When I asked Lauren Chandler about the challenges of being known as the wife of Matt Chandler, the lead teaching pastor of The Village Church in Texas and head of the Acts 29 church-planting network, she immediately knew her response.

“They think that because Matt is bold and strong, then I must be quiet,” she said. “They think I’m his opposite, and I get pegged as something I’m not.” Chandler respects her husband, but also matches him in transparency and intensity.

The worship leader at Village Church, one of the fastest-growing congregations in America, Chandler has recorded an album, written a book, and launched a marriage conference with her husband for thousands of couples worldwide, all within the past few years.

The pastor’s wife and mother of three admits her weaknesses, laughs easily at herself, and acknowledges that she’s a big believer in biblical counseling. Whether she’s discussing rocky seasons in her marriage or her time in Celebrate Recovery’s steps program, she comes across as unflinchingly honest.

You don’t have to talk to Chandler for long before you see that she has a tender heart that longs for God, even when life hurts. She has walked through her husband’s brain cancer diagnosis, her own periods of depression, and multiple miscarriages—yet she repeatedly says the theme of her life is: “God, you are all I need.” It’s a message the native Texan shares with her kids while driving them to and from barrel racing—a rodeo event—and also with audiences at Christian events, like the recent IF: Gathering in Austin.

Chandler and I recently chatted by phone about her new book, Steadfast Love, ...

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