Lessons from a Young Pastor’s Wife ft. Maple Alps

Amanda and I connected on Facebook and we decided to swap some interview questions. You can check out mine here! But after learning a little bit more about her, I wanted to ask questions that secretly came from my selfish desires, unbeknownst to her. Read her lessons about being a pastor’s wife. They completely blessed me and I know they will bless you too! Especially if you married young.

1. Tell me about yourself and how you and your husband met.

Hello! My name is Amanda and I’m excited to be here! To put myself in a nutshell: I love Jesus, my husband, traveling, succulents, algebra (weird, right?), and snail mail. My favourite colour is mint green, and I spell “favourite” and “colour” with a ‘u’ because I’m Canadian. I’m a pastor’s wife, an elementary school teacher, and blogger over at Maple Alps, where I write about faith and intentional living in all aspects.

My husband and I met in the beautiful country of Austria when I was studying abroad. He was actually one of the first people I met after arriving on campus and took it upon himself to show me how the cafeteria worked (which was good since I didn’t know a lick of German then). To make a very long story short, a year and a half after meeting, we ended up starting an intentional friendship which led to long distance dating. After over 3 years of that, we got married and have been happily married for 2 years now.

I would have never thought from that first meeting that we would one day share the same last name!

2. Were there challenges marrying young? If so, what are they? What are the benefits?

I guess the biggest challenge was our stage of life at the time. I had just finished a graduate program and he had completed a year of voluntary service. That, of course, meant we were totally broke. Our wedding was inexpensive and simple, but by the time we payed for it and our move (to a new country!), we were down to zero in our bank accounts. What a great day when we got our first paycheque!

Benefits? Hmm. I think the best benefit was spending our young life together before getting set in our ways. Instead of starting our lives separately and getting grounded in our own habits before getting married, we have been able to do that and grow together. It’s a seriously awesome thing when we look back and see how we’ve grown as individuals in Christ and as a couple since we first started our relationship.

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3. Are there times when you come second to ministry? If so, how do you handle that?

Before we got married, I had to brace myself for the reality that a pastor’s life is crazy at times. I sought counsel from seasoned pastor’s wives and other wives in ministry and asked how they handled it as well. My husband comes from a pastoral family too and was aware of the potential times this could happen.

So are there times I come second to ministry? So far, no – I wouldn’t say so. I would say, however, that there are definitely times when ministry alters our plans greatly, but I am learning to be flexible, patient, selfless and supportive rather than be frustrated or complain. My husband is great at giving gentle reminders that sometimes situations are out of his hands, and does everything in his power to create compromises and makes ample time for me. It helps so much that we are on the same page in this regard. I know wives who have suffered because their husbands are so busy ministering to others. We hold to counsel received that ministering to our home and family should come first.

4. For women who are engaged or married young, what advice do you have for them?

First, be secure with who you are in Christ before binding yourself with another human being. Getting married will not complete you as a person. Only God can fill the empty gaps and solve the issues in our lives. Remember to keep Him as your first priority.

Second, remember, you are marrying a sinner like yourself. There is no perfect, sinless person and everyone makes mistakes – yes, even you!

Finally, start creating good habits now, such as learning to properly deal with (and save) money, eating healthy, and setting the tone for a successful marriage. Things like this will go far, and it’s best to start practicing good habits as early as you can!

[bctt tweet=”Be secure with who you are in Christ before binding yourself with another human being.” via=”no”]

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5. For women who are engaged or dating someone in ministry, what advice do you have for them?

This is hard! I guess I’ll boil it down to three things:

  1. Really search yourself and ultimately seek God’s will in your situation. Figure out how you can best support and contribute to the ministry. As I’ve had to do and mentioned earlier, pray for help in learning to be flexible, patient, selfless and supportive rather than be frustrated or complain when things get hard.
  2. Please, for your sake, do not over-complicate things. Yes, there may be certain expectations from you as a pastor’s spouse, but be yourself. The world has changed a lot over the years and there are more things pastor’s wives can offer than just playing the piano and baking the best casseroles. Learn how to say no and as I mentioned, figure out your talents and how you as an individual can contribute. That being said, there may be things you want to improve on or learn, and that is fine and great too! Just be yourself, and don’t be too discouraged when you can’t make everyone happy. Yes, when. We can’t please everyone, and that is okay.
  3. Find someone (other than your other half) in whom you can confide in and talk to; someone who understands your situation. This will go a long way and will really help your sanity. If you can’t think of anyone, you can always reach out to me too!

[bctt tweet=”We can’t please everyone, and that is okay.” via=”no”]

6. What are some practical ways that women can support and encourage their husbands?

Most importantly, pray for your husbands! Our husbands need to be covered with prayer as we “wrestle not against flesh and blood.

Another practical way to support and encourage your husband is to find something to be grateful about him every day – and be sure tell him about it. There is not much more a man loves than to know he is appreciated, respected, and loved by his wife. This will also make you happier, for when you dwell on the positive, your relationship will flourish.

Man, wise and convicting words! Thank you, Amanda! Relatedly, this post may also be helpful to you too, but I’ve got some reflective questions that will help those of you who married young or are a pastor’s wife. Grab it down below!

Meet Hanha!

Hanha Parham is a Christian author and speaker. Her personal mission is to help woman overcome fear and self-doubt so that they can confidently believe who God has called them to be. She holds a Masters in Divinity with a concentration in pastoral counseling and is currently pursuing her PhD in Christian leadership. Hanha has published two books, Jesus is Bae and The Confessions Project and she is passionate about teaching, equipping, and discipling the body of Christ. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she loves spending time with loved ones or exploring new coffee shops. 

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