When I mentioned the topic of this blog, “What Every ‘To Be’ Minister’s Wife Should Know” to my daughter (preacher’s kid for 30 years) and my sister, who was herself a minister’s wife for many years, they responded simultaneously with the exact same three words, “Don’t do it!” I laughed. We all laughed. “Really,” I said, “I want to write about the most important thing a ‘to be’ minister’s wife should know.” Again, they both teased, “Tell her not to do it.” I chuckled. They were funny, but realistically, telling someone who was called into the ministry to “Don’t do it” doesn’t work. The minister’s wife, just like the minister himself, is called by God to walk hand in hand with her husband in doing God’s work—ministering to and reaching souls for Christ.
So what advice would I give a “to be” minister’s wife? I would say, “Be yourself. Every member of your church will have their own idea of what your ministry should be, but you’ve got to ignore them and be the person God designed you to be. That’s the only way you will accomplish God’s purpose for your life.” Yet this same advice translates to all believers. God has blessed each of us with talents and at least one spiritual gift, and He has given us these talents and spiritual gifts for a reason. Those are the areas where He desired us serve, and only by serving Him in these areas can we fulfill his purpose for our life. For example, if He has given you musical talent, then make music. If He has blessed you with the gift of teaching, then teach; with organization, then organize; or with serving, then serve.
We should all—especially the minister’s wife because she can easily stumble into the do everything pit—be careful to not become too involved in the areas where God has not gifted us. This doesn’t mean that because our gift isn’t serving we should never help wash dishes or clean up after a church social. That’s just common courtesy. But it does mean that our focus should not be that area of service. Why? Because focusing our ministry in areas where we are not gifted, areas where we are not comfortable, will exhaust us both mentally and physically, and prevent us from whole-heartedly working where we do belong. This exhaustion will result in a ministry of meritocracy due to exhaustion, and someone else, perhaps that someone who was designed to do that job, will be forced to play the role God designed for us.
So my advice to the “to be” minister’s wife, as well as all Christians, is “Be yourself. You can’t do it all, so focus mostly in the areas where God has gifted you.” Only then will your church run like the well-oiled machine God intended.