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Are Pastors Wifes For Free

Why do so many congregations expect to be able to 'hire' a pastor and get an equally spiritually gifted wife as a free bonus. Many pastors' wives would prefer the same privilege most of us have - of being a mum, wife and homemaker and many pastors would prefer their wives to be just that.

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 ---emg on 5/2/06
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Dude! HA HA HA! That was pretty good joke. My word! HA ha ha ha! Nah, really though. I see the point. Some people take you for granted some times because of what they expect of you. Excellent joke, Whisper. HA HA HA HA!
---Joe_Hardy on 9/9/07

Because when a man and woman marry they become ONE flesh as the Bible puts it?

Ha Ha Ha, I guess its a two for one sale.
---Whisper on 9/8/07

The only scriptures I know of are that leaders in the church are to be good stewards of their own families. If the pastor wants his wife to work outside the home and or to concentrate her activities in the home - then the church needs to back off.
If its expected and he wants her to help and she won't - they need to get their own lives in order before they can be a blessing to others.
She is not chattel.
---Andrea on 9/7/07

RitaH, I have a passage that will help.

Philippians 4:3
1 Timothy 5 (all, but especiall v. 9)
1 Corinthians 9:5

Historically and in the present, women have been very involved in the ministry of the Church. Often older widows were involved in aiding the presybters and in providing instruction to younger women in Christian behavior (Titus 2:3-4). Those that were married had their wives to help them in their ministry as noted in Corinthians above.
---lorra8574 on 9/7/07

RitaH, P2: Ok there were a few passages (I sometimes send too quickly).

Many of these helpers were called "deaconesses" in the early Church, and for this reason, some today presume to ordain women as pastors. But these "deaconesses" were never ordained and never did the work of presbyters or male deacons. What they did do was help by cleaning, cooking, assisting with immersion baptisms and serving as a chaperone when ministering to women living alone (to avoid scandal).
---lorra8574 on 9/7/07

As for the blog question, if the women have food on their table and shelter over their heads, and clothing on their backs, they are not exactly "free". If the pastor were single, his services could come a lot cheaper. This also covers children - they are not "free" either. Just as the wives of Apostles travelled with and assisted their husbands in their work, so too is a Pastor's wife expected to do the same. But folks should be considerate and not overburden these generous women.
---lorra8574 on 9/7/07

I am not a pastor's wife but had mum and several sisters who were. It should come with the territory. A smart wife would get behind her husband and help with his ministerial duties. She is to be his help mete and that pertains to all things. She does not have to, that is her choice, I believe, but I would want to be more of a help to my husband/pastor/spouse as much as I could. The wife should be an example to the women in the church. Young and old. Her influence in the church, is very much needed.
---Robyn on 9/7/07

If anyone knows of any scripture on this subject please pass it on to us all. In bible times women were not heard of much so I'm not sure that scripture will set a precedent for this. My personal feeling is that if a husband is 'hired' by a church (as opposed to giving his services freely) his wife should not be expected to go to work with him any more than she would if he worked in a grocery store. If he is not paid they are more likely to offer their services to the church as a couple.
---RitaH on 9/7/07


It's true that when God calls a pastor, he should call the wife as well.

But how often does a congregation that pays a pastor a salary for full-time pastoral work ALSO pay his wife for full-time pastoral work that they may fully expect of her as well?

[Formerly Mark]
---StrongAxe on 9/6/07

Quite frankly since the churches are run like businesses,these days. I would like to see the pastor and his wife earn the mega dollars they are raking into their pockets. Yes---the wife is expected to do something in the church. You don't just sit and look pretty and expect the members to take care of you. There is work to be done by everyone.
My pastor just gifted his wife with a brand new Jaguar! If I am paying for a Jaguar, she needs to be working or doing something worthwhile in the church.
---Robyn on 9/6/07

I believe it comes with the territory. A pastor's wife needs to be able to help in certain areas of the church as well. She needs to have spiritual leadership among the women of the church. At least that's how I understand it.
---Lissa on 9/6/07

Sounds similar to the plight of the First Lady. If she says too much, she's controlling, etc. I don't understand why someone would not be happy if she played the piano too wonderfully.
---Marnie on 11/12/06

a pastor's wife is the hardest job in the world. if they do too much they are looked down on, if they do too little they are looked down on, if they play the piano too well they are looked down on, if they don't play they are looked down on. People expect too much from one family. If we all did our parts we would not have to worry but too many people just want to do their church thing on sunday and let the pastor do the rest.
---Jared on 11/12/06

When God calls a man to preach, his wife is also called, because they are one in the Lord. The Pastor's wife should be able to use her gifts in the church just as anyone else should do. She should be behind her husband, but also still be able to be a wife and a mom to her children. and be a friend to everyone in the church.
---Rebecca_D on 5/20/06

John said: <>

St. Paul remarked, "Those who serve the altar should make their living from the altar"--and the direct context was discussing the support (stipendary and otherwise) of pastors.
---Jack on 5/5/06

If a church advertises for a Pastor, and many do, then a pastor is all they should expect. Many are very fortunate in getting a very gifted wife and possibly other family members also, for which they should be truly grateful, but it should never be expect. If they expect it the ad. should make that plain.
---F.F. on 5/5/06

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No apology necessary emg, you spelled it right. My name is also Lynette:)
---lynet on 5/4/06

Lynet, I have just noticed that I spelt your name incorrectly - I do apologise. I have a friend called Lynette and I think that my fingers got a little carried away!!
---emg on 5/3/06

2. He has given her a family which carries a huge responsibility in itself and those children are more likely to learn of HIM at their mother's knee than by having strangers look after them whilst she is elsewhere (possibly being miserable because she misses her children).
---emg on 5/3/06

Lynette you say 'there should be a place in the ministry where she can use her gifts if God calls her to do so.' The important words here are IF GOD CALLS HER TO DO SO. Many churches seem to EXPECT that God WILL call her to do so whereas I believe that He sometimes (possibly often) will not do so. Cont.
---emg on 5/3/06

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It is my belief that a women who marries a minister should be willing to step in and help where she is needed, however, she should be allowed the opportunity to fulfill the calling in the area of ministry that God has called her to. A congregation should not expect her to step into the areas they believe she should be in.
---Elma on 5/3/06

I wouldn't doubt it that some of the ladies do more work than the pastor. By the way, where does the church get the idea that it's ok to hire a shepherd in the first place? A hireling for God's flock? O.T priests never got hired. Jesus wasn't hired. There's no evidence that any church leader was hired in the Scriptures.
---john on 5/3/06

Whenever I go to a church to seek becoming their pastor. I make it a joke that my wife does not play the piano, but is a virtuoso on the kazoo.

Then I tell the people that she finds her own ministries surrounding missions or children, as she sees fit.

At one church I did not take, while we were meeting with elders, the SS Superintendent was grilling our children on their Bible knowledge.
---John_T on 5/2/06

I believe the wife of a Pastor's duties are first to God, then her husband, and family. Many Pastors wives are thought to be an extension of their spouses. Though I don't agree with that, there should be a place in the ministry where she can use her gifts if God calls her to do so. Also, while the Pastor carries the entire ministry, and perhaps an outside job, his wife carries him, which includes the ministry, their family, and pitch hits wherever needed. You know what they say, a woman's work ...:)
---lynet on 5/2/06

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Most of the pastor's wives I have known married their pastor husbands with full knowledge that they were joining him in ministry. They should also be aware that they will be living a fishbowl existance.
---Madison on 5/2/06

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