Being A Pastor’s Wife by Nancy Arrowood
When did you first feel the call of God on your life for ministry?
The Lord gives us the desires of our hearts, and I wanted to marry a preacher from the time I was 10 years old. My parents weren’t in church at that time. I compared their lives with my pastor’s. I wanted a life like he and his family shared. I guess you could say that I fell in love with the ministry at a young age.
What steps did you take as a young person to grow in the Lord?
My pastor told me to read a chapter a day in my Bible and to pray every day when I was 10. Those things just became a habit. I tried to never miss church and the good saints of my home church carted me back and forth very faithfully. Later, I went to Apostolic Bible Institute. That was the right place for me to learn and also to find my husband. He was a man following hard after God. Daily, I observed his commitment and dedication. He was never late for classes or missed any classes. He was diligent with his studies and church attendance. He worked a job and kept his school bill paid. All those things impressed me. I believe looking for a husband with these qualities was key in my being in ministry today.
When and where did you and Bro. Arrowood first pastor?
We assisted three pastors out of Bible college. We learned a lot. We began pastoring in Frankfort, Indiana when my husband was 29.
What were your expectations of being a pastor’s wife and were they correct?
I felt I wasn’t qualified because of my limited musical ability. I decided to try teaching. I loved it. I determined to teach every age group for at least three months. I thought then that I could be understanding of each age and assist our teachers in reaching the children in their classes. It was a joyful endeavor. Four-year-olds were the most challenging. It took six months with that group for me. However by then, I felt such a love and connection with that age group that it was difficult to go to another. As the years have passed I think the most important thing I can do for my husband, myself, and my church is to pray. I was wrong in the beginning to think I had to be musically inclined.
What would you say are some of the most important qualities that a pastor’s wife should have?
Number one is to love the Lord with your whole heart. Secondly, love people. No one should be in ministry who doesn’t love people. I believe loving people/children is the bedrock of successful teaching. If you love them, you will find a way to help them.
What is the key to balancing church and home?
It is something that has to be worked at, sometimes daily. It is so easy to be guilt-ridden all the time. We can never do enough, it seems. So especially now I have to be realistic about what I can handle and pace myself. It is a great blessing to me that my husband is affirming and understanding. He reminds me that we are in this for the long haul and not a weekend trip. We have been in ministry together 42 years.
What does an average day look like for you as a pastor’s wife?
I like to rise early and do the most important thing first – prayer and Bible reading. The whole day is so much sweeter, no matter the activities, if I start the day right. There is peace on my pillow at night that way too. I love being available to people. I especially enjoy being with our younger ministers and wives. I work at the church office several days a week. With our day care and school it is a beehive of activity. It is fun. I love it.
What advice would you give to a young pastor’s wife?
I believe a pastor’s wife’s first responsibility is to take excellent care of her husband. “No squabbles on the way to church” is a good rule. Protect him as much as possible from any appearance of evil. Guard him from foolish women who have no clue about propriety. Make your home a place of order, peace and joy. Give him a refuge to retreat to. Take care of his physical needs so he isn’t as vulnerable to the devices of the enemy. Love the ministry and don’t be jealous of the attention he must give to others. See yourself as a priceless part of your husband’s success. Don’t be in competition with him. Every accolade he receives is attributed to you too.
Have you ever written any books and if so, please tell us about them?
I do prayer journaling almost daily. So I have stacks of journals, if those count. I have written one small book to encourage others to journal entitled Consider the Lilies. It shares my journey of personal thoughts, feelings and prayers, with the goal of leading other ladies to journal also. Each example was selected with a specific type of prayer in mind. I begin my personal devotion time with scripture reading. While reading I look for a scripture or thought that I can apply to my life or use to understand God better. In my meditation I record thoughts in my prayer journal. Following that, I pray, often incorporating what I have studied in my prayer. I also record many of my prayers, which forces me to focus completely on what I am saying. Through this exercise my devotion time has been greatly enhanced. I pray all who read my journal will seek to obtain a better understanding of the God they love and serve.