The Truth About Being a Pastor’s Wife: The Calling Is In the Commitment

Just so you know, when I married Josh the plan was for him to be an engineer. An engineer turned into a math teacher shortly after that. I was totally on board with either option. But occupational ministry…you have GOT to be kidding me.

I’ve been working through this one for, say, 5-ish years. From the moment Josh came home to inform me that he thought God was asking Him to work in vocational ministry – that’s when the working through it started because God did not ask me to do any such thing and people always say that if He “calls” one spouse, He will call the other. He did not/has not ever said, “Emily, I created you to be a pastor’s wife.”

This lack of calling in my life has created quite an interesting dynamic in our marriage and in my own wrestling. I can’t pretend that Josh isn’t doing exactly what God created him to do. He loves his job and he’s better at it than he even knows. He is a gifted servant-leader, pastor, and teacher. There’s no getting around that and I’ve tried. Oh, I’ve tried. So, since he IS doing what God has created him to do. And if God DOES call both spouses to ministry…am I the right spouse for him?

I’ll take another day to tell you about why I always wanted to avoid being a “ministry” family. I’ll also tell you why that sort of thinking is ALL wrong. But for today, I just want to leave you with the end point God has brought me to in this struggle of mine.

He did not call me to be a pastor’s wife. He did, however, call me to be Josh’s wife. We fell in love. We got married. And if God wanted to prevent that marriage, He could have. I believe that He would have. The more I  learn about God’s sovereignty, the more I rest in where my life is today. He is in control and always has been. I’ve always thought Josh was pretty, I don’t know, hunky, and it seems that he likes me a lot, too. And watching him do what he was created to do is nothing short of incredible and gushy love-inspiring.

So maybe, just maybe, all those insecurities and questions I was having about being the “right” woman for Josh are straight from the one who would love to see our marriage fall apart. The big, fat butt faced liar, we’ll call him.

Maybe I’ve been making it too difficult. Maybe I received my calling long before Josh did. Maybe, just maybe, the calling happened in my commitment to be Josh’s wife. Not Pastor Josh’s wife. Just Josh the impressively good looking, deeply caring, painfully organized man. Maybe that’s where I need to set my attention, not on the “calling” or “no calling” idea.

I hope that this encourages wives everywhere – if your man and what he does with his life on a day to day basis and/or where his career takes your family doesn’t even begin to line up with what you thought you wanted for your life or if it just plain seems like the two of you don’t match up anymore, remember that you’re calling is in your commitment to love him – your man – for better or for worse, for ever and ever. Try not to focus on the changes around you or even in him, just focus on the commitment – covenant you made before God.

And on the days, weeks, months, and years when it feels like it’s not enough – the commitment, I mean – get. on. your. knees and beg God for the strength, for the healing, for the heart to stick it out. He will. He loves marriage. He created it!

Keep on keepin’ it down and dirty. Love y’all like crazy!

4 thoughts on “The Truth About Being a Pastor’s Wife: The Calling Is In the Commitment

  1. This is good. Very good. Even if I've only been married for two weeks and one day. Ha. I kind of like the control of things not changing. Yes, yes I do.

  2. Em, oh how you speak to my heart! Like you, I married a hunky guy studying to be something else (attorney). And he was…until he said one day "I think I need to go to seminary; I believe God is calling me into the ministry". On so many occasions, I allow doubts to crowd my vision that his calling to the ministry includes me.

    You articulate so clearly that my focus is on loving this man I call mine, each and every day, for better or worse.

    Thank you so much for talking straight to me!

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