There are many things to consider when entering a relationship with a pastor… How will your life be affected? What will your roles and responsibilities be like within the church? Will it be a happy, blessed adventure or will it be one of sacrifice and hardships?
In this article, we look at the pros and cons of dating or marrying a pastor, things you should keep in mind, and what your future roles and responsibilities might look like.
We hope this article gives you a well-rounded outline of what it takes to date and marry someone in the ministry.
Table of Contents
For someone with a religious inclination, there are many pros and blessings that come with dating a pastor. We have outlined a few below.
If you’re wanting to develop a closeness with God, within Christianity of course, then dating a pastor will certainly aid you on that journey. You’ll be exposed to a host of mentoring, education, and continued guidance from one of God’s chosen people.
Being a pastor’s wife is a highly revered position within a church. Many will look up to you and seek your advice and guidance. Many of these people will also become close friends.
One thing is for sure, if you become a pastor’s wife (or first lady, as it’s often referred to) you’ll have a large group of friends who you can rely on for support, laughter, and spiritual growth.
There are few things as beautiful and as fulfilling as serving others. As a pastor’s wife, it’ll be expected of you to help serve your church and your community. What a blessing.
However, you should make sure you’re naturally someone who loves people, your church, and your husband/boyfriend’s calling. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, you may begin to see the church as a burden and the people will sense that.
Your personal life and your marriage will be governed by good principles that’ll help build a happy, honest, strong relationship together.
Based on the teachings of the Bible, pastors (and Christians) are encouraged to treat each other with kindness, forgiveness, and compassion. Pastors strongly frown upon adultery, so rest assured your man won’t be cheating on you. All forms of violence and abuse are also an offense to God, so pastor’s shouldn’t display any such behavior.
Sounds to us like you’re in good hands!
Through friendship, prayer, meals, time, and talent you’ll always have support from the church and its members. As a pastor’s wife, you’ll be taken care of as much as you’ll be expected to be a support to others.
According to Christianity, being a minister’s wife is a calling. Something you are chosen to do by God. If this is your calling you will be cared for and protected by the Lord.
Being a pastor’s wife gives you a front-row seat of sorts. You’re able to watch as people, and the congregation, grow from strength to strength, develop strong relationships with God, and are blessed through prayer and service.
There are so many feel-good factors about this. Watching all of this positivity unfold is bound to make you feel blessed and positive.
Unfortunately, as with all relationships, there are some challenges that come hand-in-hand with dating a pastor. For one, his career will always take center stage, that’s something you will need to get used to. Below, we look at some of the other cons that come with the territory.
Sexual temptations are one of the challenges of dating a pastor. The Bible advocates that sex should be preserved until after you’re married. Sex before marriage is seen as a sin. However, having a pastor boyfriend doesn’t mean you won’t be faced with the same temptations everyone else is faced with in the dating world.
The temptation to have sex ASAP will still be high, especially if the two of you have amazing chemistry. Christians believe that through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you’ll be able to resist these temptations until you’re married.
Many pastors prefer keeping their relationship a secret until the two of you are married, or at least engaged, that is. Don’t be offended if he hasn’t posted photos of you all over his social media, or introduced you to all his friends and family from the get-go. It is completely normal for pastors to want to keep their dating life a secret until “I do”.
Pastors regard relationships as sacred and introducing their life partner to the congregation is a serious, sacred commitment that he won’t want to take lightly. It’s not a good look for a spiritual leader to introduce girlfriend after girlfriend to the congregation he’s serving, so he’ll wait until he’s found the one.
As your relationship grows and strengthens, this line may become more and more blurred. Knowing someone extremely well means you also know their weaknesses (and their strengths, of course).
It’s important to keep in mind that the pastor you’re in a relationship with or married to is still human with many imperfections. Don’t let these imperfections taint the way you see him and respect him as a minister.
It’s also important not to let his role as mentor cause a power struggle between the two of you. You will each have important roles within your relationship that should be looked up to and respected.
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Marrying a pastor does not mean you will necessarily live a life of glitz and glam. Although you will be taken care of through church funding, there may be some lean years where you will have to learn to budget and live modestly.
Your husband is likely to be working and serving early mornings, late nights, and long hours, in fact, all hours. It’s something you will need to get used to. Members of the congregation will call on him at all hours of the day and night and he will be expected to answer.
Although the two of you can come to some sort of compromise here, this is something you should factor into your considerations when dating or marrying a pastor.
You will want to make sure you and your future husband hold the same beliefs and convictions. If you don’t attend the same church there might be minor differences in the way you interpret certain things but, overall, your beliefs about God, The Bible, Christianity, family values, marriage, and the doctrine should be the same.
If you’re dating a pastor, having fundamental differences in religious beliefs is sure to cause an issue at some point. Make sure you’re on the same page from the get-go.
There are many reasons pastors' wives feel lonely, including:
If your husband is called to serve in pastoral ministry, he will serve and pray for men, women, and children alike. He will spend one-on-one time with many women, seeing to their needs and providing guidance and counsel to them.
It’s important that you keep your jealousy in check in your marriage/relationship so that rifts are not caused between your husband/pastor and the people he’s serving.
If you’re feeling insecure for one reason or another, talk to your husband and pray about it. Ministry, as well as marriage, requires understanding, compromise, and forgiveness.
Simply because you’re the pastor’s wife doesn’t mean you now need to oversee more roles and responsibilities within the church. Many suggest sticking to the responsibilities you had before the two of you got into a relationship.
Being married to a pastor means you might hear of issues others in the church are dealing with and sins they may have committed. It’s important that you’re able to keep this kind of information to yourself and don’t gossip about any of it to anyone.
Gossiping about such deeply personal issues will break the trust between the pastor and his organization, which can have many harmful long-term effects on the church.
If you want to date pastors, keep in mind that they consider almost all dating a serious affair. Many pastors will only enter into relationships with people they can imagine/envision getting married to.
If you’re looking for something fun and casual with no strings attached, dating one of these men is not for you.
Keep in mind that it’s important to marry someone whose values align with yours. Just because you’re dating a single pastor, or hoping to get married to one, doesn’t mean your values and outlook on life and religion will automatically align.
Talk to your partner/boyfriend about their values and beliefs and listen attentively to their answers. If your values don’t align, try to find a level of compromise where you’re both happy. Alternatively, move on.
Whether or not you have an official role of ministry within your church doesn’t matter, you will still have responsibilities, no doubt. Some of the responsibilities you might oversee include:
This includes teaching and showing by example, what it takes to be a good, Godly, mother and wife and how to uphold strong morals and principles.
From time to time you might be expected to open up your home to others within the church and community, especially when it comes to church-related gatherings.
You might be asked to work in the church, serve others, or serve in the ministry. Keep in mind, if you are asked to work in the church, you also have the right to be paid.
As a first lady or wife to the minister, many will look to you for guidance and service within the church and its surrounding community. Serving others will bless your life and uplift your spirits in ways you might not expect.
You will have a massive role to play in supporting your husband as he tirelessly leads the church. You will see him exhausted, stressed, and worried about members of the church, and about his own things, and you will need to be his shoulder to lean on.
You might be asked to pray with him from time to time and even to assist him in certain duties. One of the challenges of being a pastor’s wife is that you may feel like you live in his shadow, with many people in the church never giving recognition to your role and efforts behind the scenes.
Yes, a pastor can have a girlfriend. However, keep in mind that most pastors will be dating to look for a wife. Pastors are not likely to jump from one girlfriend to the next or date around just for fun. Relationships are considered sacred by these men and a girlfriend is a serious title to hold when dating a minister.
There are many ways you can show a pastor love. Words of affirmation are a great way to show love, care and appreciation. You can also buy small gifts to thank him for his service. Praying for a pastor, acts of service or handwritten notes are some of the other ways you can show love and appreciation.
No! You absolutely do not need to feel obliged to marry him, or anyone else for that matter, just because the two of you are dating. Pastors are still people at the end of the day and if your values, beliefs, wants, and needs don’t align, don’t feel pressured into getting married.
Also, don’t assume that just because you’re the youth pastor's girlfriend that you’re going to get married. Don’t put too many expectations on your relationship. Take the time you date to figure out whether or not you’re truly suited for each other.
Dating a pastor comes with many pros and cons that one wouldn’t necessarily need to consider in other relationships. Spend time going through the above-mentioned factors if you’re interested in dating a pastor and seriously consider whether or not having a husband in this calling will work for you.
When you marry a pastor, you also marry their calling. Church duties are always going to take priority in their lives - it’s not like every other job where you quit when you want. This is a life calling.
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