a positive and negative sense?
5. Could you possibly work from home?
Financial stress is a very real issue for many pastor’s families, especially once children join the family. What could you do from home to earn money and use your skills? Is working from home even something you’d want to do?
Kylie, I come from a line of women who were preacher’s wives and full time homemakers, so my reference point is going to vary a bit from someone in the corporate world.
That doesn’t mean that I think other pastor’s wives have to do life just like I do. But, I do see some limitations and challenges for those who choose to balance their time between a job, ministry and home life.
And, just for the record, I have known pastor’s wives who were R.N.’s, small business owners, teachers, writers, speakers and just about everything else! It isn’t really a matter of can you be a pastor’s wife with a career, but where are you willing to make the sacrifices? Something is going to have to give here.
You can’t do it all (and neither can I), so you’re going to have to decide what your priorities are and go from there.
What I encourage you to do is to prayerfully discuss this issue with your man, think and pray it through, and lean on God’s wisdom and Biblical direction as you step into the future.
The Lord created you with unique gifts, passions, skills and interests, and He knows best how those can be used in your life in whatever roles and seasons you embrace. God’s will for your life will be just as unique as your own personality and talents! Don’t compare yourself with what someone else is doing, but do rely on Biblical principles to shape your world paradigm.
Before I sign off, here are four truths from Scripture that apply to women in general, and to ministry wives in particular:
- It was God’s idea for a woman to take care of her home and nurture her children. Whether or not that includes a career or business ventures isn’t specified in Scripture, but the principle is that the home and children should be priorities. (Titus 2:5)
- A married woman will have unique skills, goals, and a place of ministry, but, unlike single women who are free to focus on and pursue other things, her primary focus is to “please her husband”. (I Corinthians 7:34)
- The atmosphere of a pastor’s home life is vital. In fact, an unruly home disqualifies a man from ministry! As women, we play a huge part in creating a godly home. (I Timothy 3:1-5)
- Throughout her life, a Christian woman’s roles may include business ventures, honing her skills, and expressing her creativity and aptitudes… but it is always within the context of obeying Christ, honoring her husband, and being a good steward of her home. (Proverbs 31:10-31)
What are your thoughts on this topic?
Have there been times when your husband needed you to contribute to the family’s income?
If so, what are your tips for juggling home life and ministry?
I want to thank my special friend and mentor, Mrs. Leah McClure, for taking the time to brain storm this issue with me. Her example and advice is invaluable to me as a young pastor’s wife!
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Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.