About the Author

Anjuli grew up as a missionary kid secretly wondering, “Why does everyone else understand what a relationship with Jesus is, but me?” It wasn’t until she ran into her fears instead of from them, that Anjuli found her voice and the love of God meeting her there. She is a...

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  1. Anjuli,
    Thank you for this very insightful peek into your life and the lives of many pastor’s wives. I suppose I have been guilty of linking you together as a “powerhouse couple” instead of seeing each person, individually, for who they are. I imagine it can be a long and lonely road to walk at times. I have experienced, in the churches I’ve belonged to, that often the wife of the pastor is more of an introvert and being thrust into the spotlight must be uncomfortable a lot of the time. Thank you for giving me words to pause and reflect upon and hopefully go forward with encouragement for our pastor’s wife.
    Blessings to you in all that you do and for just being YOU…
    Bev xx

    • Amen Bev! Anjuli you are wonderful thank you for the insight and as always a truthful post which gives makes all pastors wives yourself included the attention they need, dispelling any misconceptions we may have! As all your posts are is food for us to delve deeper into the body of Christ and if I may say ‘humanizing’ The pastors wife, they, you are just human like us, mums like us with the same fears, anxieties, strengths and a love and a need for Jesus.
      Blessings
      Jas

    • Bev,
      I always appreciate your comments! Bless you. Thank you for understanding. Your words are a gift.

  2. Thank you for writing this post, Anjuli. Our P.W. is one of my dearest friends. I have made the mistake over the years of holding ministry wives at arm’s length, not wanting to “monopolize” them, thinking they needed space to be available to all the people who “need” them. While some of this thinking is legitimate, it’s no way to run a friendship! So I’m in. And I’m grateful for insights like yours that let me know I’m on the right track.

    • You’re welcome. I glad it gave you some insight into the heart of your friend.

      Anjuli

  3. Anjuli,

    Thank you for putting a spot light on this subject. People tend to put the pastor’s wife on a pedestal. Truth is they are human just like us. My pastor’s wife is extraordinary. I don’t know how she does it all. First she works outside the home. She has battled cancer, makes homemade bread, sews & quilts among other things. She volunteers for Relay for Life (Cancer), is on board of Feed the Multitude, teaches Sunday school some, leads women’s Bible studies, & plays piano & organ several times a week. Add to that she is caring for her aging mother (90s) & lives 5 hrs. away in WV. She is one who remembers everyone’s birthday & anniversary. She used to work with youth. Lately she has taken over the roll of choir director getting our choir back & doing a Christmas & now an Easter Cantata. She & the choir do a great job. I let her know it was well done! Watching her go through all that you will never see her rattled or upset. She just sits quietly & prays about everything. She & I are good friends & I often try to give her praise. Most people don’t realize what all a PW does. They never take the time to really get to know her & see her for the remarkable woman she is!! Praising & thanking God for all PWs out there. You have a hard job!!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Hi Beth-

      Thank you for having such a big heart and love for your pastor’s wife. She’s lucky to have such a wonderful congregation to support her.

      All the love,
      Anjuli

  4. I’m not a pastor’s wife however my husband is the Senior Director of a Christian ministry , which deploys to help those in disasters… OFTEN!!! And this is a job he took on after a 30 year military career.
    I may not face all the mentioned items in the same way but they sort of parallel with any “ministry wife”. Might I add I’m alone, a lot . My spouse travels at times as often as he did with the military . A ministry job isn’t always “rainbows and sunshine”. The blessings outweigh the “tough” times.
    Thank you for sharing your heart and the truth . Your insight gives people a small glimpse into the life of a spiritual leader’s spouse. It can be challenging even while serving .
    God bless you ~.

    • Lisa-
      Yes! Loneliness is a huge piece of being in ministry. I can’t explain it as well as you did. You understand how hard it can be. It’s all for good, but the loneliness is definitely a cross we carry.

      Anjuli

  5. When we stop and think about Running a Church is no easy task. Pastor’s wife’s have difficult job also. They have to hold the family together. They have 5 families to hold together. Their own Family No1. Number 2 Their Church Family helping their Husband the Pastors in the Church plus then some do the running of Womens groups in their Churches etc. 3. Another Family going visiting people who are sick in their own homes or Hospital should it be with their Husband or on their own if the person they that sick just wants them because it a women problem and praying with them. 4. Finding time for the family of their friends etc and chilling out with them. Which they need to do go for coffee etc be themselves and have laugh outsouts their Church jobs. 5. Last Family is spending time resting with Jesus reading their Bible and being quite in prayer. Then just shocking in a Bath and relaxing from everything and the business of being a Mum to kids if have any no matter what age they are. Especially if teens. Who can be demanding or toddlers. Wanting alot of their time. Plus as well as Church to see too with their Husband they have home to keep as well. House work to do. Cook and clean. So I say lets pray for them. Our Pastors wife’s. As they are special people who are the back bone to your Pastors if Married. So don’t be quick to judge them. Thank you for an excellent reading.

  6. When we stop and think about Running a Church is no easy task. Pastor’s wife’s have difficult job also. They have to hold the family together. They have 5 families to hold together. Their own Family No1. Number 2 Their Church Family helping their Husband the Pastors in the Church plus then some do the running of Womens groups in their Churches etc. 3. Another Family going visiting people who are sick in their own homes or Hospital should it be with their Husband or on their own if the person they that sick just wants them because it a women problem and praying with them. 4. Finding time for the family of their friends etc and chilling out with them. Which they need to do go for coffee etc be themselves and have laugh outsouts their Church jobs. 5. Last Family is spending time resting with Jesus reading their Bible and being quite in prayer. Then just shocking in a Bath and relaxing from everything and the business of being a Mum to kids if have any no matter what age they are. Especially if teens. Who can be demanding or toddlers. Wanting alot of their time. Plus as well as Church to see too with their Husband they have home to keep as well. House work to do. Cook and clean. So I say lets pray for them. Our Pastors wife’s. As they are special people who are the back bone to your Pastors if Married. So don’t be quick to judge them. Plus they have job every Sunday your Pastors WIfe’s making sure her Husband the Pastor of the Church has all he need for tge Church service with him. Getting the kids ready if still living at home. Saying hello to all the Church members. Along with her Husband. Greeting new people and vistors. Putting on smile even if she doesn’t feel like it. So let Pray for Pastors Wives. Xxx

  7. When we stop and think about Running a Church is no easy task. Pastor’s wife’s have difficult job also. They have to hold the family together. They have 5: Families to hold together. Their own Family No1. Number 2: Their Church Family helping their Husband the Pastors in the Church they run plus then the running of Womens groups in their Churches if there are any etc. 3: Another Family going visiting people who are sick in their own homes or Hospital should it be with their Husband or on their own if the person they that is sick just wants them because it a women problem and praying with them. 4: Finding for their friends and Family etc and chilling out with them. Which they need to do going for coffee etc being themselves and have laugh outside their Church jobs. 5: Last Family is spending time resting with Jesus reading their Bible and being quite in prayer. Then just shocking in a Bath and relaxing from everything and the business of being a Mum to kids if have any no matter what age they are. Especially if teens. Who can be demanding or toddlers. Wanting alot of their time. Plus as well as Church jobs that they see too with their Husband and have home to keep as well. So I say lets pray for them. Our Pastors wives . As they are special people who are the back bone to your Pastors if Married. So don’t be quick to judge them. Plus they have job every Sunday your Pastors Wives making sure her Husband the Pastor of the Church has all he need for the Church service with him. Getting the kids ready if still living at home. Saying hello to all the Church members. Along with her Husband. Greeting new people and vistors. Putting on smile even if she doesn’t feel like it. So let Pray for Pastors Wives. Plus Our Pastors Wives have the Job of praying for her Husband the Pastor of the Church that he get the sermons each Sunday right and for his her and her kids plus the Church the members safe keeping and safe running of it. So Pastors Wives have alot on their shoulder. So lets keep them in prayer. Xxx

  8. Anjuli,
    Thank you for your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable, and remind us all of our frailty as humans. As the Church. We are to be a people being equipped for works of service so that the Body of Christ may be built up. Unfortunately, we are more in the business of doing things to keep the Church going and trying to fix those on the outside than coming together as Christians to build each other up so that we can be a strong Body and do the works the Lord would have us do. We all have our opinions, ideas, expectations for the way things should be, but we need to surrender all this to the one who has the plan and all the answers. Father, help us to seek your heart and your ways so that we can be a Body of Believers that are strong in you, walking in the grace that you have extended to us and the love that you have poured out for us. You say in your word that in our weakness Your strength is perfected. I ask you to forgive us where we have been judgmental, where we have not extended your grace and love to those around us. And I thank you for your faithfulness and long suffering and love. I think each of us just want to be loved as sisters in the Lord—help us to walk in that grace for each other. And I thank you that each day you have wonderful things planned for us.

    • Brenda,
      Thank you so much for your beautiful response. I felt so loved and encouraged reading your words. Thank you for taking a moment to step into my shoes and understand my heart.

      Bless you!
      Anjuli

  9. I could not have said this better! Being a pastor’s wife for 25+ years, I get it!! Thanks for your heartfelt words. If I’ve learned anything —— it’s be who God has called you to be. We will never please everyone, beside that isn’t really our job! It’s to love everyone & The Lord will take care of the rest. Blessings to you as you shine for Jesus. ❤️

  10. Anjuli,
    Thank you for sharing ❤️ I always appreciate your insight!
    Love you friend,
    Erin

  11. As a staff member of a church and a grandaughter of a pastor I relate to so much of this. I would add that from a similar perspective, church staff and their spouses have many of these same issues that pastoral families have. If you work for the church, you are held under a different lens. We have hard jobs and its hard to really be ourselves and show our vulnerability when we are supposed to have it all together and be the leaders. Ministry is hard. Hard is not the same thing as bad.

    • Jessica-
      I love the point you made- Hard and bad are not the same things.

      Love,
      Anjuli

  12. As a ‘former Pastor’s Wife,’ I wish this had been published and shared 40+ years ago… I could regale you with Hours of situations I went through during my many years in that capacity…mostly Painful ones. Perhaps going forward this article/book will help those women now going through this. Thank You – and Blessings to All!

  13. I have been a pastor’s wife for 39 years and can relate to what you shared. It can be a lonely life too when yu are in smaller communities and friendships are viewed from the “fish bowl” you live in. I love most things about my role as a pastor’s wife, but there are plenty of challenges too. Thanks for sharing.

    • 39 years! Wow! I would love to hear more about what you’ve learned. I’ve only been in this role for 12 years and feel like I still have so much to learn.

      Thank you for your generous service for the Kingdom.

  14. Anjuli,
    Thank-you for sharing your experience and I am sorry that you’ve gone through that. It’s a good reminder that we should take the time to appreciate someone for the person they are, and like you said not because of who they’re with.
    I hope that you all have a blessed day,
    Penny

  15. Thank you Anjuli for sharing and reminding me to appreciate our pastor’s wife. She is an amazing blessing to our congregation.
    None of us are perfect we are all on a journey to Christ.

  16. My pastor-husband retired a few years ago after forty years in ministry. For those in the midst of serving as a pastor’s wife or just beginning, I’d advise them to embrace something Alia Joy said here, months ago: “I sow grace for myself. To be where I am, to be who I am. Enough.” We must be especially wary of the people-pleasing trap—striving for perfection so everyone will be pleased with our “performance.” Of course, perfection is impossible, but in the process of striving for it anyway, we sacrifice precious time with our growing families and exhaust ourselves as well, trying to fulfill everyone’s expectations. Saying “no” is necessary sometimes. And doing so may provide an example for other over-committed folks to do the same.

    To those wondering how to minister to their pastor’s wife: 1) Pray for her, and let her know you’re praying. 2) Invite her to join you for coffee. Get to know her. Express your appreciation for her. 3) Support and defend your ministerial family as opportunities present themselves.

    I am SO thankful for those who reached out to me in the six churches where my husband pastored. Their prayers, friendship, encouragement, and more greatly enhanced the experience of serving as a pastor’s wife.

  17. Dear Anjuli,
    As a pastor daughter I can relate to what you reflected. I always feared to be a pastor wife because my mom’s life. It’s difficult to be always watched. Today I’m a pastor’s fiance and I experience criticism. 2018 was a very difficult year because I had bunion surgeries and I was also taken to court by a Christian woman who I had as roommate for 3 years. I’m raising 2 grandsons and I don’t take them with me to many of the churches functions. They both attend a church by my home, which has been really a blessing for the their growth. One is 14 and the other 4 years old. I don’t have a car now and I’m not driving. It has been a blessing to have them participating at this church by our home.
    God has given me a gracious man and and a teacher of the Word. We are helping a church by doing the worship and helping the youth group and going together to small group where he teaches the Word for over 5 years.
    I pray constantly for pastors’ wives.
    Blesses over you

    • Oh friend! What a journey. One l;aced with hard and beautiful things. Thank you for generously sharing your heart here.

      Anjuli

  18. Thank you for this. I’m 2 and a half years into this “pastors wife” gig and have felt all these things. You’ve put words so gracefully and eloquently to what my heart couldn’t come up with words for.

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your secrets! 🙂 My pastor’s wife is my friend, but we’re not as close of friends as I wish we were. I often think about how many demands she has on her time and energy and how it must be hard, for so many reasons, being the pastor’s wife (and also on staff in her own ministry position, which is another story altogether). I pray your congregation grows in grace and love for you, friend!

  20. After 28 years of being a pastors wife I have found myself very burned out of church and bitter at times. The expectations have been ruthless. But I have found having a group of support outside of the church is helpful— people that don’t see me as a pastors wife, just a friend. I also am going to a church of my choice every other Sunday to get my soul refreshed. God’s grace to you all.

  21. Anjuli, I’m always grateful for the ways you help us see one another more clearly and call us all to stay awake to love. I’m sharing this with a few of my favorite pastor’s wives. xx

  22. Thank you for putting into words a lot of what I feel, often. The two that stand out to me currently are that I often don’t feel I can share the struggles I and my husband feel about our church with anyone. I also don’t have hardly any close friends at church and I often blame myself bc I think I’m an introvert and maybe just don’t know how to be a good friend. I was a pastor’s daughter and never saw my mom have close friends in the church and I don’t have any either. Most of my time with one-on-one ladies has involved listening to hurting people so the relationship is one of more counseling, not a back and forth friendship. It definitely can be lonely at times. Thank you for writing this, Anjuli! It was helpful to see it in words how I often feel.

  23. Thank you for articulating what is so hard to put into words. Being in a place of personally recovering from some of those wounds that can come along with the role of PW (and trying to navigate that role along side my pastor husband with grace and mercy) it brought me to tears…tears of validation, understanding and hope. How timely that I read this on a Sunday when I am home, in bed, instead of at the church service … and I can’t even use my own kids as an excuse this time!
    Your vulnerability gives me strength and courage to keep going. It also nudges me to be vulnerable with those God places in my life to draw strength and healing from.
    I am reminded again how vital it is to stay so deeply grounded in Jesus that I can continually hear His tender whisper “Eyes on Me”.
    THEN I can thrive in loving everyone, always, in the personal ways God has called ME too.
    Thank you Anjuli, my sister in Christ and in PW ministry. Blessings on you and your family.