Prepared for the Parsonage

I’m not a pastor’s kid. I graduated from a non-WELS high school. I’m not from the Midwest, and I’m an introvert. So, as I consider my recent transition to the parish life, I’m asking myself, “Did anything prepare me to be a pastor’s wife?” My gut reaction is, “No, nothing can really prepare you for this!” But there is something that has helped me. I’ve learned to stay connected—to my husband, to church, to other pastors’ wives, and to my Savior.

Staying connected to your husband is a given for all wives, but in the past few years my husband and I have seen more and more the importance of nurturing our relationship. During vicar year, I had a bit of a trial run with being a pastor’s wife, and we learned to communicate better with each other and be more intentional with our time together. I also learned to adjust my expectations of him—of his free time, what he was able to share with me, etc. There were some growing pains, certainly, but I get to see how much of a blessing he is to the people he serves. And I get to discover how I can be a blessing to those people too!

Here is something I have heard that has really stuck with me: your role as the pastor’s wife is not a called position. As a member of the church, I can look to serve in ways that fit my God-given abilities, time, and interests. One thing that helped me was being actively involved in church before ever marrying a pastor. At my home congregation and through mission trips in high school and college, I discovered the joy of working with kids and leading singing in worship. I was challenged by my parents and other mentors to push beyond my comfort zone and embrace activities like canvassing. Being an active church member not only helped me appreciate my future church members’ perspective, but it also gave me the chance to get to know the wives of pastors and see how they serve.

The most practical help I’ve received has come through my connection to other pastors’ wives. They can be an invaluable source of emotional and spiritual support. I have been blessed to know and be inspired by my best friend’s mom, my mother-in-law, the pastor’s wife during my husband’s vicar year, and wonderful friends who are married to pastors. There are so many amazing women to connect with who are either currently experiencing the same joys and woes or have many more years of wisdom to share.

Most importantly, I know I need to stay connected to my Savior. Getting to know our congregation, I have found new motivation to be in the Word consistently, in both group and private settings. I can be a spiritual support for my husband, whether it is in helping him face challenges or just helping him bounce around sermon ideas. I can be a spiritual encourager and leader for other women in the congregation. I can be a faithful witness at my workplace or at the gym. I can be a faithful witness at my workplace or at the gym. In whatever I face in my role as a pastor’s wife, I know I can go to my God in his Word for peace.

I’ve learned that being a pastor’s wife doesn’t mean I have to be involved in everything. It doesn’t mean I am a mediator between members and my husband. It doesn’t mean I must have perfectly-behaved children. Instead, I aim to fulfill all my God-given vocations to the best of my ability. I aim to love and support my husband the best I can and ask him to do the same for me. I will look for ways to serve, both in the church and in the community. God has equipped each of us with unique gifts, and they will all be useful for growing his kingdom!

Megan Plocher’s husband Micah is pastor at Trinity, Nicollet, Minnesota.