The church has been part of my life since I was born. I grew up as a pastor’s kid. It’s all I’ve ever known. When it came to getting married, I swore I would never marry a pastor.
Well, I did. We got married, and the very next day we moved across the country so he could start seminary.
When it comes to being married to a pastor, there have been things I’ve enjoyed, and other things I wish I didn’t have to deal with. I wanted to share a couple of those things based on my experience.
Here are three things I love about being married to a pastor:
1. A Front-Row Seat
It’s amazing to look back and see all that the Lord has done in and through the church. Lives changed, needs met and things happening that we can only attribute to the Lord moving. Being in the position I am, I love just sitting back and watching it all unfold—thanking Jesus for what he has done. Looking ahead, I can’t wait to see what’s yet to come.
2. The Freedom to Be Me
There have been no expectations of me from our church, except the same expectations that it has for everyone: I can be me. This has been such a blessing. I know it’s not always the same way for other pastors’ spouses. For some reason, especially for pastors’ wives, we can get put into a box. We might be expected to be good at music or children’s ministry. I, unfortunately, am not gifted at either. However, I do love to minister to other women. I’m passionate about leading groups and seeing other women grow in their relationship with Jesus. Just like my husband, I want to be used by God!
3. Support From the Body
Our church body has been so supportive of our family. Whether through prayer, friendships, meals, notes, gifts of time or talent, we have felt cared for. The church isn’t a job that my husband has … it’s our family, our closest friends. I wish that everyone could experience being part of a church family.
On the other hand, here are three things I have found difficult about being married to a pastor:
1. Stress on My Husband
It is hard to see my husband go through trying times. The demands on a pastor can be high. It is difficult to meet the needs of everyone in a church, especially as it grows. At times it feels like he’s under a microscope. I remind him often that he is not Jesus. We have had to learn how to say no to certain things and hope for understanding. Burnout can easily happen if you don’t take care of yourself. My husband’s been there. Healthy boundaries have been an important thing we have had to learn.
2. Gossip Inside the Church
It’s draining to hear individuals verbally tear apart the church and others in it. Thankfully, it happens very little at our church. More than anyone, I know that Embrace Church is not a perfect place (no church is), but it seems like some expect it to be. It is made up of imperfect individuals relying on the grace of Jesus. The church and everything about it was not made to cater to our preferences. It was never about us, and we shouldn’t make it that way. The church should always be about Jesus.
It can be lonely at times. I can’t say that I don’t have friends—I do. But there can be something about this role that seems to make people stay a comfortable distance away. I long for close friendships, but in the same breath can’t have them with everyone (especially since I am an introvert). I struggle to put myself out there, wondering if I will be accepted. Being a single parent on Sundays makes it challenging to meet new people, as well.
In all my experiences with our church, I love it. I wouldn’t change anything. Even when life has been difficult, it has helped me grow into who I am now. And over the years, I have become better prepared to handle what comes our way. I have learned that Jesus is my strength, worth and hope. And because of him, it is all worth it.
Becky Weber is a Christ-follower, wife to a pastor (Adam) and mom of four kids. This article was originally published on AdamWeber.com.