The Truth About Being a Pastor’s Wife: Our Marriage Isn’t Perfect Either

I feel like some women might fantasize about being married to a pastor because they have mistakenly believed that ministry marriages are all butterflies and spiritual conversations and praying together as a family all of the time. I feel like most of you probably haven’t fallen prey to that misconception, but just in case there are any stragglers out there who are believing the “Marriage is incredible when you’re married to a man whose job it is to love God and love people” lie, let me set you straight.

We probably talk about the Bible and spiritual matters as much as any other couple who is learning to follow Jesus and trying to raise a young family – maybe less in rough patches because we’re so saturated with it in every other area of our lives. So, if either of us isn’t seeking the Lord daily, He and His work quickly become the last thing I want to talk about because I lose the joy apart from Him.

We argue – at least every other day. We are much better at not fighting and instead arguing kindly but we still do it. We are polar opposites and disagree regularly – about finances, about how we should spend our quality time together, about parenting, about sex. And occasionally we yell at each other. We don’t always resolve it and then pray.

We are deeply terrible communicators – particularly with each other.

Josh is an incredible man, husband, and father, but he is not perfect. He doesn’t have all the answers. He’s not always sweet.

I do my best to be faithful to God in His calling on my life to be a wife and a mother, but I am not perfect either. I am stubborn and a recovering high maintenance gal. I’m DEFINITELY not always sweet.

So, what we’ve established is that we have issues, too, and quite frankly could probably stand to get some good counseling from an older, godly, experienced couple. Who do we go to, though? I mean, he’s their pastor, too. It seems awkward to ask for help from the people you’re supposed to be leading. I feel confident this is a sign of our pride, but still – we cannot broadcast our deepest marital issues for the world to see and hear. Everything I’ve shared with you is, I feel like, probably common to every relationship. But we have other issues – real ones that I’m SO not telling you about. 🙂

So what do I do with a marriage that is good but has room to be great?

I pray. I identify the specific areas of our relationship that could stand to be better and I lay them before the God who can do whatever He wants [Eph. 3:20]. And I choose grace instead of harsh words. I choose gratefulness instead of criticism. I choose to focus on a change in me and not in Josh.

This is vital for our survival as a family – my praying over our marriage, I mean. It is not an option but a necessity if we are to stand in the face of the powers that war against us [Eph 6:12]. Because of what Josh does, I’m not the only woman he hugs and counsels and shows care for. I once heard another pastor’s wife say, “You look up and you’re like, ‘Who IS that woman and why does she keep touching my husband?!'” I laughed out loud because I totally get that. It’s all too common for pastors and men in ministry to fall prey to the sin of adultery. The knowledge of this combined with Josh’s kind heart, painfully good looks, and unbelievable sense of style could send me spiraling into the pit of insecurity. It actually does, from time to time. I know my God, though, and I know that He can and will protect us as long as we are diligent to keep our marriage healthy and alive and in fellowship with Him.

So, I pray. Basically, I do what you do when you want your marriage to be better, more solid, more vibrant and fulfilling! Gals, we pray.

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

 

6 Comments

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  1. 2
    Emily

    Ashley, I always love it when you stop by and leave me a comment! I feel like you've just popped in to my office at the BCM and are sharing what God's taught you lately. It makes me smile 🙂

  2. 3
    Ashley

    Good word! " I choose to focus on change in me and not in Josh ". That's what the Lord always brings me back to when I'm picking apart my Josh and expecting him to be a perfect hubs. So encouraging to know others that are running this race and go through the same issues.

  3. 5
    Sarah

    "I know my God, though, and I know that He can and will protect us as long as we are diligent to keep our marriage healthy and alive and in fellowship with Him."

    AMEN.

    I was at a pastors' wives thing recently, and our speaker just straight up said to us at one point, "Satan will always try to send Potiphar's wife." It was convicting in terms of praying over and guarding our marriage. That wasn't even the main point of the teaching, but letmetellyou, THAT stuck.

  4. 6
    Emily

    Wow! Love [code word for hate] the Potiphar's wife thing! Thanks for sharing because it is all kindsa motivating! I really love our bloggy relationship, by the way 🙂

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