The Young Pastor’s Wife

By Dennis Wiggs

What a wonderful privilege to serve as the wife of a young preacher! His calling becomes your calling. As one flesh (Gen.2:24), you identify with him in the mammoth responsibilities of the ministry. In fact, the success or failure of the young preacher may rest in the influence of his mate.

Pray for Him Daily

Sounds trite, doesn’t it? But within prayer lies the power of ad young pastor. Pray for him daily when you have personal devotions. Write his name first in your prayer journal. Scribble his name in the flyleaf of your Bible to remind you to pray for him. Petition the Lord for special power and wisdom to rest upon your husband.

Tell Him You Pray

As you leave the car, just before walking into the church building, say, “Honey, I’m praying for you today.” When he leaves home for the study, remind him that you are praying for him. Place a note in his Bible promising your prayer support. Give a note to an usher to take to your husband just before he preaches.

Take Notes as He Preaches

You may hear the same illustrations, outlines, and applications over and over again. But by all means give your husband your undivided attention. Don’t take your eyes off him, unless you develop a habit of taking notes when he preaches. In a notebook about the size of your Bible, record the date, place, text, and outline of his sermons. This will keep your mind occupied.

Even while you take notes, however, give your husband your attention. Some in the congregation sleep, talk, chew gum, clip fingernails, walk in and out, look at their watch, and pay little attention to the young pastor. You should not be guilty of anything that would rob him of preaching in spiritual power. Try to be engulfed in his message.

Listen to Him Sound Off

The only person in the congregation who does not have a pastor is the pastor. Often the wife becomes a sounding board. Not an easy job! But the young preacher needs someone with whom to talk—to express his disappointments or encouragements, to share his burdens. It is best to listen without comment. Refrain from comments that would stifle his feelings.

Do not harbor bad attitudes toward those in the congregation who cause your husband/pastor to “cry on your shoulder.” Just listen! Be calm and do not jump to conclusions. Remember that the man talking to you may not have anyone else to share his burden, problems and vision.

Refrain From Gossip

Everything a pastor tells his wife should be kept private. Never share with other church members what you learn in confidence. Anything shared with a church member, or even a family member, may be passed along to others and blown out of proportion. A gossiping young preacher’s wife can destroy her husband’s ministry. She must learn to deIiver good news and squelch the bad.

Love Your Husband

Write him love notes. When he goes to preach in another church, put a note in his suitcase that reads, “Honey, l love you.” Place a note in his shirt pocket stating, “My heart is next to your heart. I love you.” Occasionally tape a note on the bathroom mirror expressing your love for him. The young preacher needs this encouragement from the one who understands him better than anyone else.

Be Faithful

In an age of infidelity, always be true to your husband. Never give him reason to suspect your loyalty to your marriage vows. Set the example in the church congregation of devotion to your husband. Hold his hand in public. Treat him with utmost respect. Sit close to him in the church pew when another preacher is preaching. Stand at the door with him when he shakes hands, unless small children demand otherwise.

Meet your husband’s needs. The young preacher who finds love, peace and happiness in his home will be better able to conduct a public ministry among many who don’t have those blessings in their home.

Enjoy the Ministry

Pray for the ability to be an effective preacher’s wife. Underline the instructions in Proverbs on how to accomplish this. Find materials or conferences that may equip you to serve with your young preacher/husband more successfully. Major on enhancing his ministry and serve hand-in-hand with your husband.

About the Writer: Dennis Wiggs retired in 2004 after many years in ministry.

Adapted from Contact magazine, July 1998.