Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. —1 Samuel 25:41b
Abigail’s above response to David’s marriage proposal demonstrated a willingness to serve in humble places, even in washing the feet of the servants. There are many ministers’ wives who are daily living out Abigail’s expression. They quietly work without pay or recognition while serving the people around them. The life of a minister’s wife has a unique set of challenges and she should be honored and respected for her life of sacrificial service. Minister’s wives fill a unique role in the body of Christ and are to be valued.
The stereotypical minister’s wife is “supposed” to always have everything in order, look nice, sit in the front in worship service, have a pleasant smile on the face, be the perfect wife, have children who never misbehave and are
model Christians, be ready at any moment to change plans without complaint, and have a testimony that does not show too much personal struggle or humanity. Wow! These expectations can add much stress to an already overworked wife and mother.
Ministers’ wives are human and have needs just like everyone else. They often feel lonely
and inadequate to serve, feeling as though they are in a fish bowl without much privacy. There is pressure to measure to the high expectations of the congregation.
A true minister’s wife is a hard worker whose duties extend far beyond wife and mother. She cooks for the sick, teaches the children, opens her home to visitors, organizes dinners for Sunday, counsels with and prays for people in need, responds to phone calls and texts, cleans and decorates the chapel, represents her husband, and the list goes on.
One of the greatest and most challenging functions she serves is to be that friend, confidante, and sounding board for her spouse. She listens to the raw frustrations and struggles of her minister husband. She sees firsthand the hurt that people cause him. She observes him giving the best he has and hears people criticize him. She finds that place of forgiveness in Christ to continue loving and serving those same people.
80 percent of pastor’s wives say they are unappreciated by congregational members. So, to all of the minister’s wives, thank you for all you do. We do not expect you to be perfect and we acknowledge your humanity just as our own. Thank you for continuing to serve. Thank you for loving us and praying for us when we are acting unlovable. Thank you for standing by your husband, our minister. Thank you for your godly love and service. We
love and appreciate you!