I was recently asked this question by one of my friends and it was one of those things that I really had to learn a LOT (and am still learning!) about when I first became a pastor's wife. Her question was this:
"What do you think I need to know about being in a church planter's family [as a Pastor's wife] that I wouldn't necessarily know by having grown up in a pastor's home?"
Now, I have NO EXPERIENCE as a church planter's wife - but my mom is the wife of a church planter! But I WAS a Pastor's daughter (still am but you know what I mean!). The things I learned as a Pastor's kid was how to be a Pastor's kid. I had NO CLUE what it was like to be a Pastor's wife. Honestly, in my experience, being a Pastor's kid in NO WAY prepared me to be a Pastor's wife. The only advantages I think I've had so far were things like knowing that you have to buy the grape juice before communion!
Picture it this way. Remember when you were a babysitter as a teenager? Remember when you got pregnant for the first time and you thought - I was a babysitter and I know a lot about kids. I've changed diapers and I've given babies their bottles and I've tucked kids into bed and . . . the list goes on of all of the things that you learned how to do as a babysitter.
But then you became a mother. And all of a sudden EVERYTHING that you knew formerly about parenting no longer makes the complete sense it did! I will never forget bringing my oldest daughter home from the hospital. We were not there longer than five minutes when she began choking and coughing and sputtering. I was seconds away from calling an ambulance when all of a sudden she threw up a TON of amniotic fluid that was causing her to choke. Then she became completely happy and went right to sleep. I COMPLETELY broke down and was convinced that my child would not make it to see her first birthday! I thought for sure I was going to be the cause of her death!
The difference between being a babysitter and a mother is simple - who carries the ultimate responsibility for the child. The same is true for a Pastor's wife. The difference between being a pastor's kid and a Pastor's wife is you are there alongside your husband supporting and encouraging the man who holds the responsibility. You don't hold it yourself, but you do hold the man's hand who does carry the responsibility. It is a heavy burden that your pastor husband carries and often he will lean on his wife to help him carry the burden.
So in answer to your question - there is a LOT that you will need to learn but just like being a mother - you can't know what it's like until you're there. But it's not so woeful because just like becoming a new mother - God is right there helping and carrying you along.
In HIS Grip,