God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him" (Gen. 2:18, New King James Version). I would like to believe that this was particularly directed to the pastor's wife.
"A helper comparable to him." What a privilege and a challenge. To work alongside our minister-husband in the gospel commission, not to be just a wife, mother, homebody and business partner, but also, a helper comparable in the great task of soul saving.
The pastoral wife plays a valuable and integral part in the work of her husband. It is here she must carefully choose well her role.
She can be the silent figure in the background, providing moral support. She lets her husband know that she is there every step of the way with her prayers for strength, wisdom, and guidance. Her bodily presence in church meetings provides the psychological edge of the "significant other." The pastor-husband knows that he has a ready critic, admirer, admonisher, guide, thermostat, and opinion potter in his wife. And when an uninvited occasion arises, he knows that she can be depended upon to provide the necessary assistance through her many talents that are kept veiled but ready anytime to be revealed. She is at the background of the pastor's success.
She can choose to be the active supporter, acting as public relations arm, organizer of activities, trainer for children's ministries, workshopper for cleanliness and beautification, promoter of livelihood programs for women by organizing classes in homecraft, dressmaking, veggie-food preparation, hair science, and many others, She can teach the deaconesses the proper procedure for preparing communion bread. She can teach the youth decorum and etiquette. Any or all these she can do by making herself available to the departmental leaders of the church as they plan their programs.
As a professional she can share her expertise as a doctor, nurse, teacher, etc. She can share these talents not only with the church, but also, for community outreach.
The silent, yet effective and valid service that the pastoral wife provides within the church can be a model in a loving relationship with her husband, and a model to the parish that the pastoral marriage is an ideal laboratory for the principles and practices of a marriage made in heaven. She should be a real mother to her children, giving the right example in training and nurture. The pastoral home should be welcoming and comfortable to each guest spreading the hospitality table with bread baked with the leaven of love and a touch of Christ's grace. Her sweet and mellow voice speaks of generosity and kindness, and she models graciousness and compassion for the needy. Her face is radiant with smiles, her gentle touch fresh and smooth as a healing balm.
Can we find such a virtuous woman? Whose price is more than rubies? If we can find these thoughts in our hearts, the answer cannot be far behind in our lives.