Guest blogger Judy Patrick has been a pastor’s wife for over 35 years and has some great suggestions for ministry wives. How are you doing in these areas?
Rejoice and be Encouraged
As a minister’s wife, we face good and bad times. The following suggestions will help you rejoice in the good times and be encouraged during the bad times.
- Grow spiritually – Jesus knew His children would need spiritual growth. Part of His Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20) instructs His disciples to teach. Bible study and discipleship are vital tools for spiritual growth.
- Pray – Prayer is the backbone of faith. Nothing seems to comfort like prayer. When we pray, we are reminded of how awesome, gracious, and compassionate our God is.
- Fellowship with accountability friends – A small core of friends with whom the minister’s wife finds accountability will sustain her in difficult times. Temptations come easy when a Christian is discouraged. Having accountability friends can serve as protection from Satan.
- Grow in your marriage – Every healthy marriage is forever growing, including the minister’s marriage. Life in the ministry can wear on the minister’s marriage and family. Growing in love, acceptance, and commitment are vital. Couples in ministry need to spend quality time together. They need to work together to strengthen their marriage. Attending marriage retreats, seminars, and conferences can help. Talking about your marriage, setting goals together, dreaming together—all these activities help to strengthen a marriage.
- Grow in your circle of friends – Fellowship with believers does much to relieve stress. Make friends with church members, other ministers’ wives, and people outside the church. Get together with friends to laugh and chill-out.
- Remember your calling – You are called to be a minister’s wife if your husband is called to be a minister. (Eph.5:23-24) Years ago I wanted to leave my husband because I was tired of being a minister’s wife. As I pondered my feelings, God spoke to me saying, “But I called you to be a minister’s wife.” That one small voice has carried me through the years. GOD called me. How can I neglect such a high calling?
- Remember God’s faithfulness – In the Old Testament, when God’s people were discouraged, He told them to remember the good times–the miracles and blessings He had bestowed upon them. The memories carried them through bad times. Use the good memories that are tucked away in your mind and heart to remind you of God’s faithfulness.
- Rest in God’s faithfulness – The Bible contains many passages referring to God’s faithfulness. His faithfulness is mentioned in Scripture to illustrate His love, patience, and grace toward His children. He is faithful to carry our burdens and He is faithful to bring us joy. We can rest in God’s faithfulness knowing that He will see us through.
There are good things about being a minister’s wife. The greatest is the honor of being chosen by God. A minister’s wife goes through good and bad times. At times she feels the pain of loneliness, and discouragement. There are times when she feels helpless to encourage her bewildered husband. Other times, she hurts for her children who struggle with the fishbowl syndrome. Yet, precious memories are found among the fellowship of God’s people. Use your struggles as tools to grow in faithfulness. When the race is over, you will hear your Heavenly Father say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matt. 25:23) Good times and bad times, both, are part of the ministry. What are you doing to rejoice and be encouraged as a minister’s wife?
Judy is the Women’s Ministry Director for the Beauregard Baptist Association in DeRidder, LA. Judy earned her D.Ed.Min degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary specializing in Women’s Ministry and Counseling. She teaches Women’s Ministry and New Testament classes for the University of Mobile and the Baptist College of Florida. Additionally, Judy supports her husband, Dr. Tim Patrick, who serves as a Director of Missions and leads a ministry to ministers and their wives called The Shepherds Connection. The Shepherds Connection ministry supports ministers and their wives through resources, retreats, and confirmation.
Judy has been a pastor’s wife for thirty-five years. She has been involved in Women’s Ministry over twenty-five years. She has served as Women’s Ministry Director on the local church and associational levels and has served Alabama and Louisiana state Woman’s Missionary Union/Women’s Ministry. Judy has two grown sons and two grandchildren with another grandchild on the way.