5 Keys for Women to Survive the Ministry

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This pastor's wife has served along side her husband. Here's the wisdom she wants to pass from 40 years of experience.
This pastor's wife has served alongside her husband. Here's the wisdom she wants to pass from 40 years of experience. (Charisma archives)

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but she who brings shame is as rottenness in his bones" (Prov. 12:4).

I have been in the ministry alongside of my husband for 45 years. I will readily admit that when I first answered the call to ministry, I was very idealistic. I actually heard the call of God on my life before I met my husband at age 16.

If I were to give advice to wives in the ministry I would say:

1. Discover your own calling from God.

2. Be yourself.

3. Be supportive of your husband in every possible way.

4. Keep focused on your blessings.

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5. Learn the keys to forgiveness.

Since I can't write about all of these topics in one session, I will be biblical and let the last be first.

I thought being a pastor's wife would be like living in heaven, serving the saints and performing saintly duties. I wanted to help people turn to God and find healing and wholeness. I was sure that all I would reach out to would appreciate my intervention and benefit from my sage advice.

I just knew that being married to a pastor must be like being married to God.

When I met the man I would marry, I knew he was not perfect, but somehow I knew that as a team we would overcome every obstacle that life would put in our way.

I was right about that, but I had no idea how difficult some of those obstacles would prove to be.

I became a pastor's wife at age 19. I am a small-built, petite woman and really looked only 16. It was embarrassing many times to be mistaken for one of the teenagers in our congregation instead of the "revered" pastor's wife. I delved into my role with all the resolve of an idealistic young person and was met with amusement and at times irritation.

It was not all I thought it would be. Some of the people in our congregations were stubborn and opinionated, and a few were downright ornery.

Living with a pastor was also not quite what I had envisioned.

He was at times overwhelmed with his work and driven by a passion that would often leave me and the children we soon had behind. He had what many would call an apostolic ministry, which meant that we were always moving.

I was a person who loved roots and long friendships. I soon became wounded and disillusioned by the very calling I felt God had put upon my life. I think all pastor's wives have found themselves in exactly the place I am describing. I had one true blessing in my life that I believe helped me find a place of peace.

I knew that God had called me to ministry, and I was willing to hear His perspective on the disappointments that I had faced.

Early in my discipleship, I was taught to expect persecution and trouble. I just never thought it would come from the church.

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