About the Author

Michelle Ami Reyes, PhD, is an author and activist. Her first book, Becoming All Things, is the recipient of the 2022 ECPA award. Michelle writes at the intersection of multiculturalism, faith, and justice. She lives with her family in Austin, Texas.

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Reader Interactions


  1. I am guilty of this! Our minister’s wife is very involved in leading the children’s ministry, women’s ministry, raising 4 kids and being the minister’s wife and also home schooling and teaching in a fusion school. So I know she is busy, but I need to reach out and minister to her. Thanks for this encouragement.

  2. Thank you for this post. It is very interesting. In my church, we have a female pastor and she has a husband. I wonder how he feels and how welcoming we are to him. They are a young family with a two year old. I always reach out to him in church. I need to make sure that our congregation (and myself) does a better job of reaching out. Thank you!

    • Yes, that’s a good question, Leslie! There certainly is a wide range of experiences when it comes to who is the pastor’s spouse. I can’t speak as specifically into the reality of a female pastor’s husband’s reality. I can only share my own slice of life. But yes, let’s keep asking these questions, so we can make this discussion as nuanced and complex as it needs to be!

  3. If there is one thing applicable in all areas of life, it is this; it is never safe to assume anything. This is a prime example. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  4. Great blog to encourage church members to reach out a befriend the pastor’s wife. A really simple way is to include her in a weekly (bi-weekly or monthly) lunch out on the town. But there is a word of warning. I am friends with our pastor’s wife, and know how guarded she was when they first came to our church, because of bad experiences at previous churches. Over time, she thought she had made a couple of close friends, and even let her guard down, divulging some personal issues she or the family was having. Nothing earth shattering, just a stressful problem, something we all experience. How sad it was when she was betrayed by other women who call themselves “sisters in Christ” and “friends”! Confidence was broken, her trust in the church family greatly bruised. Fortunately, she has thrived at our church and made great, true friends. And yes, a small group of us meet weekly for lunch in town, where we can laugh, express needs without fear of judgment, and be thankful for the wonderful people God put in our path.

    • Oh, Sharon, I completely understand! And I’ve been in that situation too. It’s so hard! I think just recognizing that pastor’s wives have this struggle humanizes them and keeps us gracious for what they can and cannot share publicly. But I absolutely love your idea — when women at church are getting together, make the effort to invite the pastor’s wife too! Love that!

  5. Michelle, this is very thought provoking. I have been friends with pastors’ wives in the past. However, I have never actually laid eyes on my current pastor’s wife. I assume she attends a different service from me. Or she is downstairs with the children. I know she exists because I see her on Facebook. But I will watch for possibilities.

  6. During the years I worked in TV ministry, I witnessed firsthand how overlooked a pastor’s wife could be. This is especially true, if her pastor husband is working crushing hours trying to fulfill the constant demands of church members. I was also surprised by the unrealistic expectations often placed on a pastor’s wife and her children to be perfect human beings when all of us as God’s children are flawed and in need of a Savior. Addressing these unrealistic congregant expectations became the catalyst for me to write my inspirational genre book, “Secrets of the Pastor’s Wife: A Novel” a few years ago. My goal was to create a sense of empathy and foster friendship for those precious women like yourself who are willing to embrace this challenging ministry role. Thanks for sharing your heart today. God bless you and your family, Michelle!

    • Christina, you hit the nail on the head! A pastor’s wife often feels overlooked. The more we understand this, along with (as you mentioned) the unrealistic expectations often placed on pastor’s wives, the more we can deconstruct those expectations and treat them like everyday, normal human beings <3

  7. As an adult, I worked at a Women’s Teen Challenge ministry. Our home church got a new Pastor.

    God asked me to give up one of my Days Off, & offer that day to the new Pastor’s wife for free, for whatever she needed. She had a toddler & a baby.

    I’d babysit her children if she needed to go shopping, have appointments, or just needed to get away from home.

    She took me up on it. A few times, she & the pastor went on dates. I loved watching her children. It was different than the ministry I did, with adult ladies in my job. So I didn’t miss that day off.

    She told me repeatedly, how much she appreciated knowing she could count on my help every Tuesday. It helped her from feeling so overwhelmed in a new community, where she knew so few people. I needed a friend too, & she became that friend.

  8. I quite agree. I was a pastor’s wife for many years, and got a lot of questions and comments that you mentioned. Thanks for writing about this.

  9. This is so real. The position that First Ladies have can be very lonely. And yes we long for the normal things. But for some reason we are seen not to be or desire what everyone else has. The stereotypes of a pastors wife keep people from trying to build relationships with us. Thank you for sharing, for your vulnerability. I know what that feels like. A pastors wife for 23 years.
    Blessings to you.

    • Hi Steph, thanks for sharing. I feel like you’re a kindred spirit already! Yes, so much of my heart in writing this article was to deconstruct that specific stereotype of the pastor’s wife. I pray my words encourage folks to see us as normal women in need of normal friendships!

  10. Michelle,

    It can be hard to get to know the pastor & his family in large churches. I attended a small Christian church for 18 years. I got to know both the pastor & his wife. We are still good friends. There were a few of us-pastor’s wife included that would go out to eat once a month. When her mom was moving down here I made a chicken pot pie & some bread to enjoy. After her mom died I made more food. We’ve been through ups & downs with our aging parents. I never once put her on a pedestal. I saw her as a regular woman who just happens to be a pastor’s wife.

    Blessings 🙂

  11. This article is so timely! I just had a conversation with someone who said, without any firsthand knowledge of my life/schedule, “I know you’re so busy.” How? How does she know that I’m busy? What conversation have we EVER had that leads to that conclusion? Not one!

  12. Amen! As a pastor’s wife, I resonate with this so much!!! I notice we live near each other! I’d love to meet up sometime