How does a pastor’s wife battle loneliness?

As I am in the midst of reading and editing my wife’s contribution to our upcoming book, so I thought I would throw a few nuggets of excellent wisdom and insight from her as I read them.  Here are some very helpful words to pastor’s wives who often find themselves struggling with loneliness:

I went to lunch with one of our church members one day.  Her husband was getting ready to take a senior pastor position and she was asking me questions.  She had made the comment about how she hadn’t been invited to very many peoples’ houses for lunch.  I chuckled and asked her how many houses she thought I had been invited to.  She was shocked that I had not been invited into every person’s home.  But the truth is I hadn’t been invited to visit very many at all at that point.

I am not bitter about this, in fact I understand it can be intimidating to think about inviting a family of 6 over to a small 2 bedroom apartment to eat.  But the reality is that people don’t typically make the effort to me that I do to them.  Now, that is not true for every church, and that is not true of our church now.  However, my point is that if we sit back and wait for others to make the effort with us we will always be lonely.

I am not an extrovert.  I am telling the truth when I say that I could sit in the corner of the sanctuary and be very content to just watch everybody.  However, that does not help me make friends with the women of our church.  The truth is that we have to approach them.  We have to be the ones to be deliberate about making relationships and working to sustain them.

We also need to cry out to God.  Our loneliness may be self-inflicted, but it may also be that God just has not provided that friend for this time of our life.  We must be content with our relationship with God.  He is a close friend, He is perfect friend, and He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  God is all-compassionate, all-knowing, and all-present.  If Christ is not sufficient for us then no relationship on earth will be either.

The last thing we have to do is to be patient.  Deep, lasting friendships are not built overnight.  They take time and investment.  They take patience, honesty, vulnerability and forgiveness.  And they may not be many.  We may only have one or two really close friends.  However, even then we need to recognize the kind gift of God that those friendships are and thank Him, even for one.

Stay tuned pastor’s wives…there is more where that came from.

Posted in Battling Sin, Home and Family
7 comments on “How does a pastor’s wife battle loneliness?
  1. Anita Alexander says:

    On the flip side of this, I love inviting over my Pastor and his wife but i soon find out how much they express how busy they are. I think the straight forward approach would be best. Simply say I want to get to know you guys better please invite me over.

    • Anita,

      That might seem to you more strait forward, but the truth is that it is considered rude by many (myself included) to invite one’s self over for dinner at someone else’s home. The alternative is to invite everyone over to your place which can prove wearisome to your wife and painful on your wallet. Some might be fine with me inviting myself over to their house for dinner, but undoubtedly some, if not many would find it rude.

      • briancroft says:

        I think you misunderstood what my wife was saying. We need to be assertive about building relationships, not invite ourselves to people’s homes for dinner.

  2. M Thorp says:

    As a realitively new “pastor’s wife” who relocated interstate for the role, I could really identify with the thoughts shared here. Particularly the point about “if we sit back waiting for the invitations we could be waiting a long time”. However, I also agree that being the person to initiate all the time can be wearisome and sometimes discouraging. I appreciated the wisdom and encouragement to be deliberate in relationship building…and the reminder that deep lasting friendships take time. Thank you.

  3. Laura says:

    Great stuff – looking forward to the next installment. This ministry family would love to have you guys over next time (or maybe first time?) you are in New Zealand! 🙂

  4. Just me says:

    I have been a pastors wife for 20 years. Started several churches from the ground up and lived as missionaries overseas. I have never had a close friend the entire time. I have had God bring people in to minister at crucial times. But never had a friend to just let my hair down and be myself. Someone to unburden my heart or just go shopping with and not worry that each item is being scrutinized. Its lonely. Its hard. Some days are harder than others. I get tired at times of always being the one to have to reach out or have all the answers or “watched”. I pray all the time for a good close friend. It just hasn’t happened. So I just keep on doing what I know God would have me do. Some days I just need to have a good cry and keep going. But the great reward of my life is seeing lives changed, healed, restored, redeemed. Makes it all worth it.

4 Pings/Trackbacks for "How does a pastor’s wife battle loneliness?"
  1. […] How does a Pastor’s Wife Battle Loneliness – Brian Croft talks about this issue. […]

  2. […] Croft with some helpful insights on a pastor’s wife’s battle against loneliness and pastor’s children’s battle against resentment. Brian is hard at work on a book on […]

  3. […] How does a pastor’s wife battle loneliness? Brian Croft, pastor and author, shares an oft-ignored issue in ministry. […]

  4. […] Brian and Cara Croft  (site Practical Shepherding) How can a pastor’s wife encourage her husband’s efforts to shepherd their children? What essential advice do you give to a new pastor’s wife? What are the struggles of being a pastor’s wife? How does a pastor’s wife care for her husband when he is attacked? How much does a pastor share with his wife in regard to confidential matters? What is the most helpful kind of wife for a pastor? How should a pastor’s wife respond when she is complimented about her husband’s sermon? How does a pastor’s wife battle loneliness? […]

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