By Michael R. Baggett
That the preacher has the right to a wife is taught clearly in 1 Corinthians 9:5. Cephas (Peter) is said to have had a wife. Little is said about her, but I suppose she had many of the same problems and concerns the preacher’s wife has today.
I have no doubt that Peter’s wife was probably abused at times because of Peter’s preaching. She certainly had to sacrifice quite a bit as she followed her husband in his preaching. Who knows what she might have endured.
When I was preaching at Oak Grove, my wife was the first to learn when I was tapping on a sensitive nerve. Once, a sister in the church called my wife and told her, “Tell him he had better cool it!”
Recently, another preacher’s wife came crying to my wife about the way the sisters were treating her. This poor preacher’s wife has four children; one is just seven-months old. She said the sisters expected her to do all of the entertaining. One sister called her about her visit to an older shut-in. The sister who called informed the preacher’s wife that she did not appreciate her visiting one and not the other! How childish!
Poor preacher’s wife. No one ever offers to keep her children so she can worship more fully. No one offers to keep her children so she and the preacher can go out to dinner. Poor preacher’s wife. Her clothes and her children’s clothes must be wrinkle-free. Her house must be spotless at all times. I wonder why, no one ever visits her.
Perhaps this sounds somewhat silly. As silly as it may sound, it is the truth in some congregations!
The point is the preacher’s wife is often overlooked, misunderstood, and abused. She needs your friendship, not your criticism! She is human. She has feelings. If she is unhappy, the preacher’s work will eventually be affected. His job is already hard enough. Help him out. Help her out!
So, if you have a problem with the preacher, talk to him. Leave his wife alone. Don’t expect too much from the preacher’s wife. Treat her with kindness (Eph. 4:31,32).
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 15, p. 458
August 1, 1991