The Real Life of a Pastors Wife – Expectations

Writer Author  Filoiann Wiedenhoff
Christian Column : Encouragement  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer One of the hardest lessons I have learned as a pastors 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 usually don’t see.

I firmly believe my first and main ministry and role is to be a Godly daughter of the King, wife and mother to my husband and children and as far as ministry is concerned anything outside of that would be considered secondary ministries that I would do only if the Lord calls me to do them.

Unfortunately, slowly over time I allowed those expectations and perhaps the murmurings to affect me. I began to take on more and more responsibilities that I didn’t need and over time 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 unfortunately this led me to feel as though I needed to prove myself. 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; without hesitation I took on more and eventually I became over burdened and ill to the point I had no choice but to step back and rest. Have you ever experienced the feeling where you were striving in the flesh? The more you reached out your hand the deeper the emptiness you experienced? The Lord comforted me and spoke to my heart during that time and helped me to realize that God never required me to do all these things and that I chose to take them on myself.

God is so patient and gracious with 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 firmly but gently rebukes the church of Galatia in His letter because many were trying to justify themselves before God and men by requiring men to keep the law and observing certain traditions as part of their salvation 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 came to the humble realization that I needed to repent from walking in the flesh and strife in people pleasing and also from living under my own laws and expectations and to start walking in His peace and rest. I have made the conscience decision with God’s power to walk in His grace and His life that He now lives in me and through me. Through this experience I learned some valuable life lessons and I hope it will encourage someone else. Here they are as follows:

1. Live and seek to please God rather than people.
2. Focus on Him and not on self or others.
3. In Christ we don’t need to prove ourselves but live to please God with gratitude as a bondservant in love.
4. Apart from God we can do nothing.
5. Let go of unrealistic expectations and live in obedience to God’s Word.
6. Receive Christ and you will receive God’s grace as sufficient and rest in Him. There is nothing we can do to gain salvation because Jesus has already done it.

In reading this article do you find or perhaps someone you know struggles with people pleasing or doing works for salvation rather than resting on God’s un-merited favor and grace? 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, rest in His grace, walk in His Spirit and focus on Him you will be blessed.

I believe it is very important to remind ourselves from time to time that God’s grace is sufficient for us for His strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) When the Apostle Paul asked God to remove his thorn three times the Lord comforted Paul by telling Him that His grace was sufficient for him. He was also telling Paul that His grace was enough because that is what the definition for sufficient is – it is enough.

The question is…Is it enough for you? Truth be told; we can hear it, think it but the next questions is… do we really believe it? Or do you find yourself constantly trying to please God and people? Receive Christ and you will receive His grace and by faith believe Him through His Word when He says that His grace is sufficient for you because it truly is.

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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