The Real Life of a Pastors Wife – Expectations

Writer Author  Filoiann Wiedenhoff
Christian Column : Christian Living  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer One of the hardest lessons I have learned as a pastor’s wife was the invisible but true reality of having expectations. Expectations that come from the outside such as; family members, church members and friends but also from the inside; the internal expectations one puts on themselves. I’m not sure which one is more harmful but I can assure you from my own experience, they both can be very damaging to your personal walk and relationship with God if you allow expectations to dominate or overwhelm your life.

So how do I handle these expectations? At first, I didn’t handle it well at all. In fact to be honest, I handled it wrong. There were times I felt people looked at me as though I didn’t do enough and to make it worse one person actually asked me what did I do? As if caring and supporting my husband in the church and taking care of my two children were not enough. I also serve in other ministries that mostly take place behind the scenes that people don’t see. Personally, I believe my first and main ministry and role is be a wife and mother to my husband and children and outside of that are considered secondary ministries that I do only if the Lord calls me to do them.

Unfortunately, slowly over time I allowed those expectations to get to me. I began to take on more and more responsibilities and it seemed as though the more I did the worse I felt. I became weary and burnt out and before I knew it I was overwhelmed.

It was then that I realized that I had allowed my own expectations and the expectations of others to affect me in such a way that I found myself being consumed by what others were thinking of me and it led to me feeling the need to prove myself. Even though in my heart - I knew better. My husband and I are firm believers in Christ’s grace through faith and not by works that no man should boast. So why did I struggle and go through all this?

I became a people pleaser pure and simple. In spite of the fact that I knew I was already doing too much as it was; I still took on more and eventually I needed to step back and rest. The Lord spoke to my heart during that time and showed me that He did not require me to do all these things and that I chose to take them on myself.

He gently chastened me in love and sat me back to my original role as a daughter of God, a wife to my husband and mother to my children. Once I humbled myself, stepped back by faith and rested; the peace of God overwhelmed me. God is so patient, faithful and gracious upon His children. He will allow us to strive in our own power and our own strength until we finally come to the realization that apart from Him we can do nothing.

In the book of Galatians, Paul rebukes the church of Galatia because they were trying to justify themselves by doing works of the law before men rather than embracing the grace they were given by faith through Jesus Christ. He boldly told them that as long as they sought to please men they could not be a servant of God. Paul encouraged them that Christ had set them free from the law and they were no longer under the law that condemns but now they were under grace.

“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10-NKJV

I learned some valuable lessons from this experience and I hope it will encourage someone else. Here it is:

1. Live and seek to please God rather than people.
2. Focus on Him and not on self or others.
3. Apart from God we can do nothing.
4. Let go of unrealistic expectations and live in obedience to God’s Word.

I hope this encourages any of you who may struggle with people pleasing or living under expectations to know that God is for you and desires that you put Him first and when you seek to please Him and not focus on everyone else; not even your selves you will be blessed. I also learned that I needed to drop unrealistic expectations. The expectations that I place on my self or the ones that come from other people. These worries and concerns only lead to striving and self-condemnation which can, unknowingly, put you back under the law like the Galatians rather than living under grace.

Again, I encourage you to stay focused on seeking and pleasing God and you will be blessed. We can rejoice and be glad for He who the Son sets free is free indeed!

About the Author
Filoiann Wiedenhoff is a ministers wife, bible teacher and author. You can visit her website at

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