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Pastors' Wives Retreat

Pastors' Wives Resource site provided by the Sunday School Discipleship Ministries International, a ministry of the Church of the Nazarene. We want to hear about your experiences, the lessons you’ve learned and how God’s Word and prayer supported and sustained you in the joys and challenges of parsonage life.

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But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses ... Act 1:8

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We want to hear about your experiences, the lessons you’ve learned and how God’s Word and prayer supported and sustained you in the joys and challenges of parsonage life.

All submissions will be reviewed before they are posted.

Called by Marriage? Called by God? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Patty Hambrick   

John 14:27, TLB. "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid."

In the last three weeks, sometimes with my husband, Ted, sometimes without, I have counseled a couple in a broken marriage, encouraged a student not to drop out of school, attended numerous committee meetings, taught Sunday school, worked in the nursery, supervised and organized “Children’s Day”, took my turn cleaning the church, visited the sick, counseled a pregnant young woman considering an abortion, comforted two mothers who lost custody of their children, sang in the choir, worship team and helped with children’s music, confronted a drug-using mother, counseled two families with children in jail, talked to my family about my father’s failing health, worked my full-time job, etc.  This is life as a ministry wife.

 Sure, I get tired.  Life is rewarding but it is hard.  Demands on my time and commitment to what I must do and would like to do are difficult.  But I have made a decision that blesses my soul. I believe I am “Called by God and Called by Marriage.”

This is the twentieth year anniversary of full-time ministry for Ted and me.  When we got married, I didn’t know he was called to ministry.  In fact, when he told me, I didn’t believe him. I thought he was having one of those crisis experiences where you say, “God, get me out of this and I’ll do anything, even preach.” When I finally realized, he really was “called,” I knew that God had called me, too.  Today I rejoice in our wonderful, challenging, exciting, difficult, adventurous, scary and precious ministry. 

Almost every time we have a difficult day, it involves miscommunication or misunderstandings in relationships within the church. In the midst of our most difficult time in ministry Ted called one Wednesday evening and said, “I’m not going to church tonight.  I’m not sure I’m ever going back.”   He told me what had just happened, and I had no idea how God was going to work it out. We were hurting, in deep pain, and needed a miracle.

Just then a call came that an unwed mother in our church had given birth to her baby.  We were so proud of the way our people had loved this young girl back into the church and back to the Lord.

Since we weren’t leading any of the numerous events that night, we went to the church dinner planning to “skip church”.  We tried to pull ourselves together so we could go to the hospital to see the baby and a woman who was dying. 

We visited the young mother on the third floor. The room was packed with many “Wednesday night church skippers.”  As we celebrated that new life Ted picked up the baby and prayed. As he prayed I must confess that I peeked at the sweet baby and looked around.  There wasn’t a dry eye. Afterwards, the girl’s father gestured proudly around the room and said, “This is my church family.”  We took pictures with our digital camera, hugged everyone and headed to the second floor.

As we visited the dying woman it seemed that every breath would be her last. We prayed with her just as her family came through the door.  We spoke words comforting them.  As we were leaving they asked about our camera. Ted showed them pictures of our new church baby.  The dying woman’s daughter said, “I guess there is something good happening, Pastor.”

When we got into our car Ted said, “Patty, God just did something special for me through that young mother and the dying woman.  He knew how I was hurting. It was just as though He said, ‘Ted, your calling is somewhere between the second and third floor; new life and death.’ Good things ARE happening in your ministry.  Be encouraged!”  That was a real turning point.

Things didn’t straighten out immediately, but God used those hospital scenes to remind us that our ministry was effective, He was in charge and that He would continue to see us through.

The next day Ted got up and went to the church, I got up and went to work. We counseled with another couple in a broken marriage, he met with a man whose wife wanted a divorce and…

Prayer:  Father, give us the wisdom to stay focused on You.

Thought for the Day: Regardless of what happens in our church or our lives God will take care of us when we know HIM, serve Him and are obedient to His call.

This article is adapted from Quiet Moments for Ministry Wives.

Dr. Patty Hambrick, professor, conference speaker, former faculty member at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Point Loma Nazarene University, now serves as Director of Academic Technology and Academic Grants at Charleston Southern University in Charleston, South Carolina.  She is married to Rev. Ted R. Hambrick, Pastor of Beaufort New Direction Church of the Nazarene and Missional Area Coordinator for Southeast South Carolina.



A note to Pastors' husbands –  

We welcome pastors’ husbands to visit this page and to provide insights into the needs and challenges you face. Let us know how we can minister to you and assist as you fulfill your supportive roles. Send your comments and suggestions to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Until then, we welcome you to join the discussions and provide resources on this site...Read More

Prayer support –

Each weekday, Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) meet for prayer. All requests will be presented to the staff, except those identified as confidential. We’ll pray for you, asking God to work and to extend grace and mercy...Read More

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