Front Row Seat: Engaging God’s Calling and People’s Expectations

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“Rejoice that we have a Savior who gets us and will see us through.” — Jani Ortlund

If someone asked you how you were doing as a pastor’s wife, you most likely wouldn’t respond with all the ways you’re “acing it.” Most of the time, as a pastor’s wife (and just as a human), we feel inadequate, like we’re not living up to certain expectations—whether it’s other people’s or our own. Finding that all-illusive balance of ministry, marriage, motherhood, and personal devotion can be challenging and discouraging. So how do we fight discouragement and pursue holiness instead?

Engaging God’s calling on our lives and responding to people’s expectations starts with admitting our need for Jesus. Jesus isn’t surprised by the challenges we face as pastors’ wives. He wants to carry us through those challenges and lift that heavy burden of striving. He isn’t standing in judgment, asking us why we aren’t measuring up to the pressures and expectations of others. Jesus sees, he’s with us, and he reminds us we can rely on his power to accomplish what we cannot on our own.

In this episode of Front Row Seat, Kristen Wetherell and Kari Olson talk with Jani Ortlund about how pastors’ wives can respond with wisdom and Christlikeness to the expectations of others and our own. This conversation aims to remind us we can rest in the grace and strength of Jesus—the only One who can do and be all things to all people.

Episode time stamps:

  • Kari’s own expectations as a pastor’s wife (00:00)
  • Discerning God’s expectations (2:04)
  • Introduction to Jani Ortlund (3:18)
  • The calling of a pastor’s wife (6:10)
  • The joys of being a pastor’s wife and family (11:09)
  • Challenges we face as pastors’ wives (15:33)
  • Loneliness as a pastor’s wife (16:23)
  • Jesus’s tender care for us in our challenges (19:06)
  • Finding rest in God’s Word (23:28)
  • Work heartily for the Lord and not for men (27:23)
  • Responding to expectations with wisdom (29:45)
  • Don’t be surprised that you’re a sinner (32:25)
  • How to prioritize ministry, marriage, and missions (36:18)
  • How to love your husband more than his ministry (40:34)
  • Final thoughts from Kristen and Kari (45:21)

Editors’ note: 

Visit the series page to watch more episodes of Front Row Seat and download a free reflection guide.