Jump directly to the Content


Amid changing expectations, the minister's mate chooses a challenging role.

Barbara Myers remembers meeting the board of a church where her husband was candidating early in his ministry: "After they had exhausted his capabilities and probabilities, someone turned the spotlight on me and asked, 'And what can you do?' I was not prepared for that question, but I spent ten years trying to answer it by doing everything."

Mary Bouma, a pastor's wife and author, says that at one time, ministry couples were hired as "two for the price of one." While times have changed, as have many of the expectations, she feels many congregations still have an agenda for the minister's wife, even when they don't acknowledge it.

"Today the minister's wife may serve a more political purpose: befriending the right people, being a peacemaker, smoothing ruffled feathers," she says.

Most ministers' wives have experienced the tension of adjusting their role to the stage and the players. Whatever role they choose, it is pressure filled in spite of the increased sensitivity of today's congregations. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Pastoring with a Big, Fake Smile
Pastoring with a Big, Fake Smile
I often hide my struggles from my church because I fear people will use them against me.
From the Magazine
What Comes After the Ex-Gay Movement? The Same Thing That Came Before.
What Comes After the Ex-Gay Movement? The Same Thing That Came Before.
Grace takes more forms than heterosexuality, as old-school evangelical leaders once knew.
Editor's Pick
We Follow the One Who Gave It All
We Follow the One Who Gave It All
A look inside our fall CT Pastors issue on money and generosity.