Confession 129: Things Your Pastor’s Wife Doesn’t Want You To Know

As a pastor’s wife, there are many roles I take on.  There are the church roles–provide hospitality, help lead worship, teach Sunday school, facilitate Bible studies, pray with people, keep my boys’ hands out of the offering plate and their bodies from swinging around the altar rails.  Then, there are the general public roles–be gracious to everyone you meet, visit local businesses, take your kids to community events, and pull your kids all around town in a little red wagon.  (Okay, maybe that last one is not a role every pastor’s wife takes on, but I count it as my exercise for the day!)  If you work full-time, or part-time, there are the various roles that go along with that.  And, you get to be a single mom half the nights of the week which, depending on when your kids go to bad, isn’t always a bad thing since possession of the remote control becomes completely yours! I cannot count the number of times my hubby has come home from church in the evenings and has had his sporting event plans thwarted by PBS or the History Channel. 🙂

All of the above is common knowledge to anyone who has been around a pastor’s wife for about five minutes, and it’s something that is written in fine print on the marriage license which means, it’s just a part of our lives.  I don’t think many of us would complain.  But, there are some things that might surprise you about your pastor’s wife and, in an effort to further the cause of globalization, I’m going to reveal them.

1. Pastor’s wives let laundry pile up.  It’s true, sad to say, that there is a mound of laundry waiting to be washed in each of our bedrooms in our parsonage, and a hamper full of clean clothes waiting to be folded which my husband has probably added dirty socks and t-shirts to the top of.

2. Pastor’s wives lose their tempers with their children.  For instance, just this morning when my oldest pooped in his pants for the second time in a week after pooping in the potty three times in a row, 35 minutes before I needed to leave for church, still in my robe with a towel on my head, with my youngest running around in just a diaper–I flipped.  After yelling at him for a full 3 minutes (it’s all I had to give) and demanding that he hand over all of his Thomas the Train underwear, he happily skipped out of his bedroom with his so last year Cars underwear and the blue and white striped shirt that matched them perfectly.

3. Pastor’s wives bribe their children to get them to behave in church.  I always have cookies or crackers ready in the pew for my boys.  And, if that fails, I threaten the nursery.  I also sometimes allow them to eat a sucker on their way to church as a sort of good faith bargain.

4. Pastor’s wives have a secret love affair with premium roast coffee.  Seriously, ask a pastor’s wife to recommend a coffee shop sometime.  You’ll get every coffee shop within a ten mile radius, a map that would rival Google itself, as well as a fail-safe menu for the ultimate coffee experience.

5. Pastor’s wives don’t iron.  Okay, maybe that’s just me.  But really, can someone actually give me a concrete reason to engage in such an antiquated tradition?  It’s what the dryer is for!! 🙂

6. Pastor’s wives each have one activity they feel compelled to do that they secretly detest.  Mine is football.  Hate it–always have, always will.  However, when over half your congregation turns up at the local high school stadium each Friday night, it’s generally good to go, even if your kids see it as an opportunity to run in circles around the grandstand, try to steal drinks from the concession table and repeatedly jump on the aluminum seats. 

7. Pastor’s wives love being pastor’s wives.  This is probably the most important secret of all.  Don’t let that harried frazzled look fool you–it’s carefully put on and cultivated.  We love it.  We love our pastors.  We love our churches.  We love our people.  And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, we would rather be!

Blessings and Peace,

7 thoughts on “Confession 129: Things Your Pastor’s Wife Doesn’t Want You To Know

  1. Angie Vik says:

    Sara,This is great. I can totally relate. Except for the coffee one. I'm not fond of that beverage. I have stressed out trying to get my kids to behave at church. I don't expect them to be perfect at home but I prefer they not put on a show at church.Speaking for myself, you might add that not all pastor's wives are extroverts and like talking to lots of people on Sunday mornings.

  2. Charming's Mama says:

    Yeah, I hate football too, actually detest it. With six brothers and my dad loving it, it was all they ever watched and being only the little sister, whatever I was watching always, ALWAYS got preempted by a football game. Argh.I told my husband long before we ever got married that my TV doesn't get football so if he wants to watch it he had better get one of his own or watch it when I'm not around. He respects that and that's one of the things I love about him.

  3. Sara says:

    Wow! I'm so glad I'm not alone with the ironing!! Of course, for the dryer to effectively do its job I've found that I can't just leave clothes in it for a week and expect them to stay wrinkle-free! :-)Charming's Mama-that is so wonderful about your no-football policy!! I don't think that would fly around our house. 🙂 However, my hubby's true sports passion is St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and that I can handle.Angie-you are so right about not always wanting to be social. I think there are a lot of us PW's out there who are introverts living in an extroverted world!!

  4. thedomesticfringe says:

    I completely agree with every single word! Well, not the red wagon thing…I never had one of those.Ironing is THE WORST! I only iron my hubby's shirt and pants for church. Unfortunately by the time we get to church, it looks like I NEVER ironed. Confession: I never iron a crease in the pants. Isn't that terrible? I can't do it right. I see other men looking pretty spiffy in creased pants, but my poor hubby is like a hobo in his one-dimensional pants. Great post!-FringeGirl

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