Stepford Wife or Preacher's Wife

When I was engaged to my husband Scott, I knew I was about to take on a new role as a pastor’s wife. I had an image of what I thought a pastor’s wife entailed. I viewed a pastor’s wife the same as I did a Stepford wife. I thought pastor’s wives had to make at least 3 casseroles per week, wear a dress and heels to every church outing (never repeating an outfit), style their hair on point at every gathering, always say the right words and always positive, and never share personal information or be vulnerable to anyone due to risk of judgement. I thought I had to be perfect…and I had it all wrong.

I have now been married to my husband for three years. My views of filling the role Pastor’s Wife has significantly changed. Yes, I have taken on a new role, but I have not increased my casserole making, I do not look perfect 24/7, I do not always say the perfect words, I have definitely repeated outfits (especially now that I am a mom and am risk at spit up at all times), and I must be vulnerable with others. I have learned a lot in the past three years. Below are some lessons I have learned that may help others.


The first lesson I learned is that I must take care of my spiritual and physical needs before I can serve my husband and others. My spiritual needs include spending daily time with God. I must read his word, pray for his guidance and strength, and pray for others. I must also have moments of worship daily. This might include sitting in my rocking chair holding my son singing worship songs, belting Lauren Daigle in the car, and watching YouTube videos of worship. I must also find women who can mentor me with my spiritual walk.

I must take care of myself physically in order to serve others the best I can. No, I am not perfect in this area, but I have made it a priority in my life. This involves eating healthy and participating in physical activity regularly. I go on daily walks or run on the treadmill. It helps significantly to have a partner to support you in this area...this could be your husband or a close friend.

Husband needs

The second lesson I have learned is how to support your pastor/husband. There are three ways to do this. First, we must pray for our husbands daily. We must pray for their jobs, for decisions they have to make, for big events they are planning, and for the conversations they will have. We must pray that they will have opportunities to share the Gospel. We must pray that Satan will stay away from their ministry. We must pray that the Lord will use them to spread the word of Christ. Secondly, we must listen to our husbands. I have learned that an open ear is critical in a marriage and ministry partnership. I listen to my husband’s ideas on new sermon topics, projects, or event plans. I listen to situations that he is going through and offer input. I listen to the direction God is pointing him. I listen to struggles he is battling with at times. I keep my ears open so I can encourage him in all aspects of his ministry and our marriage. Thirdly, we must make time during the day to spend time with one another. This might include while we are getting ready in the morning, meeting for lunch once a week, going on a car ride, and having date nights. It can be hectic being leaders in a church, so every pastor and wife need time to have fun with one another.

Church needs

The third lesson I have learned is to search out areas where you can help the church. As a pastor’s wife, it is important to support your husband in his ministry. My husband is a youth pastor, so I have helped teach Sunday School, set up refreshments for parties, help minister to female students, and attend events created by my husband. I love helping in these ministry opportunities. I also think it is important to find other areas in the church where you are needed based on your spiritual gifts. This could involve singing in the praise team, helping out with children’s ministry events, serving in the nursery, planning meals for families in need. No, I do not mean volunteer for everything because this will cause you to get overloaded. I believe you must serve with your husband and also find areas where you are needed to help in the church.

It is rewarding to help my husband serve the church. I love helping students to grow in their relationship with Christ. I am not a perfect pastor’s wife and will never be a Stepford wife. However, I am learning daily how to serve my husband and church. I hope these words have spoken to women that may have experienced the same things as me.

Dr. Leigh Talley