I am writing this article to address an issues that I have observed over the years in the ministry. I have been ministering since 1999 and have worked with many different people in the context of ministry. I praise the Lord that in that same year that I began the ministry, I met my future wife and she introduced me to my spiritual mentor(s). As I began to be trained in the ministry, I was surrounded by husband/wife teams who ministered together. I met men who had been blessed with awesome suitable helpers who helped them in every aspect of their lives, including the ministry. I was amazed to see them work so well together.
Before meeting these people, I had seen many ministers whose wives did not have much to do with their ministry. I was under the impression that men did most of the ministry and their wives helped them out in their lives outside of the ministry; i.e. taking care of the home, the kids, or doing some sort of women’s ministry or singing in the choir. This is why I was so surprised to see the couples ministering together.
As I was being trained in the Scriptures, specifically, how to minister to others practically, I saw how these couples worked together. While studying the Scriptures, I learned some profound truths about the husband-wife relationship.
I. Men are created to lead as part of a team
When God created man, in Genesis, He created man to rule the earth, to be creative, to lead all of creation. Man was a perfect creation but he was not a complete creation. He needed a suitable helper, his wife, and he (man) is able to lead to his best potential when he leads with the help of his suitable helper. Why is it that when we read about the wife as being a suitable helper, we automatically place her in the home, taking care of the house and kids? Why do we not see her as the one who helps the man in his creative endeavors? Why do we not see her as one who is to help him lead in the ministry?
The apostle Paul addressed this when he was in the ministry. If you ever start feeling bad about your church, about how imperfect it is, please open up the Bible and read First and Second Corinthians. I guarantee you that your church will start looking a whole lot better. One of the many problems or issues raised by the church in Corinth is the right of the apostle to take his wife along with him in the ministry. Paul answers that claim.
5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? (I Corinthians 9)
It seems that the rest of the apostles had wives and that their wives were involved in the ministry with them.
II. Examples from the Scriptures
The best example that I can think of on this would be Priscilla and Aquila. We see them first mentioned in Acts 18. They meet up with Paul and as a team, they all three work together in the ministry. Once they are led by God to move on, they travel with Paul on a mission trip. Again, we see Aquila serving in the ministry together with his wife Priscilla. She is his suitable helper in life, especially in the ministry. Paul leaves them in Ephesus to continue ministering together. While in Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila meet Apollos, a man who is strong in the Scriptures. He just needs some guidance. Priscilla and Aquila step in together and minister to Apollos, together. They are serving in the ministry together. They are very successful in the ministry because they are leading together, the way God intended. In I Corinthians 16, we see that Priscilla and Aquila have a church in their home. They are leading a church together. They are pastoring a church together. They are continuing to minister together.
Another example would be Adam and Eve. They were created to rule the earth together. They were created to serve together. We see this same idea with the patriarchs of Genesis. They are mentioned together with their wives, passing the covenant of faith on to the children. In other words, they are in the ministry together.
- Abraham and Sarah
- Issac and Rebecka
- Jacob and Rachael
- the list goes on and on
I am amazed at how few of my fellow ministers actually minister with their wives. It is very clear in the Scriptures yet we do not apply it to our ministries. Why do we do this? Why do we not see our wives as suitable helpers, especially in the ministry? I pray that we will learn to minister together with our wives and model that for future generations. May the Lord help us.