Pastor's Wife: We Should Prioritize Our Spiritual Growth, Too

A picture of a girl in the sun
A picture of a girl in the sun (photo:
By Esther TianMarch 24th, 2023

Yingjie (pseudonym) and Leqin (pseudonym) are a couple in full-time ministry. They were both born after 1985 and met each other while studying theology. Although they are not yet ordained as pastors, they have been in full-time ministry at the church for over a decade. The husband, Yingjie, is now in charge of Sunday sermons, discipleship, and church administration. His wife, Leqin, is not only involved in preaching, singing, playing the piano, and visitation but is also responsible for the training of the church pianist and worship team.

Leqin told the Christian Times, an online Christian newspaper in China, her faith story.

Her mother was also determined to dedicate her to the Lord, and after graduating from high school, she went directly to study theology. After graduation, she met Brother Yingjie, who was the same age as her but had gone to theology school before her. After graduation, they served in different churches. Later on, the pastor suggested they serve together.

Sister Leqin said when she married her husband, she did not consider their financial status. However, spiritually, she has never been satisfied. During her time in the pastorate, she clearly realized that as a pastor, she must keep learning, knowing that only when she grows and is healed by God's Word can she shepherd and build up others. Therefore, over the years, while pastoring, she and Brother Yingjie have developed a good habit of reading and studying continuously. Today, Brother Yingjie has also obtained a master's degree and has gained much experience in doctrinal issues, discipleship training, and church administration.

Through reflecting on her own life and the lives of some of the believers, Sister Leqin found that many people had not changed their sinful thinking habits despite their conversion. She understood that the root cause was that many believers could not use the Word to explain and relate to their everyday lives and that there was a serious disconnection between God's Word and the lives of believers.

Therefore, she insisted on encouraging people to engage in spiritual practice. She said, "During spiritual practice, people can face their hearts and their sins, and through spiritual practice and prayer, the heart can be built up again. People can learn to resist the values of the world with biblical values when things come up."

In her ministry, Sister Leqin constantly challenged believers to read and memorize the scriptures, etc. This was met with resistance and a lack of understanding from some believers at first. This was because many believers were used to coming to meetings and singing hymns, listening to the sermon, asking the pastor for prayer if they had any questions, and then calling it a day. They felt that the previous pastors had not demanded so much.

With the encouragement of her pastor and her husband, she persevered, even though she wanted to back out. Today, she has seen many believers grow in their lives after practicing the spiritual disciplines, and some have risen to participate in the ministry.

She has gone from pastoring young people to middle-aged and older believers, from serving as a single person to serving as a family woman, including raising two children in the process. The foundation of her ability to face these challenges, says Leqin, is her spiritual growth.

Being a pastor's wife is actually very difficult. With a family to take care of and a church to attend, it is inevitable that a pastor's wife will have emotions, grievances, and exhaustion. These problems tend to be resolved naturally through growth in life.

The growth of a pastor's wife's life is beneficial to a harmonious relationship with her husband, which in turn is beneficial to the ministry of the pastor or evangelist husband. Sister Leqin stressed that relationships with God should not be neglected, especially for pastors' wives who serve or work full-time.

At the same time, she also believes that ministry is beneficial to the spiritual growth of the pastor's wives themselves. "Even if you cannot preach, you can sing; and if you cannot sing, you can visit people or pray. Especially when the pastor's (or evangelist's) husband is working a lot and is very busy, as a wife who is one with her husband, she should support her husband's ministry with prayer and minister to the congregation with prayer." Sister Leqin believes that when she prays for others and the church, she will also be empowered and find comfort in doing the Lord's work.

"If a wife is just taking care of the children and the family, she will be easily tied down, expect her husband's attention, and get caught up in their feelings," she added. Supporting the family financially by working is also a form of service.

Pastors are not only to build up the Lord's church but also their own families, and family building is very important. Many evangelists often neglect their families because they are so preoccupied with the ministry. Sister Leqin confessed, "We made the same mistake in the early days of our ministry. Both of us were so preoccupied with pastoring the church that the academic performance of our eldest child declined as a whole, to the extent that the teacher had to interview us." After that, she discussed with her husband that both of them should try to create flexible work hours and take turns with the children. She said, "I don't want to see a father preaching and sons becoming robbers." Thanks to their careful efforts, both children are now physically and mentally healthy.

- Translated by Nonye Nancy

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