An excellent wife who can find?
– Proverbs 31:10
This June I will have been married 15 years to my wife, Jennefer. I can honestly say for the last decade-and-a-half, I’ve gotten the better deal. My wife is a phenomenal mother, fantastic teacher, keen thinker, giving lover, sincere friend and earnest follower of Jesus. I could easily go on…and on…and on.
Frankly, there are pastors who should turn in their credentials for leadership not because they don’t love the church, possess the skill set for ministry or passion to reach the unchurched for the gospel, but for the simple fact their wives disqualify them. Over the years I’ve seen pastors married to women who are petty, aloof, inconsiderate, narcissistic, immature and flat-out ungodly, viewing their husband’s role as merely a job and the church his office, taking no personal ownership at all in the mission of Jesus as expressed in the local church. To be sure, there are pastor-husbands whose poor leadership in the home helped grease the wheels for their wives to not only take this unhelpful stance but to continue to remain firm in it. A tragedy all around. Nevertheless, a pastor’s wife is as essential to ministry as anything else. She is that important!
That is only one of many reasons I am so incredibly grateful to God for Jennefer. She loves me, Jesus, our local church’s mission and vision, the ministry she’s involved in, the people serving in that ministry and the ones impacted by it. She’s not sitting in the stands or even cheering from the sidelines, but in the game with all she’s got. Every Sunday morning Jennefer demonstrates in a very real way to our children that mommy and daddy don’t serve Christ through the local church because he’s a professional but because we’re followers of Jesus. And I love her all the more for it!
Add this to how she cares for our children at home; reading Bible stories, teaching hymns, memorizing Scripture, learning catechism and more – and doing it all with joy for the glory of the gospel – I get easily overwhelmed at the goodness of God to me in Jen.
A handful of weeks ago Jennefer spoke to the women of my church about what she had learned about the role of a godly wife. The response afterward was overwhelming. I still receive notes from women (and men) about the impact her talk brought to the hearts of so many. Here’s something everyone should realize: it was all true! People should know what others see in public about Jen is exactly as she is at home – kind, generous, thoughtful, caring, spiritual, sincere. There is no duplicity in her at all. She’s not perfect but continually trusts and leans upon the Perfect One who has done for her what she cannot do for herself.
Add it all together and it leads me to sing the truth of Proverbs 31:29,
Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.
Jennefer, thank you for loving Jesus more than me. Thank you for following me not because I’m great but because Christ is. Thank you for living ultimately not for your husband, or for your kids, or for your job, but for your King. You are more beautiful today than the day we met. I don’t deserve you but I’ll take you. You are one more example of the goodness of the grace of God. I can’t speak for other men when the question of Proverbs 31:10 echoes across the land, but for me, a good woman – I’ve got one!