This month I would like to reflect on how important spouses are in ministry. I have been apart from my wife physically/ geographically for two months and there are many more months ahead. Even though we are apart she is still an asset to me and plays a huge role in what God has called me to. There has been a saying that has been around for a long time in America and it is “Behind every great man there is a great woman”. There is a lot of truth to that and it is no different in ministry. If a couple is not on the same page ministries can be damaged, hindered and in some cases destroyed. There needs to be unity of purpose. If not there will be friction, strife, and disunity.
As a husband there is probably no better scripture that unpacks what we should look for in a wife then Proverbs 31. Lemuel’s Mother (most likely Bathsheba/Solomon’s Mother) taught him very specifically how valuable a godly wife is and what one looks like. I have stated this many times in the past, but I believe God has blessed me with the most beautiful and amazing wife. She exhibits all the qualities and characteristics that are exposited in the Proverb. In addition, she puts up with me (she deserves and award for this in my opinion). Next to accepting Christ as your personal savior, the person you marry will be second most important decision an individual can make. I pray that for those of you who are married feel and express the same things about your spouse as I do about mine. As leaders we have influence over those we lead, so if I am correct and it is the second most important decision then we should be teaching them what to look for.
Proverbs 31:10-31 says,
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
- She is precious and should be treated as such. Can’t put a price tag on her.
- She is trust worthy and demonstrates it. Trust is critical for any relationship to be successful.
- She is an asset not a hindrance. She contributes to his success, does not harm it.
- She is hard working. She is neither idle nor lazy.
- She ensures the well being of her family.
- She is an entrepreneur. She is also wise with finances and a good steward of the families possessions
- She is compassionate and merciful to those in need. She is considerate of those around her.
- She ensures that her family has what is necessary and it needs depending on the situation/circumstances.
- Her husband’s reputation is maintained or heightened because of her qualities and characteristics.
- She has both strength as well as dignity.
- She has a sense of humor.
- She speaks wisdom and uses her tongue to teach kindness.
- She does not get involved in ungodly practices to pass the time.
- Her children honor and respect her. They are disciplined and exhibit character
- Her husband can’t say enough about her. He praises her.
- She does not use charm or beauty to manipulate the circumstances.
- She “FEARS THE LORD”. She has an intimate relationship with God and loves him in everything she says and does.
This is no small list or task. How many women do you know that exhibit these qualities? Are we teaching them to our daughters in our homes and to our young ladies in our churches? Are we teaching our sons and young men that women/ future wives are valuable? If they are as valuable as we say they are then we should never treat them like a piece of meat or an object to possess. They are so much more valuable then we can possibly fathom. Do we tell our wives how important and valuable they are? Or do we degrade them in front of our friends and act like they are an inconvenience and not a blessing. Let us never forget how valuable they are and treat them as such. Let us not only express it in words, but also in deeds.