BY LAJU IREN
When I first started dating my husband, he was in his early twenties. He looked it too, thanks to that boyish handsomeness that still gets me every single time I look at him.
He was already a pastor. Church had not yet begun then, but I had worked under the leadership of a fellowship he had founded three years prior to our relationship. We started dating in July 2011 and by November 11, 2012 Celebration Church Int’l started her first service. In fact, this is like an anniversary post. You can check out Four reasons why I love Celebration Church to find out more about that. Anyway, the point of this long epistle is to let you know what I’ve learned in my two years of being a pastor’s wife. Of course, I know I don’t know everything, but it doesn’t hurt to share what I do know.
1. Your primary responsibility is to God and then to your husband
People will have different ideas of what you should and should not be doing. There are two most important people that count; God-it is his work. Your husband-he is the one you’re married to.
2. Let your husband lead in ministry. There is no democracy there.
There is one set man over every church. It is the pastor. There may be things God will ask your husband to do in ministry that you might not quite understand. But let him lead. This is why from the very beginning, you must choose a man that follows Christ. Especially when it concerns you, it makes sense that you’d want your opinions heard. But for pure ministry decisions, that’s his jurisdiction, except in rare cases when you’re the leader of the ministry.
3. Love the Lord
If your relationship with God is shaky, everything else will suffer. Your husband is human, he will make mistakes. He will not always be the perfect example. This is why you must know God for yourself and love him. When you do this, you’re better equipped to love others. Also, be a person of prayer.
4. Love the people
Contrary to popular opinion, church members are not out to get you. Even if you think they are, it is your responsibility to love them.
5. Let him work
Don’t be a distraction to your man. Allow him do the work that God has called him to do. If he is studying, praying or counseling give him space and allow him do what God has called him to do. Let his relationship with you give him peace, encourage him to rest and eat well.
6. Watch third party interferences
Because of his office, the reputation of your spouse is oh-so important. There will be times when you might absolutely need to talk to someone about your relationship. But please choose someone with a lot of discretion, who can actually help, and will respect you and your husband no matter what. Arguing with your spouse publicly is not the best way to be an example. Yes it’s wrong, even when you’re right.
7. Even though you think you’re not in the ministry, you’re in ministry
It was the late Kenneth Hagin’s wife, Oretha Hagin that first made me realize that whether or not you pastor alongside your husband, you’re called into the ministry nonetheless. This doesn’t mean that simply because your better half is a pastor, you’re automatically qualified to become one. But it does mean that you have a major role to play in whether or not he fulfills his assignment. Be a loyal disciple of the Lord and your husband.
8. You’re there to serve, don’t expect entitlements
It’s a great thing if people honour you as their pastor’s wife. I think it is something that should be encouraged. However, let that not be your focus. Don’t worry too much if people call you by your name, don’t greet you or greet you a certain way. Expect to serve and not to be served. If however, you are being ill treated, don’t hesitate to take it up with your husband.
9. Balance. Balance. Balance.
Your husband needs a wife. Your children need a mother. Your church needs a pastor’s wife. Learn to prioritize properly and do your best per time.
10. Fight for family time
The word ‘fight’ here doesn’t mean that you should actually pick a fight with your spouse. What it does mean is that you realize that your home is as important as the work of the ministry. Too many pastor’s homes are broken, too many kids lost to the world because sometimes, pastors do what the average person does: work too much.
11. Give. Avoid covetousness
A lot of times, I meet people who jokingly assume that I have a lot money because all the tithes and the offerings of the church come to me as the pastor’s wife. What a wrong mindset. Of course, I advocate that pastors should be paid the best that the church can afford per time. But the business of ministry is not for money. A girl’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of the things she has. Riches do not suggest righteousness. Don’t be covetous or push your husband to be so.
12. Tell him the truth
When you’re married to someone in a position of power, there aren’t many people he can be accountable to. Be truthful to him. Don’t fail to encourage him often (Pastors can get discouraged too). Also, when he does something wrong, tell him in love and with respect.
13. Same marriage rules apply
What makes a marriage work is what makes a pastor’s marriage work. Man, love, woman submit, both of you submit to each other in love and submit to God.
14. Watch your tongue
Avoid gossip, back biting and outbursts of anger. When people tell you something in confidence, make sure it remains that way.