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Pastors Wife Goes To Other Church

Our minister's wife attends a different church. How unusual is that?

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 ---Paul_James on 6/11/05
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Are you kidding me? Haha maybe the preaching there is better go check it out...
---RMA on 8/8/09

Very unusual,indeed. I would attend the same church. I would be where my husband is. We are a team and we need to present this \especially to the church, he is pastoring.Attending another church opens the door for the devil to come in. Once the devil makes his entrance it is hard to get him to leave. There will be much division,quarelling,misunderstandings can arise from not being together. I would want to be there to support my spouse.
I would also say there is something very wrong in this marriage. Somebody is not satisfied somewhere and needs are not being met within the marriage.They need to take a sabbatical or some time away from church activities to work on the marriage.
---Robyn on 10/27/08

I too am a pastor's wife and I believe that each couple is different much as each pastor has a different type of ministry. Consider that possibly the pastor's wife feels a calling on her life too and it doesn't fit in with her pastor's church. It may not be a case of disrespect, but maybe either she can't do her ministry in the current church or possibly, the church people do not wish to have her ministering to them. Either way, I believe that they should pray and as long as God is in that decision, it should be done in what works for them. As long as God is in the center of their lives, they will move forward in worship and ministry. I don't believe it is up to us to judge them in that endeavor in their lives but to uphold them in prayer.
---Deb on 9/24/08

Speaking from a pastor's wife's perspective, this was seriously funny. You only have to read the repsonses to understand why the wife goes to a different church:)
---Cynthia on 8/18/08


It all depends on how you view different churches.

If Churches are all similar and allied ("I like Baptist, you like Presbyterian" is like "I like Chocolate, you like Vanilla"), it's all good.

If Churches are all in dire opposition ("I like Baptist, you like Presbyterian" is like "I like Christ, you like Satan", then it's not.

How do YOU view different churches?
---StrongAxe on 3/4/08

Is pastor the there for a short assignment and owns a home in another location? I know of couples who are both minister and serve church in the same or different denominations. Some pastors specialize in being interim pastors [6 - 18 month positions] and their spouses rarely attend their husbands current congregation. Some pastors are currently having marital difficulties and don't attend the same fellowship because parishioners tend to take sides when their problem is private between them.
---notlaw99 on 3/4/08

I would say it is very unusual.I wouldn't go so far as to say she's not very Christian but I don't think she is showing much love or respect for her husband.Maybe the poor guy is a poor speaker but at least his wife should support him.
---shirley on 3/4/08

Anyone who's ever had their spouse, punch them in the ribs or knee them under the table perhaps understand this woman's desire to attend a different church. When my wife hears me make a mistake when talking she is not timid about saying so.
---Mima on 3/3/08

If the other church is Christian, what's the problem?
The other church should not be regarded as the "opposition"
---alan_of_UK on 3/3/08

Leaders lead by example and this is not a good example. If there's this much dissention at home, and the wife has to go elsewhere, it's time to step down.
The congregation will find it strange and it opens the door for the thief to come in.
Marital problems and division, not a good example at all.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.
---Cindy on 3/2/08

There is enormous pressure placed on minister's wives. What other profession would a wife be expected to "perform" well at her husband's job? Politicians, but, the difference is that her relationship with God is at stake. The place of refuge can become an unbearable fishbowl. If a pastor's wife feels the need to renew her spirituality in separate setting, she is free before God to do so. Better to be authentic rather than a "Stepford Wife" robot.
---Shell on 2/21/08

Please give this dear lady some time to herself. Be availabe to be of help or offer advice if she asks for it. I won't pass judgement on her as I've never met her . Just encourage her and show God's love. Sincerely, Ruth
---Ruth on 1/14/08

Actually I have just found those posts from the ministers wife. They are from P.M.D. December 2005. I must have scrolled through all the answers too quickly the first time, and missed them.
---RitahH on 9/18/07

RitaH, Well don't try to figure it out. Just like the bible. It seems contradictory to some people but it is not. You may understand it sometime in your future. It is a lot of topics and issues, I notice, you don't understand.Oh well. God bless you dear.
---Robyn on 9/18/07

I have discussed this blog with a relative who used to use Christianet. He recognised it as one he read some time ago and said that back then the pastor's wife referred to in the question came in briefly to join the discussion. MODERATOR, what's the chance of bringing back her responses to clear up a few things, or have they been deleted? Sorry I don't know dates of these or her name.
---RitaH on 9/18/07

Ministers and priests who cover up corruption. Who learn to despise others in contempt, showing their own over-topping pre-eminent status. I know women who suffer married to men like this. Men caught up in their own merits, and their means of power by rank and title, suported by the people commiting idolatry with these men and the organization. These mutually appointed are addicted to their arrangment above others. They are opposed. Are they "in the Lord"? People love this system.
---jhonny on 9/18/07

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I can totaly understand her, and I totaly respect her decision. I am sure there is much happening behind the seens that you are not aware of. The Bible says in St. Matthew 19:29, And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my names sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. My advice to that pastor would be to leave "altogether" and be blessed 100 fold.
---Whisper on 9/18/07

No Robyn, I don't get your point, except that I see you are very bitter about your present church, and several others it seems. How this relates to the lady the questioner asks about I do not know.
---RitaH on 9/17/07

Another view: This minister's wife doesn't know what to do. This is why she is at another church. Let me see if I can help her along.
She should changer her title like the scammers are doing down here in Texas, Put First Lady in the front of her first name. Put on a big hat and buy herself(or the pastor) a luxury car(Jaguar) Occupy the whole front row at church,get herself an armour bearer and then she will be respected by the congregants and won't have to attend another church. Get my point.Blessings.
---Robyn on 9/17/07

Being the pastor's wife in a church can be the toughest position as far as being lonely. How many close friends can she have in the church? None to be exact. I'm talking true friends to get away with some times. She would be the first one to be accused of favoritism. I've seen it every time. We also need to know all the facts, which we don't.
---denna7667 on 9/9/07

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She is a very misguided woman. My heart goes out to the both of them, especially her. If she lost her husband and vice versa. I would not be surprised. This a very unusual situation. Many things she is overlooking. I would put my priorities aside and stand by my better believe it!
---Robyn on 9/9/07


You say "She needs to be behind her husband", but I think what you REALLY mean is "her husband needs her to be behind him".

As other posters have mentioned, she may have needs that aren't being met in this church. If they remain unmet, they can lead to grief, increased marital stress, and worse.
---StrongAxe on 9/9/07

She shouldn't. She isn't very supportive of her husband. Maybe she doesn't like his preaching or maybe God didn't call him to preach and he is preaching anyways. but still she should stand by her man.
---Rebecca_D on 9/9/07

1. I agree that assumptions should not be made. Just because there is no visability to her support of her pastor husband doesn't mean isn't any.
2. Maybe she has hurts from previous experiences - has anyone asked - pastor's wives are people too.
3. Her participation or lack there of should not determine your participation nor the depth of your relationship with the Lord.
4. Her husband gets the paycheck.
5. You all need to quit gossiping and change your focus to the things of God.
---Denise on 2/17/07

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PMD~ I too am a preachers wife and under constant watch! I have seriously considered changing churches b/c I am afraid for my soul and my daughters souls. I am afraid of the hatred and resentment in my heart. I wake up every morning wanting this whole life to go away. (and we have been at several churches- so I know it's the lifestyle not the church body.) It all boils down to "truth." Are you really serving the Lord how he wants you to? If you can answer yes, that's all that matters.
---Bethany on 11/8/06

As a pastor's wife, I see that for VERY little information given, there have been a lot of assumptions made. A pastor's wife is still a Christian who has spiritual needs, sometimes needs that are very intense and cannot be met where she is under observation. In the best of circumstances, she should be worshipping with her husband. But there may be something you do not know, and she may need mercy, not judgement. This is an issue to be resolved by the couple and the church elders. Show love
---Lora on 8/23/06

Keep in mind a man is a man before he is a Pastor. People should not marry for the ministry. A wife is not for the ministry a wife is for the home and a helpmeet. A wife can help and encourage without being apart of the "Church Family"
---Antoinette_Nettles on 8/22/06

This woman needs to support her husband. A house divided won't stand. She needs to be behind her husband.
---Rebecca_D on 3/28/06

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Are they not worshiping the same God? Are they both not following Jesus in the expression that they are being led to follow? What riches in diversity and fellowship they maybe able to bring to both of their faith communities. I applaud both spouses here for their support, love, and acceptance of one another. Has not Jesus taught us to be inclusive? I pray that this will become a "non" issue for the community the pastor is serving. Surely there are more pressing concerns to be involved with.
---susan on 3/28/06

The word of God does say that these two shall be one. Dear brother Paul said we should all speak the same thing. It's hard to believe that a husband and wife are one when attending seperate churches. After all, she is supposed to be with him. Our precious Jesus warned against kingdoms divided. He has one wife of one Spirit that is part of him. A wife that attends her church rather than following and being with her husband points to far deeper problems in a divided kingdom.
---Shari on 3/23/06

Hi there,

I do think that this is a strange practice. I do feel that the Pastor needs the support of his wife. However, I do also know that in some churches the brethren can be quite cruel to the pastors wife. Overall the Pastor needs to take a stand.

bye sally
---sally_jones on 3/15/06

Alan I don't think that a couple being in different denominations is wrong, sorry if I gave that impression. I was responding really to what Lynn said and agreeing with you. Besides the couple I referred to, I know another couple where one is Methodist (the wife) and the husband an Anglican vicar, in the same town as the two Methodist ministers mentioned. Also I am a different denomination to my husband but go mainly to his church for convenience.
---M.A. on 12/30/05

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MA ... I too know couples hwo arte ministers at separate churches. But why does everyone think that being in different denominations is wrong? Is it unequally yoked if one is Methodist, the other Anglican? Or Vineyard & Lutheran? Who are outsiders to judge? And who is so wise as to know that one's own denomination is perfect, and that another denomination may not have something that is missing from one's own?
---alan8869_of_UK on 12/30/05

Ulrika ... why do you say she seems rebellious? It is npw clear from her own answer that she is not rebellious, and that her husband supports her in her ministry, for it is that, at another church.
---alan8869_of_UK on 12/30/05

Alan there certainly should not be divisions between congregations of the same denomination. It is sad that there are such divisions even between different denominations. However a pastor in one church and his wife in another of the SAME denomination should cause no division whatsoever and should actually result in more people hearing the word of God. I know a married couple who are both Methodist Ministers, in the same town but in different churches.
---M.A. on 12/30/05

She seems rebellious.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
1Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
---Ulrika on 12/29/05

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2. and wouldn't have if it had not suddenly caught everyone's attention again. The only regret I have about the whole matter is that so many people in the churches think it is their business and that I owe everyone an explanation. I DONT. We are all answerable to God. My husband alone is answerable to the church that pays his salary. Finally, this situation is not as unusual as some people seem to think.
---P.M.D on 12/29/05

This question was asked over 6 months ago by Paul James who knows me personally. I am the pastor's wife referred to. I've followed the answers with interest. Some are quite condemning and some very understanding - thank you for the latter. Phil the Elder has hit the nail on the head. My husband is of more use where he is, I am of more use where I am and the children are settled where they are. I had no intention of ever contributing to this question,
---P.M.D on 12/29/05

Lynn ... why do you assume that the house is divided? Is there really any division between different congregations?
---alan8869_of_UK on 12/29/05

I know of a pastor (great guy) whose wife understands soul winning and is by far the best soul winner of the two. She is the visiting and witnessing one of that marriage.---mima12/29/2005
---mima on 12/29/05

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A house divided can not stand..
---Lynn_Bedford77 on 12/29/05

This is often the case of an Interim Pastors, the pastor may not live in the local area and his family have established ties with congregations in their local area. Your contract is with the Pastor (unless specifically written other wise) you did not hire a family support system. If the pastor is doing his/her job effectively leave the subject alone.
---Phil_the_Elder on 12/29/05

Maybe this other church is where God wants this woman to be at, to reach more souls. who knows what God is doing with each of our lives. Who are we to question on what God does?
---Rebecca_D on 12/29/05

I see no problem w/ the topic as long as no names are mentioned. As far as the topic, I think it's definetly something that the pastor's church council or elders need to deal with. It shouldn't be a condition of continued employment but it has other ramifications.
---Rudy on 12/28/05

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I am a bit confused at the postings here. It would seem that the conversation is a dividing line that very closely borders that of gossip, slander and judgment. For all we know they are going about God's work as requested by Him. Also, if a congregational member is concerned for the pastor and his wife perhaps the best thing to do is talk with the pastor.
---C.L. on 12/28/05

I'd say either there's something wrong with that pastor's beliefs and his church, or there's something wrong with his wife!
---craig on 10/27/05

ok, this one is tough - but not impossible. We had a similar situation with a deacon's wife. But through prayer, yes, prayer, the situation was resolved. Everyone involved has grown. Remember, Receive God's guidance. He CAN fix anything. If you don't believe that, you need to do some soul searching.
---mike on 10/27/05

If you and your husband are a team and are both employed by the church then you must stay with what you have taken on I would say, but get those unreasonable things sorted out immediately before they overwhelm you. If the church is only employing your husband you are a free agent to do and go wherever you please. Husbands in ministry need support but that does not mean that you are to be dictated to by anyone in his new church. Pray and just let the Lord lead you where He wills.
---M.P. on 10/27/05

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I am a new pastors wife and I am finding it hard to leave my former church to follow my husband. I have followed him to the new congregation, I believe in him, and believe God has called him to this ministry however I spent 21 years at our previous church where he was a faithful asst minister and am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the expectations (some I think are unreasonable)for the Pastors Wife. HELP!
---mperri on 10/26/05

If you hate Pastor's preaching, you might have some unresolved personal spiritual problems.If you are a minister's wife, you need to surrender your complete life to Jesus.Even some of you do not pray or read your bibles?! How are you going to support your husband in this hate gerenation of unbeleivers and careless of so called christians?!Think twice! John sekamonyo.
---John_Sekamonyo on 9/27/05

We had dealings with a couple like this...we saw that the husband, on the outside to church people was a upstanding individual, but as a person to his family and people that were close to him, he was totally different.... He expected more from relationships than what could be expected, he wanted alot of acknowledgement because he had the word "Pastor" by his name, his wife even had to refer to him as "Pastor" instead of his name.... A real "Pride" problem in the home....
---T on 9/27/05

I am a pastors wife. It is sad that our husbands preach but do not do the walk. It is sad that they want to reach the lost for Christ yet they forget their families. My suggestion is to love the pastor so he will grow in Chirst, love and accept the wife for taking a stand against the division in there married life. work on the skill of not being judgemental. allowing love to minister to all involved including the church. life is all about loving hurting people. from a hurting pastors wife
---Rachele on 9/25/05

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Carol, you say "A Pastor's wife's first duty and first ministry is to support her husband"
No her first duty ministry is to God ... that is the same for all of us.
There is no reason at all why in some cases that ministry may not be better fulfilled elsewhere than at her husband's church.
---alan8869_of_UK on 9/22/05

I know hard it can be if your wife does attend a church you as minister do not attend... and how it is if your wife does not recognize your ministry...
I believe in both grace as freedom.
we can handle this by letting other leaders speak in our lives, being in relation and under correction.. but it can still be that the situation stays as it is. This should not surprise us as we look at for example Matth 10
---someone on 9/22/05

My grandmother did that when my grandfather started a new church,she stayed behind with me. That is rebellion and not letting our husband be the head of the home. It set up in me a rebellious spirit. they continued that way to the end of their 80/86 years. Foolish. A woman needs to follow her husbands lead. Have to do it with alot of prayer tho and obedience to Gods principles
---barbara on 9/22/05

She needs to know her Bible better. She is to be a living example of forgiveness. Offenses will come. but we have to learn by God's grace not to take offense. Offences are designed to create division and to get us out of the perfect will of God. It hinders our prayers.Walk in love when others don't. Pour all this hurt out to God and get rid of it or it will turn into a root of bitterness. Earnestly pray for those who hurt you. It is God's directive not a suggestion. Get better not bitter!
---Tsuanne on 9/22/05

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I'm aware of a pastor's wife who has started attending another church because of the hurtful attitude toward her by some of the church members. Is it the best way to handle the situation? Probably not. But it's the only way she can deal with those people right now.
---rev-ed on 9/22/05

Very unusual. In fact, I've never heard of it before, and I'm 68 and have been an active church member for 55 years. How can she be a "help mate" if she doesn't have any first hand information about the church? She may also be sending the message - I don't like my husband's preaching.
---WIVV on 9/18/05

I personally know a married couple where husband and wife, professional musicians, are organist-choirmasters in different churches.

I am sure there are other cases like you're describing.

Whose business is it, prithee?
---Jack on 7/15/05

As I said on 12th June 'Her spiritual welfare is far more important than pleasing a congregation.' or pleasing anyone other than God also. There has to be a very good reason for this and in the cases I know of there are good reasons. She is not answerable to anyone else because the husband is the employee of the church, not her. Many pastors wives have full time jobs outside the home and the church and some are a different denomination to their husbands.
---Xanthi on 6/20/05

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What if the wife is certain that she has not been called by God to be a minister's wife? People will say 'but she must have been if he has been called to be a minister.' I'd agree, but what if he hasn't been CALLED to be a minister? What if it's an ego trip or just a career move? Should she then be undergirding him? Maybe she's stayed put because she KNOWS that is where she should be. Is it a wife's first duty to support a husband when he is wrong or misled?
---Paulette on 6/19/05

Carol, I don't think that's a fair judgement. I agree it seems to be an unusual arrangement, but maybe in this situation that's the way God wants it for now.
---bethie on 6/18/05

A Pastor's wife's first duty and first ministry is to support her husband, therefore it is not o.k. for her to attend another church 100% of the time while her husband is on the pulpit. It is acceptable for her to "visit" and speak but not go off on her own. Looks like trouble is brewing. She is making this statement: "My ministry is more important".
---Carol on 6/17/05

Yes Rachel and Alan I perhaps was, unwittingly, being controversial but I must admit that it got some pretty good debating going. Thank you all so much for your input and, just in case you are wondering, I am NOT the pastor referred to. He's much better looking than I am!
---Paul_James on 6/14/05

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Perhaps she knows her husband better than anyone else. That could be the reason she doesn't attend the church he pastors.
---Sally on 6/14/05

Rachel ... Hi again!

I suspect PJ was being controversial rather than disloyal to the pastor's wife. And I support him in him asking the question.

Those wise enough to do so will learn from the different views expressed.
---Alan_of_U.K. on 6/14/05

that was a good question and response. AND knowing she was a member for years in another Body BEFORE her husband was called is a big part of the equation........paul james sometimes you seem to ask questions just to be controversial...............HONEST FACTUAL OBSERVATION not a judgement
---rachel on 6/14/05

Well it sounds like this couple is being a blessing to two churches, good for them.
---bethie on 6/14/05

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Yes Bethie she comes to many of the special events that are put on in our church and gets on well with all members but she is very happy and settled in the church she attended prior to her husband becoming a pastor. She has been invited to speak in ours several times and has written articles for the church magazine. God could be using this couple to be a blessing to two churches instead of one.
---Paul_James on 6/14/05

Paul James, does she come for special services, like conventions,or baptisms or Christmas presentations? I have never heard of this happening before, but I have always gone to the same church.
---bethie on 6/13/05

paul james
no i am not judging you. I have tho read and re-read both your original question and your responses to me and I just don't get it. Like I least you know if you were my pastor and that was your wife I would be loyal to you both and not ask stangers if they thought it was unusual.
I do not know what other "denominations" do or allow.
---rachel on 6/13/05

Some of you make interesting points e.g. that there could be doctrinal differences or that she believes her husband was not called to preach but is anyway (supporting that would be condoning disobedience). I personally know 2 minister's wives who do not attend their husbands churches and quite a few more who do attend but play no active role in their husband's church. As for single ministers - no human can dictate that they must marry women equipped for this task.
---Paul_James on 6/13/05

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Sorry Rachel but you must have totally misunderstood my original question. There was absolutely no intention or expectation on my part of people judging this lady. It was a very simply question, wondering if any others on C.N. had come across this. However, from where I am right now it's looks as if you are judging me.
---Paul_James on 6/13/05

What you did was place them both before us to be judged and questioned and they were. How unusual is this??..........what difference does it make if she is the only pastors wife who does this or if 3 out of 5 do this?????????????? It's none of our business and if you have a question it should be addressed to them. And if you are that pastor then you know why she does this and you know if it is least you know that if you were my pastor I would be loyal to you and your wife so think of that.
---rachel on 6/12/05

Not that unusual. They might belong to different denominations where there is one doctrinal difference which is so important to the wife that she cannot accept that ONE teaching and become a member of her husbands church. I would assume that pastors wives are usually expected to become 'official' members. Her spiritual welfare is far more important than pleasing a congregation. There are plenty of unmarried pastors and some with non-Christian wives so they don't get the support of a wife/helper either.
---Xanthi on 6/12/05

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