What Your Mama Didn’t Tell You About Pastoral Life {new series}

I grew up in a preacher’s home. I thought I knew what to expect about being a pastor’s wife. And, in a lot of ways, I guess I did.

But, oh my! There have been some learning curves along the way.

Like, no one told me how challenging getting away for a simple family road trip could be (gotta be home by Wednesday or Sunday!).

Or how tiring ministry can feel when you’re an introvert.

Or how being the pastor’s wife makes friendships with women in the church super tricky.

Or how very different Saturday nights… and Sundays… and Monday mornings… look for the pastor’s family.

Is it just me, or do you ever sit back and think, I had no idea this was part of the job description!

We’ve all heard “what your mama didn’t tell you” phrases, about everything from marriage and men to raising kids and aging.

Well, let’s talk about “what your mama didn’t tell you” about ministry life.

Not literally, what your mama didn’t tell you. Because your mom may or may not be involved in ministry life.

What I’m referring to are the things no one really talks about. The things that, for whatever reasons, are left mostly undiscussed about pastoral life. But important things that we really need to know how to handle. Or, at least know that we’re not alone.

I’ve talked about a few of those things at GPW already. Struggles like loneliness in marriage and feeling like you hate Sundays (gasp!). I even wrote a post about ten things every preacher’s wife should know.

You, as a PW, will have to deal with many unique challenges during your lifetime in ministry. That's why we keep it real here at GPW.

But there is so much more we could talk about.

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Things like:

  • Most churches don’t provide health insurance for the pastor’s family, so what do we do?
  • And what should a pastor do about retirement?
  • Making genuine friendships when you’re a pastor’s wife or a PK is hard. We need tips!
  • How do we handle difficult people in the church? Or personal criticism?
  • When do we let a need go unmet because we’re already overcommitted?
  • Are our kids really supposed to be “examples” for all the other kids in the church?
  • What about taking care of health or mental illness in the pastor’s family?

Each of these topics deserve to be openly discussed. Why?

Because the chances are very high that you (as a ministry wife) will have to deal with many of them during your lifetime, if you haven’t already.

As a wise woman once said,

“What can’t be talked about, can’t be worked through.”

Sally Clarkson

So tell me.

What has taken you by surprise about ministry life?

What would you add to my list of “things your mama didn’t tell you?”

What issues do you wish weren’t “taboo” to discuss?

I’ll be writing about some of these topics at GPW over the next few months and I’d love to hear your thoughts. (If you’d like to write about one of these topics for the GPW blog, I’d like to hear from you too.)

Leave a comment on the blog post or shoot me an email.

Here’s to keeping it real!

xo, Kristy

2 thoughts on “What Your Mama Didn’t Tell You About Pastoral Life {new series}”

  1. Something that I was not prepared for was how much the devil attacks our family right before a big event. I shouldn’t be, but each time I feel blindsided by unexpected problems or relational issues or sudden illness…
    Also, by how much family (parents, in-laws, siblings) hurt your ministry if they attend where your husband preaches.


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