We think the “typical” pastor’s wife or woman in ministry 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.
Those of us in ministry have heard, read and said “I’m not the typical pastor’s wife” so many times, we’ve started to wonder if she really ever existed at all, or if she really only existed in people’s minds and expectations. We spend mass amounts of time, energy, emotion, and effort comparing ourselves to a myth. And the problem is—we fall short. Our attention turns to our shortcomings and failings instead of staying focused on God and who He created us to be.
But the truth is, God knew exactly what He was doing, exactly who He was calling. He knows our shortcomings and our struggles, and He has extended His call to leadership and ministry anyway.
Maybe “typical” isn’t what we thought. Maybe there is a new typical. Maybe we are typical. The more we talk to pastors’ wives and women in ministry, the more we realize how alike we are. Regardless of age, location, denomination, church style, church size we all have the same questions, struggles, and difficulties.
It is time to embrace the knowledge that maybe we are typical—women wanting to know Jesus, support our husbands, love our children, care for our churches, and grow in love and grace. We find peace as we cling to Him in times of challenge—wrestling with our own shortcomings, keeping our heads up during the tough times, acknowledging that we won’t be all things to all people, yet making ourselves available to fellow strugglers.
We learn to trust the sovereignty of the Almighty God who has called us to partner with Him in His work—finding purpose in our unique giftedness, comfort in knowing He doesn’t make mistakes, and rest as we embrace who He made us to be.
We are not perfect. But we may well be typical, and that is fine by us.
Lori Wilhite serves alongside her husband Jud who is the Senior Pastor at Central Christian Church 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 and is also the co-author of Leading and Loving It: Encouragement for Pastors’ Wives and Women in Leadership. Lori and Jud have two kids, Emma and Ethan. They also have the world’s cutest bulldog, Roxy. Lori is slightly Jane Austen obsessed and should buy stock in Starbucks since Chai-tea Lattes are a necessity.
Leading and Loving It: Encouragement for Pastors’ Wives and Women in Leadership
This new book from Lori Wilhite and Brandi Wilson gives readers tools for understanding that external pressures and expectations are only important if they fall in line with what God intends for your life and ministry. They give answers for how to deal with criticism, isolation, finding your personal calling, what happens when you reach a place of burn-out, and more. Pre-order your copy (or a copy for your pastor’s wife) today.
“If ever there were two leaders that can speak truth, life, love, and encouragement into the hearts of pastor’s wives and women in leadership, it’s Lori and Brandi. Their gut honest stories make them authentic. Their struggles make them trustworthy. Their wisdom makes them a must-read. Hands down if you buy a ministry leadership book this year, it should be LEADING AND LOVING IT.” —Lysa TerKeurst
“As someone who’s been involved with ministry for over twenty-five years, I can honestly say that pastor’s wives are the lifeblood of the Church. This resource will help women along the way who are struggling in the journey or need encouragement in their current season. I’m so proud of Lori and Brandi for their courage, passion, and heart for leaders in ministry!” —Christine Caine