A popular UK-based Nigerian pastor was preaching on television. His wife was sitting close to his seat at the altar.
Back home in Nigeria, his wife’s mother was watching them on television. The programme was not a live programme but recorded. The mother of the pastor’s wife picked up her phone and called her daughter and the following conversation followed.
MOTHER: My daughter! Do you want to destroy your husband’s ministry?
DAUGHTER: (Taken aback). Mummy! What are you talking about?
MOTHER: I am right here watching you on screen. Your husband is preaching. You are sitting at the altar and you are frowning your face. You are not smiling. It is an error, my dear. Smile! Don’t frown your face like that when your husband is preaching. It is subject to interpretation because all the church members are looking at you. Don’t you know?
DAUGHTER: Mummy! You have come again. What if I don’t feel like smiling at that moment?
MOTHER: Ah! You must smile-o! Anytime you are with your husband in the church, you must smile, especially when he is preaching. Please, don’t destroy my son-in-law’s ministry with your facial expression-o! I beg you. Smile. No matter how you feel, smile.
Now, this is a typical example of the wonderful plight of many women that are married to pastors. Their personal travails, emotional expressions and periodic experiences are linked to their husband’s actions.
When he is firm, exhibits justice in matters as expected of a pastor, they say his wife is controlling him.
When the pastor exhibits incompetence in financial management of the church out of deliberate refusal to listen to his wife’s professional advice, they say his wife is his problem.
When he stubbornly exhibits signs of destiny confusion, claiming that God has called him to pastoral ministry, whereas he called himself, his wife is to be blamed.
His wife who never dreamt of being a Pastor’s wife, wishes to pursue her professional dream and gifting but she is compelled to sit at the altar with her husband, with every church member addressing her as ‘Mama’. She is accused of being carnal and arrogant if she does otherwise.
She comes to church on Sunday morning with a psychological burden of trying to figure out in her mind, solution to office, market or business demands, alongside fixing her home front, in terms of feeding and other domestics as well as matrimonial responsibilities after stressful work days. Here, church members, including Assistant Pastors and their wives come to her with most times, personal, selfish and sometimes, irrelevant conflicts to resolve.
There are a lot of gifted, skilled and educated Pastors’ wives that to the glory of God, would have made tremendous positive impact as career women. They have however, remained in the prison of “My husband is a pastor. Therefore, I need to be ordained as ‘Pastor Mrs’ (to match) and focus on presiding over church affairs with him.”
Husbands! Please, release your wives to exploit their God-given talents, pursue careers that will give them fulfilment and expose the glory of God in their lives. Do not limit their potentials for greatness (which is yours anyway), with humanly imposed pastoral assignments.
Don’t get me wrong please! A Pastor’s wife MUST fully support her husband’s ministry. The method of this support is the issue under discussion. A Pastor’s pastoral calling should be a blessing rather than a limitation to his wife’s potentials, gifts manifestation and career prospects. In all this, what is more important is the great commission in Mark 16:15.
I want to encourage all clergymen and clergymen’s wives, who have created marital crisis for themselves in the name of ministry, to go back to the will of God, which is a joyful, peaceful and exemplary marriage.
But for the mercy of God and the natural persevering spirit of women, most pastors’ wives would be dying prematurely because of the heavy emotional, psychological, spiritual and sometimes, financial burdens that they bear without the notice of most beneficiaries.
Many pastors’ wives are dying of loneliness because the man is always not available for his family in the name of working for God. If you are one of such pastors, please be informed that your marital responsibility is more important to God than your church ministry. Receive deliverance from religious ignorance in Jesus name!
It is a wonderful experience that many pastors’ wives go through. A pastor’s wife who is a working class lady gets economic boost, and with her husband’s permission, is able to purchase a quality car. It is interpreted that pastor has spent church money on buying his wife a car. In other words, pastor’s wife is not supposed to have a life or prosper financially. Although in recent times, this has become a shared perception burden, but the wife feels the heat more.
If you are a pastor’s wife and you are facing any of the underlying challenges, my message to you from God is that you look “unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.”
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1st Corinthians 10:13 NIV)
As a pastor’s wife, you are pastor over the pastor. What does this mean? If anything goes wrong, there are two areas that God can blame you. First, if you fail to pray or stop praying for your husband and family, it is your fault.
Secondly, if you doubt God’s ability or lose faith in his ability to visit your case and change situations, you are to blame. So, in this marriage, remember Lot’s wife.
Buy the book, MAKING YOUR MARRIAGE WORK by Albinus Chiedu. Your marriage shall be a blessing and a testimony in Jesus name. Amen.
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