Tuesday, I wrote specifically to pastors’ wives and daughters. If you don’t fit into either of these categories, you may not realize the strain that many of them are under. Let me cut to the chase by telling you that many, many pastor’s families are suffering because of the demands of ministry.
What does that have to do with you? You may not have done so intentionally, but you may be one of the ones doing the wounding.
Think about your pastor’s wife for a moment. Does she measure up to the standards for what you think a pastor’s wife should be? Have you ever been critical in your words toward her or about her? Have you been intentional about encouraging her as she serves in the ministry of your church?
First Timothy 3:11 gives us some guidelines for what the wives of ministry leaders should be like:
In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
That’s it. It doesn’t say she should bring a pie to every church gathering. It doesn’t say she should teach first grade Sunday school for 40 years. It doesn’t say she should serve in every ministry the church offers or attend every function. It doesn’t even mention how she should style her hair or how she should dress.
Only four qualifications are given:
1. Worthy of respect
2. Kind and honest talker
Can I add a fifth qualification? Human!
Pastors’ families are in need of God’s redemptive work just like the rest of us. They are no more fully sanctified than the members of non-pastors’ families. Pastors and their families don’t automatically become holy when they accept a position leading a church. They have to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) like the rest of the congregation.
They will fail. They will make mistakes. They will sin. That doesn’t disqualify them. It reminds each of us of why He has given us the church body in the first place.
I don’t know your pastor’s wife, but I know what she needs . . . encouragement! Which brings me back to you. Will you take a moment during this Thanksgiving holiday to love on your pastor’s wife? Try sending her a note to let her know which qualities from 1 Timothy 3:11 you see in her, or tell her you notice the ministry she is a part of instead of urging her to be a part of one more thing. Speak highly of her to other church members if the opportunity presents itself.
The truth is that 1 Timothy 3:11 gives us a blueprint for how each of us should live. As women who love Jesus, we should all strive to be kind, honest, temperate, and trustworthy. We should work to earn the respect of others, especially those in our church family.
Will you set the bar by reaching out to your pastor’s wife? Who knows the wounds you could help heal.