The shy minister's wife
Occasionally through the year I would consider how the minister's wife fitted in with making a decision about a new minister (especially as I'm married to a 'potential' so this is an interesting issue to ponder when I could be on the other side of the nominating process). Should I even be considering the minister's wife in this selection process?
I know that many churches quietly want a minister's wife who is dynamic and outgoing and willing to run every women's/children's/hospitality event for the church. The unspoken hope is that she will be basically able to do everything her husband does, but for women/children/catering. It's quiet and unspoken (in theory) but I know it's there - I've experienced it first hand ("you should be more friendly Jenny" or "But the minister's wife has always done _______").
So how does this work for the lovely godly Christian women who are married to ministers but are quiet or shy or introverted or not very gifted for women's/children's/hospitality ministry or like their paid employment or want to cope with managing their young family or are struggling with depression/grief/life in general? Should we still expect, that these women who just fell in love with a bloke who happens to be good at ministry, will be able to do all these things? Does it mean that we don't consider a potential minister who would do great things for our church because his wife doesn't fit the profile we have in our heads?
I don't think so. If I ever end up having to 'nominate', I'd like to know that the woman married to the potential minister loves Jesus, loves her husband and family, loves God's people, her community and is willing to serve where she can.
Frankly, if we want more from our minister's wife and she's not skilled in those roles then the church needs to fill those roles in other ways. Just as my church doesn't have any young people who can teach Sunday School - we find other ways to do those jobs. God gives us who he gives us and as a community we need to work with the unique group of people we find ourselves in. Including loving and accepting the woman who is married to our minister - just as she is - God made her and he has a plan for her days. It just might be a bit different to our plans for her!