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The life of a Minister’s wife

todayNovember 15, 2022 56

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She was great with us students and would lead woman’s bible meetings. Then there’s their children. The children were always very mild mannered, well behaved, model children. I watched in awe as it all seemed effortless. I never once saw them have to raise their voice to their children. Never once did the children disrupt the service by misbehaving in any way.

Not only do I feel inadequate to be a leader’s wife, but I feel my children are not what would be expected of a church leader’s children

I never would have seen myself as the wife of a church leader. I don’t feel in any way up to the job. As much as I try my hardest my faith can sometimes waver when circumstances change. I worry a lot of the time and I suffer from depression. These are not characteristics I would have associated with a church leader’s wife. I don’t feel people would look at me in the same awe (nor would I want them to) as I had for the pastor’s wives I grew up with. Most of the time I feel like a duck paddling. On the service looking calm but underneath I am kicking away trying to stay afloat. The rest of the time I am a fish out of water, struggling to do the simplest task.

When my husband and I felt the calling for him to go into ministry we were excited, albeit slightly apprehensive. It was a complete shock to get the calling as it was not something we had even considered for our future. But here we are, my husband is a church worker in a small village in Devon. We are the youngest members who attend the church and our children are the only children that attend. Due to our age, I don’t expect many of the congregation would see me, or feel the need to see me in the same vein that I saw my pastors’ wives. They don’t need support from me, I need support from them.

Not only do I feel inadequate to be a leader’s wife, but I feel my children are not what would be expected of a church leader’s children. I love my children to bits but they can be difficult. My son is being tested for Autism which may explain some of his behaviour but it doesn’t stop the feeling of being judged. My children will not sit still in a service, they will not be quiet. They mess around, run off and cause mayhem wherever they go!!! It’s not that we are bad parents (although I feel like it most of the time), we do discipline them, there are consequences for their actions but my daughter is only three so at a difficult age and wants to copy her older brother, who as previously mentioned may be Autistic.

Church is hard. It is hard to get spiritual nurturing when you are constantly stressed about how your children are behaving. Apprehensive about what people are thinking. We are from a different generation to our congregation and while most of them are supportive and are pleased to see children in the church, I feel others are thinking children should be seen and not heard. Believe me, you will hear my children long before you see them. They literally defy physics and make sound travel faster than light.

I know that I overthink things and perhaps people are not being judgemental towards me and my children, but nonetheless, it is an issue for me. An issue that I need to remember to take to God. Too often I try to get through things on my own and every single time I can’t. I don’t understand a lot of what has happened in my life, but God does and I believe it is part of his plan for my future. But right now, I need to support my husband in his ministry. I need to help him witness to others in our community. I need to mother our children as best as I can. I need to pray and talk to God more and ask for help to be a better mother, one that is not as quick to anger. Most importantly I need to worship God with all my heart, body and soul. I need to remember that everything is about Him and furthering His kingdom. After all, God is good!!


Rebecca Orpin

I am a mum of two young children, married to a church leader. We live in a lovely Devon village, winging our way through this parenting thing and trusting God every step of he way.

Written by: Steven Grimmer

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