By Dennis Wiggs
A good wife is the most important ingredient to a good ministry. A young pastor’s ministry will be greatly affected by his wife. She will either be a blessing or a curse. Permit me to speak directly to the young pastor’s wife.
Proverbs declares, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” and “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord.”
Young lady, you are becoming accustomed to living in the glass house of the church, often called a parsonage. Quite a challenge! But being a vital part of your husband’s ministry can be a daily blessing that produces eternal rewards. Here are a few suggestions.
Learn the Value of Silence
Talking too much can be detrimental to your husband’s successful ministry. Remember that almost everything (if not everything) you say will be repeated. People just love to hear something—especially if it is bad—and tell someone else. Church members will lose respect for the pastor if his wife relates personal matters that should be kept private. What happens in the parsonage should stay in the parsonage!
Furthermore, the wife must be extremely careful how she speaks about other church members. The old rule remains true. If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all!
Practice Ephesians 5 and submit to your preacher-husband. He should love you as the queen. You should love and respect him as the king. Church members are watching. The manner in which the pastor and his wife teat each other publically goes a long ways toward influencing other young couples.
Your husband desperately needs your prayers. While he is preparing sermons, pray for him. When he is visiting, call his name before the Lord. As he preaches, petition the Lord for His power to fall upon the one you love. Tell him as you walk into the church door, “Honey, I’m praying for you today.” Write short notes, assuring him of your prayer support. Very few will pray for the man of God. His wife should.
When the young preacher faces an unfriendly church board, listen to your husband vent his feelings (without comment). Yes, he will make mistakes, but don’t rebuke him. That’s the last thing he needs. When the situation calms down, then, and only then, ask him if you can discuss the matter and offer your suggestions or evaluation.
The young preacher will be attacked. His wife is not called to form a battalion and declare war upon the accusers. Better to pray for him. Assure your loved one with kind words of support. Quietly undergird your husband with the utmost support.
Male church members (or men at the office) may come at you with deliberate intent. Don’t give them the time of the day. Yes, be friendly, smile, and dress neatly and modestly. But never, never leave the door cracked for a sexual advances. Men will repress their intentions if the woman keeps herself holy and free of intimate settings.
Brag on your husband. Be by his side as much as possible. Introduce him to every man with whom you work. Always give the impression you are happily married, committed to the Lord, satisfied with the church, and deeply in love with the man of your life.
The Lord anoints the young pastor’s wife with special spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities. She should not spread herself too thin, but by all means devote her time to that which she does well. Participate in church activities. Set the example.
A young pastor’s wife will often spend more time with teens and children. That’s good. But don’t neglect the older members of the congregation. A smiling, hand-shaking young pastor’s wife who shares kind words, will go a long ways in assisting her husband minister effectively to the entire congregation.
About the Writer: Dennis Wiggs retired in 2004 after many years in ministry.
Adapted from Contact magazine, June 2000.