The Typical Pastor’s Wife Is Dead

  • Dedicated to my wife who is married to a pastor!

(By Lori Wilhite, reblogged from

I think the “typical pastor’s wife” is dead. You know, that woman who had it all together, never seemed to struggle, played the piano, attended every event, and met everyone’s expectations…although she could have had some help with her wardrobe.

I’ve heard, read, and said, “I’m not the typical pastor’s wife” so many times, I’ve started to wonder if she really ever existed at all…or if she really only existed in people’s minds and expectations.

Some ladies say that as a badge of honor. Most, like me, say it with the guilty knowledge that we aren’t measuring up…that somehow God messed up when He called us to leadership because we just aren’t “typical.”

We spend mass amounts of time, energy, emotion, and effort comparing ourselves to a myth. And the problem is…I fall short. My attention turns to my shortcomings and failings instead of staying focused on God and who He created me to be.

But the truth is God knew exactly what He was doing…exactly who He was calling. He knows my shortcomings and my struggles, and He has extended His call to leadership and ministry anyway.

Maybe “typical” isn’t what I thought…maybe there is a new typical. Maybe I’m typical.

The more I talk to pastors’ wives, the more I realize how alike we are.

Regardless of: Age. Location. Denomination. Church Style. Church Size. I’ve noticed that we all seem to have the same questions. The same struggles. The same difficulties.

We are trying to serve God to the best of our abilities while navigating the challenges of leadership and the pulls of life.

Sure, it looks different for everyone, but we are working it out.

So I think I’m just going to let what I thought was the “typical” pastor’s wife go by the wayside and link arms with other Christian women, who like me, are just doing our best trying to figure life and leadership out.

I’m going to embrace the knowledge that maybe I am typical…a woman wanting to know Jesus, support my husband, love my children, care for our church, wrestle with my own shortcomings, grow in love and grace, keep my head up during the tough times, acknowledge that I won’t be all things to all people, be available to fellow strugglers, and embrace who God made me to be.

I am not prefect. But I may well be typical…and that is fine by me.

Lori Wilhite serves alongside her husband Jud who is the Senior Pastor at Central in Las Vegas. They love getting to be part of God changing Sin City into Grace City. She is the founder of Leading and Loving It.


About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. High School Bible Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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6 Responses to The Typical Pastor’s Wife Is Dead

  1. I know what Lori is talking about. I grew up in a time when pastors wives were put up on the “perfect” pedestal. It was so not fair.

    A friend I’ve known since age five is a pastor’s wife. Many times I hear her chastise herself for not doing something constructive or church related with her down time. Life is hard enough without having to deal with outside, unrealistic pressures.

    Thanks for sharing this post Chris….

    • Chris Jordan says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Ellen, I appreciate it! Blessings to you today…

    • Carol Ledford says:

      I tried so hard, though….til I had a “nervous break down” (for want of a better term), when I was 40. I’m much better 20 years later….4 grown Christian children….teaching algebra in local public school….backed away from most of the myth…..Having a close friend is still mostly out of the question, though…..

  2. Pingback: New Life Blog | The Beausejour Pulpit

  3. happyvalleygirl says:

    I’ve always been told “you’re not the typical Pastor’s wife” of “you’re…a Pastor’s wife?” And for the life of me I can’t find one pastor’s wife in the Bible, much less find it as some position in the church. I’ve always just been a woman who happens to be married to a Pastor. Thankfully God told me a long ago that he made me the way I am because that is how He would use me, so I don’t fall prey to all the pressures that others would like to put me under.

    • Chris Jordan says:

      Thanks for the great response… my wife too has been told that many times she is not a typical pastor’s wife, but she has also come to a place where she is content to be just who God made her to be… and not try to live up to anyone else’s expectations (other than God’s!). Blessings to you today…

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