Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Plight of a Pastor's Wife

The other day I received an email from God TV that Todd Bentley and his wife were separating for a season. Todd Bentley will no longer be ministering at the Florida Outpouring and probably will be taking a sabbatical to work on his marriage. I'm sure there are many people out there villainizing Todd's wife right now, but I feel for her. Being the wife of a minister and a young mom are two very demanding jobs. Being in the midst of a revival in which your husband is gone every night and traveling often would make it ten times harder. I am sure they have been going through a lot of persecution and spiritual attacks.

As I imagine myself in the midst of such demanding times of ministry, I'm sure the only way that I could continue to be strong and supportive of my husband is if my personal relationship with the Lord were very strong. As a young mom myself, I know how difficult it is to find time to spend with the presence of the Lord. I think ministers wives often get so caught up in parenting their children, cleaning their houses (because we have a duty to have people over frequently and be a good example) and dealing with a myriad of ministry details - they loose sight of Jesus. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing well. Without intimacy with Jesus, we are definitely not capable of giving our husbands the support and grace they need.

Another contributing factor to troubles within the minister's wife is the lack of support system around her. She is often at the tip, the one others are looking to for support but the one who is not receiving support herself. Minister's wives have a desperate need for mentors. In my own life, I'm so busy teaching the nursery on Sundays, I never get to hear my husband's sermons unless I ask him to preach them to me the night before. I don't receive ministry from anyone unless I specifically pursue it and intentionally seek it out. I realize my need for God and I have to desperately seek Him.

Finally, I think another great fallacy within the minister's family is that the father often comes home exhausted and tired of ministry. The last thing he wants to do is minister to his family. In reality though, his family is his greatest calling and greatest opportunity to have a lasting impact. His family desperately needs ministering to. A pastor needs to minister to his wife, encouraging her in her walk with God, sharing with her from his heart the deep things of the spirit and be a leader spiritually for his family. Children need their fathers to minister to them. Pastors are always encouraging the men in their church to do this and they need to do this themselves.

I think the root problem here is that more often then not, ministry is a performance and when we come home, we don't want to perform any more. When ministry is the natural outflow of a life lived in love with Jesus, it flows naturally out of the man like a life giving river and blesses all those around him, including his family.


Anna said...

You are right on! Paul told Timothy that a man who can't lead his home shouldn't be leading the house of God. I think sometimes we get stuck in our minds on what the church really is. It is the people. My family is the church, therefore, focusing on them IS focusing on the church. Maybe some ministers don't realize that and in their quest to fulfil their calling, they miss the most fulfilling aspect of their calling that is growing up right under thier noses.


david said...

I think I'd naturally reserve more criticism for him than for her, but either way its mostly unfair of us to judge their motivations or shortcomings.

I do hope that they're able to reconcile, but the post on his website said that their problems were pre-existing, and that the outpouring just exasperated it.

the question is, if they do divorce, should he continue to minister? Or would the Apostle Paul kick him out of the the ministry?

Julie said...

One of my very best friends lives in Lakeland, FL and has been very involved in Todd's outpouring there. Her husband has received the annointing and has been used by God as an instrument of His healing power. It is amazing the things that have come from that. But, I think that the seperation of Todd and his wife is going to have a HUGE negative affect on his followers because many of them are new Christians and he is their prime example of how to live like Christ. The devil is attacking the leader, thus trying to lead his flock astray. The devil had this in his plan all along. He waited until Todd had the eye of the world on him to bring him down. It is sad to see! Remember to keep Todd and his family in your prayers!