Is it a sin for a pastor’s wife to go out to work?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Occasionally I get mailings or see advertisements for events that the organisers believe will be helpful for my wife. However, she cannot attend them, so they aren’t much use.  Why? Well because those events are set up to run during the working day.  I suppose that some ministry wives might be able to get some time off of work but that isn’t guaranteed, especially in certain professions such as teaching.

The wives of pastors and elders often find themselves in a challenging and lonely position.  It is good that organisations recognise that and are seeking to help.  However, if they want to do this well, then they need to take account of the fact that in our modern world, many spouses are working. 

Too often, the assumption seems to be that the pastor’s wife will stay at home and indeed, given that childcare is a busy role in itself, I think it risks also implying that she is in effect the pastor’s assistant, that the church have got two workers for the price of one.

And the cultural implication can at times seem to be that it is almost a sin for the pastor’s wife to be in paid employment.

Now, there are no easy wins here.  It is also true that whenever something is put on that it will be challenging and costly for some to attend.  However, some thought and care about how we look after working elders’ wives wouldn’t go amiss.

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