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10 Things the Preacher’s Wife Can Give Him No One Else Can

“D.L. Moody found in his wife what he termed his balance wheel. With advice, sympathy and faith, this girl labored with him, and by her judgment, tact and sacrifice, she contributed to his every effort.” (quoted in 25 Surprising Marriages by William Petersen)

The pastor’s wife is in a unique position.

She is close to the man of God, but she does not come between him and God. She is privy to a thousand things going on between him and God, but must not insert herself into that process. She knows this man as no one else in the congregation does and can counsel/advise him as no one else is able, but she must know when to speak up and when to be quiet.

In many respects, she has the best seat in the house and the hardest job.

Pray for the young women newly married to men just beginning to pastor churches. So many of the skills they must master will come not from books but from life experiences, from making mistakes and getting things wrong, from befriending older and more mature ministers’ wives and heeding their counsel, and from the indwelling Spirit of God.

Let the young wives of ministers seek out others of their kind and befriend them. They need one another desperately. Let them meet in one another’s kitchens where they can talk and vent and pray.

Let them remind each other of the unique position they occupy concerning their husband’s calling.

Now, let us see if we can get that discussion started with what follows.

Here is my list of 10 things the wife can do for her preacher-husband that no one else can do. (Let me say up front, I’m writing from the standpoint of the pastors being men. I have no experience with women pastors, so to advise them on anything would be presumptuous. For that reason, I will appreciate no admonitions from readers that I have omitted or insulted the women pastors. God bless anyone who stands in the pulpit to share His word. Thank you.)

1. The wife can pray for her preacher husband as no one else can.

She shares his struggles, sees his labors and knows what he is dealing with. Mostly, what he experiences, she does also. When she prays for him, she’s praying also for herself.

Let the wife intercede for her man.

2. The wife can advise him as no one else can.

She is an expert on this man. She knows what makes him tick. In advising him, she has no axe to grind, no agenda to push. She loves him and wants only his best.

God told Israel to pray for their cities because “as it prospers, you will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7). In much the same way, when God blesses the pastor and he does well, everyone benefits: The church becomes healthy, the pastor’s family does well and his wife’s lot is vastly improved.

3. The wife can admonish him as no one else can.

Rebuking a pastor can be a risky thing.

Sometimes a wife has to deliver the bad news to her man. “You were wrong.” “Honey, you were out of line.” “You need to apologize to him.”

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Joe McKeever has been a preacher for nearly 60 years, a pastor for 42 years, and a cartoonist/writer for Christian publications all his adult life. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.