I receive dozens of emails from pastors each week. This one caught my attention and I asked permission to use it here. Hopefully others will benefit from my response and weigh in with their own thoughts. I have changed his name.
I hope all is well with you. I frequent your blogs ever so often via twitter, which I do enjoy. the reason for this email is for some direction. It is my belief that the Lord has called me to be a pastor, however I am presently single. I wanted to find out what are some of the qualities one should look for and how should I go about finding a wife as a future pastor. I have been keeping the issue in prayer.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Most likely you will not be able to pick every expectation or qualification you have for a spouse. I think is is wise, however, to have a goal. You are more likely to reach a target for which you aim. With that in mind,
Here are 7 qualities I believe make up the ideal pastor’s wife:
Your biggest supporter. You should be hers too, but as a man in your position it is critical. People will be less likely to support you if your wife doesn’t. Is she able to respect you in public enough not to criticize you in front of others? Nothing would be more damaging to your ministry. Ministry is hard on a marriage. Some days are harder than others. You’ll need to know there is one person always in your corner.
Obedient to the call of God regardless of the costs. Is she willing to walk by faith? It will be required many times.
Visible and active in the ministry and/or church and looking to partner with you in ministry. I don’t believe the pastor’s wife should be everywhere, especially at the expense of her family, but the church should know she is a real person facing life’s struggles like the rest of the church. Serving together because of a common love for Christ and a combined vision for ministry will help protect your marriage during difficult days.
Friendly and welcoming personality. Do people like her? Does she have a genuine love for people, even those who at the time are harder to love? This will be tested.
Completes you by filling in your weaknesses. Your ministry will be strengthened as “the two become one” and God uses each of your strengths to blend a stronger team. Do your strengths compliment each other?
Less concerned about the material things of the world and more concerned about things eternal. This is a critical test for the life of a pastor’s wife. It is many times a life of sacrifice. This does not mean you can’t have or even enjoy nice things, but the source of real joy should come from the things money can never buy. There may be seasons of ministry where God calls you to real faith-testing and strengthening experiences with your finances. Will she remain faithful and committed during these times?
Loves Jesus more than you. If you need this one explained you may be in the wrong profession.
The easiest way for me to put this is that you should pick one like mine. Cheryl is the perfect pastor’s wife. Of course, she is not available, but at least you have my standard for which you can set your ambitions. Praying for you as you have spiritual eyes and discernment.
As to where, that’s a tough one. I don’t think location is as important as the heart with which you approach the search. When that is right it seems God will be much more willing to be in tune with the process and give you eyes to see. Perhaps my readers will have some suggestions.
Where’s the best place for singles (especially single pastors) to meet people today?
And, do you have any qualities you would add to my list for “Mike”?