A Minister’s Husband

“You should learn how to play the piano or something… since you’ll be a minister’s wife someday.”

An older gentleman said this to me as we were walking along toward the Sunday school class, where my husband and I were to share about our missionary experiences. When we were single, my husband and I had both individually heard God’s call and confirmation to be long-term missionaries, and both of us had taken steps of faith on short-term trips to answer that call. And though they had invited my husband to be the speaker that morning, as equal partners in all things, he of course wanted me to share my story as well. Sadly, the assumption was that my husband was the minister and I was the minister’s wife!

The gentleman’s comment left me dumbfounded and speechless. I wanted to laugh because it was so absurd and cry because I knew he wasn’t joking. It was assumed that because I was a married female, I was no longer a missionary (I was a missionary’s wife), and furthermore, there was no way I would be the minister — but the minister’s wife.

But God is not gender-biased. He gives spiritual gifts according to His sovereign prerogative. To me, He gave the gifts of teaching and shepherding. To my husband, He gave the gifts of service and music. So… in our family, if anybody was to be the piano player, it would be him, and if anybody were to be a minister’s spouse, it would be him. But a “minister’s husband”, whoever’s heard of that? As we move forward in proclaiming the message of biblical equality, may a woman’s call to ministry be as readily accepted as a man’s.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Corrie on January 3, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Classic! I love that phrase “Minister’s Husband”…I’ve never heard it before, and that’s really odd, considering how many women (throughout history) have answered God’s call to ministry and missions. Well, that’s another patriarchal stereotype that needs to change…and it couldn’t happen soon enough!

    I’m so glad you are passionate about your call. Isn’t it interesting that following God in this means challenging the status quo? Sounds just like the way God typically moves!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Kim on January 20, 2008 at 4:52 am

    I absolutely can’t wait to see what God has in store for you and your husband 🙂 I’m left speechless also, but at this point, I just have to laugh it off, b/c I don’t want to cry about gender inequality and the limited way our society sees women anymore. I choose to see it the way God sees it. So glad I worship a God of justice and truth.

    Reply

  3. Yes, following God means challenging the status quo (that’s exactly what Jesus did!). Sometimes this *does* feel far too overwhelming (I agree with you, Kim!) — but at the same time, it’s a cause worth fighting for… and I’m realizing that ‘fighting’ for it must be something I do verbally but it’s also something I just must live out.

    Reply

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