Posted by Rodetta Cook

Rodetta Cook has been a pastor’s wife for over 40 years. She and her husband, Ron, have actively served the Lord together in ministry during the entire time and are co-founders of Care for Pastors. She understands the expectations, loneliness and how hard it is to find balance in ministry as a pastor’s wife. Rodetta also leads the pastor’s wives initiative at Care for Pastors called The Confidante and ministers to hundreds of wives each week. She strives to share blogs with other pastors’ wives that will help them in their ministry walk.

Posted by Rodetta Cook

    Life as a Pastor’s Wife

    Tuesday, August 01, 2017

    Have you ever wished you could tell people what it’s really like to be a pastor’s wife? Moments when you wish you could explain why you make the choices you do? I read the following and felt it was worth sharing with you. We have all been there.

    Today I would like to share how Christine Hoover would answer that question. Christine is a pastor’s wife in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    One Sunday after church, an acquaintance asked me, “What is it like being a pastor’s wife? Do you like it?” I didn’t know quite what to say. No one had really asked me that question before and definitely had not asked it so matter-of-factly. And how do you succinctly summarize something that affects every aspect of your life?

    I thought about that question long after it was asked—about how grateful I was that she tried putting herself in my position and about how, if given another opportunity,  I would answer her.

    This is what I would say:

    I want you to know that, in some ways, being a pastor’s wife is no different than being a doctor’s wife or a teacher’s wife. There are sacrifices that must be made and challenges that accompany every job. Just like you, I love my kids, I like spending time with my husband, I feel lonely and overwhelmed sometimes, I need encouragement, I doubt myself, I try my best, I want to enjoy God and know His pleasure, I struggle, I desire relationships with other women, and I don’t always know the answers. I want you to know that I need and desire everything that you do.

    I want you to understand, though, the unique joys and challenges that accompany being a pastor’s wife. There are expectations on me simply because of my husband’s job, many of which I don’t have a choice about, whether it’s attending certain events, hosting parties, or being open and available to women. I want you to understand this, not because I believe I am to be pitied or that this is an obligatory role, but because I value and appreciate your grace when I say no or am not available to you.

    I want you to know that I am equally as passionate about the church as my husband and equally as called into ministry. My husband’s role looks vastly different than mine, and I am not as “out front” as him, but I am just as involved, concerned, and vital to the ministry God has given us. I want you to know this, not because I’m looking for your validation or appreciation, but just so you are aware that your critical asides about the church or decisions my husband has made feel personal to me.

    I want you to know that I am often leading, planning, administrating, or hosting. Most women look to me to carry the conversation, initiate a relationship, answer questions, or create solutions. I want you to know this, not so you’ll think I’m something special, but so that you’ll know that I appreciate when other women allow me to not lead. When others show interest in me or take initiative in ministry, it is refreshing to my soul.

    Finally, I want you to know that I consider my role a privilege. My opportunity to influence, teach, counsel, and lead women brings me great joy. I love the people God has given us to serve, and I love serving. It is not always easy to serve joyfully, but it’s my goal and desire, and I’m getting there after 13 years of ministry. In the end, I am not a pastor’s wife because of my husband, because of you, or because it’s expected of me. I am a pastor’s wife for the glory and honor of God.

    I would love to hear from you about how you would answer that question.

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.


    1. Christy Kirtlan

      I would add that even though we are often busy, friends should still invite us to cook outs, dinners or parties because often, we are left alone because people think we are too busy to ask.

    2. Rebecca

      I agree with some of this.. However, being a pastor’s wife has proved to be a lot lonelier than I ever thought. Expectations are so high and it’s disappointing when it feels like you’ll never measure up. 90% of my life is pressure and stress and feeling like I never get it right…

      • Rodetta Cook

        Just remember we can’t live up to other’s expectations but we can be faithful and that is all God requires. He is the one we need to please. Don’t let others put unrealistic expectations on you and don’t put them on yourself. Praying for you.

    3. MD

      Hi, I’m a newbie in this area, being married for just over two years to a minister of God – an evangelist to be exact and an itinerant minister to be more precise so I haven’t got any advice to share because it’s only very recent, a few days ago as a matter of fact, that I’ve come face to face about the reality of what’s it like to be a minister’s wife and trying to figure what was wrong with me. I found your article on the web and it gave me a bit of inner reprieve and assurance that the bumpy roads are a normal part of the journey and it probably is the same for my husband. We are both learning about each other and not to expect too much from each other too soon but allow our individual self to grow in God’s grace.


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