January 12, 2015

Pray for the Pastor's Wife: Self-Control

“The fruit of the Spirit is . . . self-control.” (Gal. 5:23)

In his kindness, the Lord has given me great help to develop self-control.

He made me a pastor’s wife.

From women whose husbands are training for the pastorate, I sometimes hear the assertion: Well, my future church better accept me just the way I am! The church is going to have to get used to the fact that I’m my own unique person! I’m not going to change just because I’m the pastor’s wife!

But, dear sisters, none of Christ’s daughters truly wants to remain unchanged. None of us wants to appear before the Throne with all of our sin unchecked in the name of self-expression. None of us wants to be our own unique person at the expense of becoming more like the only unique Person, the God-man Christ Jesus.

And the church is often the Lord’s kind instrument to conform pastors’ wives to himself.

As a pastor’s wife, I never share all of my opinions. Recently, sitting at a table with some church folks, I listened to discussion about an issue that is dear to my heart—one that I have researched, prayed over, and written about. But, at that moment and in that group, to declare my opposing opinion would have been to give an offense. My editorializing—however well-reasoned—would have set up a stumbling block that was not Christ. And so I kept silent.

Can a pastor’s wife say everything on her mind? No. Can she always dress the way she wants? No. Can she buy all the material goods her heart desires? No. Can she stay home from church events because, baby, it’s cold outside? No.

Is this a bad thing? No.

A pastor’s wife is never her own woman. She is Christ’s woman. And Christ has graciously joined his people together into a church partly for her sanctification. Insofar as the expectations of Christ’s body encourage me to decrease that Christ might increase (Jn. 3:30), insofar as they teach me to control self, insofar as they make me less like myself and more like my Savior, well, then, I am thankful.

Also in this series:


  1. What a thoughtful and convicting post that I believe applies to all of us as believers in Christ. We are all called to be accountable to Him and to His body the Church. Such wisdom.

  2. Fabulous post! Oh how I know this to be true. In my naivety some 20+ years ago I thought I was a pastors wife because of what I could offer the church (sheesh!) but obviously all these years later I see the church is the refining tool that God has and continues to use in my life.

    1. What great perspective-shift! We all need to remember that.

  3. Thank you for this encouragement Megan. It has taken me a long time, but I am seeing that it is okay for me to give up some of my passionate interests because they just don't fit in with our busy ministry life. It is just another of the ways being a missionary wife helps me to learn to die to self.

    1. Yes, that's an important angle as well. We are each limited by space and time and the priorities of our Lord.

  4. Very edifying thoughts here, Megan -- thank you!


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