Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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The Preacher's Wife

  • Jim Townsley
  • Feb 1, 2010

This article is intended to be read primarily by the preacher's wife. My intention in writing this article is to be helpful and encouraging to one of the most important leaders in the church, the pastor's wife. My wife will review this article and I'm sure her suggestions will be helpful; however I am writing this article from my point of view, as a pastor and leader of the church.

I have pastored the same church for thirty-four years. In some ways it seems I am just beginning and that I am still learning many basic skills of being a godly pastor. Yet, in another way, I have been in the ministry long enough to observe the ups and downs of fellow preachers and leaders. Through my experience and observations I am quite convinced of the importance of the preacher's wife. A good man without a godly wife has his hands tied and he will struggle in the ministry. Unfortunately many preachers have left the ministry, because of their wife's lack of commitment to the Lord's work. May every preacher's wife reading this article recognize the great importance of their role with-in the ministry of the Lord's church.

Perhaps the most important virtue needed by every pastor's wife is that her heart be in the ministry. Her primary goal should be to help her husband and help the ministry. It is impossible to fulfill this role by merely being a wife. If her heart is not in the ministry she will be a detriment to the work. Working a secular job, developing friends primarily outside of the church, and staying home watching television only prove a lack of heart for the ministry. There must be an attitude of sacrifice. She must not be jealous of her husband's time and she must recognize there will be many sacrifices necessary in the process of building a church. There will be sacrifices of the husband's time with the family and there will be sacrifices concerning finances, along with many other things, so that there can be no place for self-centeredness. She must be willing to give her time and effort meeting the needs of others. Remember that the Lord will openly bless those who give their best to Him. No one can ever out give God.

The preacher's wife need not do everything but there will be many things the preacher's wife must do. Perhaps she will be the first secretary, play the piano, teach a Sunday school class, or organize a ladies meeting. She must be willing to do whatever is needed to be a help in the ministry. But, her most important job is to be a good example to the other women. Her benevolent spirit, her love for the Lord, and her standards of dress and deportment will set an example to others in the church. Sometimes the preacher's wife may even feel no one is watching her and that people only notice the pastor who is obviously more visible, but nothing could be further from the truth. She should remember she is being watched in the community, in private, as well as at church.

The preacher's wife must be a help to her husband and her children. The preacher's children should be in submission and have a heart for the Lord. This trend is most often determined by their godly mother. The pressures of the ministry are great and a man of God is a man; he needs someone who will be an encouragement to him. Where can a preacher turn when he is discouraged? He can turn to the Lord, but also he should be able to turn to his wife for encouragement. No other member of the church has as much power to help or hurt the ministry as the preacher's wife.

A preacher's wife must learn to refrain from gossip. Members often come for help expecting their problems to be held in confidence. Information that it is privy only to a few must not be spread around as general knowledge. The preacher's wife must not become a liaison to relate people's problems to the pastor. Never should the preacher or his wife believe an evil report until it has been personally confirmed. People will not come to you with gossip if you refuse to listen to it.

The preacher's wife need not dress in the height of fashion, but she should not be dowdy. Clean and pressed clothes that are modest set an example to other women in the church. The books you read and the places you go should always be above reproach. She should not consider herself just one of the ladies of the church; she must recognize her responsibility, no matter her age, to be an example to the younger women by both dress and demeanor. High standards of modesty must be maintained and the worldly fashion of the day must be rejected.

The preacher's wife is the host of the church. Visitors, especially women and children, should receive a welcoming smile and a friendly handshake. She is an ambassador for her husband and the Lord. She may be able to recognize a need before her husband becomes aware of it. She will have insight into the needs of members and can help deter problems before they occur. She should not seek to be a buddy with the church ladies, but should be a friend to all, having a genuine concern for their problems and needs.

The preacher's wife may be the least recognized position in the church, but by no means is it the least significant. Whenever the devil comes along with discouragement you must remember the tremendously important role God has given to you. You are a significant influence in the growth and prosperity of your church. Without your support and faithfulness the church could develop serious problems. With your faithful support and example an environment is developed that can nurture new believers and strengthen the families of the church.