The BIG One – How Do I Support My Husband as Pastor?

How Do I Support My Husband As Pastor? //

The big one: How do I support my husband as pastor?

First of all, how do you support your husband as your husband and love of your life? What does God tell you about your role as a wife? Follow His wisdom in Scripture all the years of your married life. (Hint: The fruits of the Spirit might be a good place to start. And when you fail, return to the cross of Christ for forgiveness and the ability to start again and do it better.)

As far as church life is concerned, supporting your pastor husband takes on more effort because of the nature of his 24/7 job. It often takes planning and dedication to schedule date nights or days off or family time or even vacation away from the parish, but that is so important. Your congregation should understand that even though he is ‘on call’, he also needs some time off. BUT there is no time clock to punch, so the pastor’s work hours may vary greatly. Some pastors work some flexibility into their lives, so they can help take care of a sick child if you have a job to go to, but then he will be gone many evenings for meetings and member visits. Look for as many opportunities as possible to have regular meals and family time, but also be ready for those emergencies (hospital visits, funerals, extra church services, etc.) that require his time away from home. Those emergencies often put his regular weekly work behind, so then he needs more time to catch up to be ready for the next meeting or Sunday sermon.

I finally realized that a pastor is not the only one who must leave family time and spend extra hours on the job. Doctors, CEOs, First Responders, the guys who fix downed power lines, and even construction workers are just a few who may work 24/7 for extended periods of time.

Your relationship with your husband will grow and develop over the years. Being married to a full-time minister brings some unique challenges, but if you are starting out together, you will definitely grow together as you both get accustomed to the roles and responsibilities that church work brings to you and your loved ones. Your husband is Number One. He will be with you when your parents are no longer alive. He will be with you when your children are grown and on their own. He will be there from beginning to end, so supporting and loving him is your first God-given responsibility and perhaps your last, if you are privileged to grow old together.

Julie Keat


Wife of Rev. James D. Keat for 46 years
Mother of Jennifer, Bethany, and Jim
Grandmother of Hannah, Grace, and Abigail
Residence since 1998: Leslie, MI
I am an elementary teacher with 10+ years experience in Lutheran schools and 18+ years in public schools. My husband was a Director of Education, a Lutheran school teacher, a Director of Education and Youth, and a Lutheran pastor (LCMS). We are retired but still active in school and church.

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