Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

Qualifications of a Pastor’s wife

When I was at Bible college the big joke was “Ring by spring or your money back.”   I was not interested in being a pastor’s wife at all.  I watched all those girls who wanted the role and decided we had very little in common.

These are the qualifications for a pastor’s wife as I understood it my freshman year of college through out my senior year at college: (note – please keep reading -later I get to the REAL qualifications)

must play piano and sing alto

must always maintain a clean house

must always (I repeat always) look like you just came out of a beauty shop

no lounging around in comfy clothes – must always look like you are ready to address an audience

must be quiet

must be reserved

oh and friends – no – no friends within the congregation

Don’t even get me started on what was ‘expected’ of pastor’s kids.

Since I had already decided that I was not going to be someone other than who God made me, I figured that this was not something God would call me to be.   The only thing on the list that fit me  was – I do play piano and I can sing alto.   God had placed a calling on my life and I trusted Him to work it out.

You may notice that loving people isn’t even on that list.  Yeah, I had some problems during this discussion in class.

Then along came Curtis.  I found myself falling for a man with a true call of God on his life.  I say true call because I was surrounded with guys who claimed a call, but didn’t walk the call.

After over 20 years in ministry – here is what I think are the true qualifications for being a pastor’s wife:

first and foremost — keep your relationship with God fresh and alive – don’t neglect time with God and expect to be able to handle the life of a pastor’s wife

recognize that you do set an example for others so be of good character — be honest and have integrity

love your husband

be his helpmate/ willing to stand beside him in good times and more importantly in bad times

be supportive and be your husbands own personal “cheerleader”  — there is so much out there that will work at tearing him down that as his wife you get the privilege & responsibility of encouraging him

do not speak critically about any of his flaws in public, let your voice praise him

make sure your children know that they are more important to you

Your children  will  make many sacrifices because of the calling — However there are many blessings they will receive also.  Help them to focus on the blessings of ministry and look for ways to show them that they are more important

have a love for people or a willingness to have a love for people

be willing to be inconvenienced

 be real — be who God intended you to be

forgive – don’t hold on to hurts (Psalm 119:165)

be involved, but only to the point that God directs you – you can work so much ‘for’ God that you neglect God and/or your family — this is not a godly trait!

 please God – guard against being a people pleaser- No one likes to have people dislike them, but there is a trap that many fall into when they try to please people

 be trustworthy — people will tell you things in confidence – guard that.  Although I make it a practice to let people know that I do not keep secrets from my husband and that together we pray for concerns

weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh – be sensitive to others

“Above all else guard your heart for out it flow the well springs of life” Prov. 4:23

til next time

August 9, 2008 - Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , ,


  1. You are a great pastor’s wife… and I should know!

    Comment by cgirod | August 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. I love this entry.

    I have known quite a few (and been friends w/some)pastor’s wives over the years, and I have to say that you…dear, Gloria…are THE Best. My very favorite thing about you (and Curt) is that I can tell you something in confidence and know that you will keep it private. And when you say you’re praying, you really are…

    I’ve always said that I’ve been deeply grateful for three things God didn’t ask me to do: homeschool the kids, marry a farmer, OR be a pastor’s wife!

    Comment by Cherie Bell | August 12, 2008 | Reply

  3. Thanks Cherie 🙂 Sometimes I still struggle with that first list but then I take it to God and He reminds me that He made me – ME. People pleasing can be a trial, just when I think I have jumped that hurdle along comes another one. Again though, taking it to God I am reminded that pleasing Him is my desire.
    Love ya girlfriend!

    Comment by Gloria | August 12, 2008 | Reply

  4. Thank’s for the encouragement. This is a great post. I feel like the original list is sometimes the qualifications that are forced on me.

    Comment by Anna | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  5. GLORIA!!! Where have you been hiding this writing talent??? OK…I suppose since it’s been on the world reaching internet you haven’t been “hiding” it! LOL! I’m just slow at finding it…

    How beautifully you portray the heart of a pastor’s wife! I know I have struggled so often with the “role” aspect and what I am supposed to look like. I was told once, when we were associates, that I just didn’t fit the role…and I WAS trying. The expectation that I felt at that point was to stay quietly in the background and be seen but not heard…and…ummm…that just isn’t my forte! HA HA!

    However, I did learn so very much from that experience that has made me a better pastor’s wife in the last eight years…I am learning to look for the truth in the criticism, learn from it, and then leave the personal attack behind.

    You go. girl! I’ve spent the last 30 minutes reading some of your past blogs…I’ll add you to my favorites. Is there a way to have an email sent when you post?

    Comment by Ruthie Oberg | September 19, 2008 | Reply

  6. Ruthie, I will always remember one of the first Pastor’s wives group get togethers that we were both at and you shared your heart and it was so very real and not ‘the fake look at me I am a Pastor’s wife and I have it all together” attitude. I remember thinking there is someone who I want to be associated with.

    Wonderful words of wisdom you wrote –“I am learning to look for the truth in the criticism, learn from it, and then leave the personal attack behind.” Much of the time it does seem to get easier with each attack to do those steps, but then the occasionaly wounds of a dear friend come along. This can be a much deeper trial, but one God will use for His glory.

    loved your comments!!!

    Comment by Gloria | September 19, 2008 | Reply

  7. […] on pleasing God.   Today I needed to give myself a reminder of what is truly important.      (for my list of true qualifications click here)  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; “  (Psalm […]

    Pingback by for the most part………. « Living Life in a Fish Bowl! | August 28, 2011 | Reply

  8. I find I am still getting hits on this post. I would love to hear from other pastor’s wives. What is the greatest challenge you face? What could and should be added to my list?

    Comment by Gloria | March 5, 2015 | Reply

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