Over the years, there had been lots of controversies as to who is an ideal priest’s wife, her person, role in the life, ministry and church of the husband. Lots of teachings, practices and emphasis have led to further confusion. Thereby causing too many erroneous actions in the lives of many modern life of pastors, ministers and priests’ wives. A cursory examination of the life and living of Elizabeth, the wife of Zachariah, the mother of John the Baptist – the forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ, will definitely cover the basic structure of a priest’s wife, which is worthy of emulation for every priest’s wife in all generations.
A. Scriptural Foundation – Luke 1:5-7,24,40-45,56,57-61
Elizabeth was from Aaronic priesthood lineage with her husband, Zacharias. They knew the Lord, served Him and lived for Him only.
❖ She knew the Lord and lived for Him.
❖ She was contented to be a truthful and dutiful priest’s wife.
❖ She was barren, but prayed over it with her husband.
❖ She allowed the husband to go perform his priestly duties.
❖ She handled her loneliness with prayers and seeking the Lord.
❖ She handed over her reproach to the Lord until He came through for her.
❖ She made the home habitable for the husband to return to.
❖ She was submissive, supportive and cooperative with husband.
❖ She was not given to complaints, murmuring and moodiness.
❖ She freely gave her body to the husband and conceived.
❖ She was hospitable, humble and kind to Mary – for 3 months.
❖ She was free from jealousy, self-pity but respectful, genuinely rejoiced with her and treated her well. Taught her things about her baby and pregnancy.
❖ She operate in prophetic office, but still submissive to the husband’s priestly office.
❖ She stayed home to raise the child, practice her prophetic ministry, while the husband goes to his priestly office.
Every priest, pastor, minister or bishop’s wife will do well to transfer these scriptural qualities of Elizabeth to their lives, ministry and marriage today, because they are timeless and sacrosanct.
B. God’s Wisdom In Calling – Luke 1:40-45
Without gainsaying, there had also been various practices and teachings regarding ministry roles of a pastor’s wife. In the case of Elizabeth and Zachariah, we see the wisdom of God in calling: sometimes,
✓ God can choose to call both husband and wife to five-fold ministry.
✓ God can choose to call husband to priesthood and wife to prophetic ministry.
✓ God can choose to call wife to pastoral ministry and husband to business work.
✓ God can choose to call husband to pastoral ministry and wife to intercessory, children ministry.
Elizabeth discovered her ministry – prophetic ministry, and practiced alongside and under the authority of the husband. So also must every priest’s, pastor’s and minister’s wife!
C. Model Priest’s Wife Today
It is now crystal clear that this woman, Elizabeth is the model priest’s wife. Therefore, every pastor’s, bishop’s and priest’s wife and female ministers must model her life, living and ministry today, by imbibing these factors:-
- Settle with Christ- know Him, obey Him, live for Him and let Him
have you in totality.
- Study Your Husband- his gifts, graces, strength and weakness and
adjust accordingly. Love him and assist him. Every man is a book, if you know how to read.
- Submit To Your Husband- don’t try to control, dominate or argue with
him. Your submission will deflate his ego and made him love you more.
- Support Your Husband- attitudes, actions, words, encouragement and
prayers of support are crucial to his success.
- Sacrifice For Your Husband- your time, talent, treasures, ambitions,
dreams and goals should be sacrificed for the peace, progress of your home and marriage.
- Suffer With Your Husband- marrying a priest is not a bed of roses. It
comes with financial, accommodation, critical and mean people’s challenge in the church.
- Sanctify Your Husband- by prayers, intercession and love, you can
bring him to God’s salvation, mercy, grace and deliverance.
- Surrender To Your Husband- Your body is his, don’t turn it to scarce
commodity. Open the gate of the house of the Lord at all times! Let that body be fresh, full, prim, scintillating and inviting to him only.
- Satisfied With Your Husband – you must be satisfied with your role to
support, help and grow with him.
- Solace Your Husband With Respect – Respect him in all things and show it
to him in every area. Men thrive on respect.
- Succor To Your Husband- Bring succor, peace of mind and favour to your
husband, not regret and troubles.
- Settle With Your Husband – Stop holding grudges, hurts, bitterness
and malice with him. It only blows ill winds.
It must be said of you by your husband that you are a favour from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). Elizabeth became a gift from the Lord and a favour to her husband. So also must the life, living and ministry of priests’ wives be unto their husbands, God, children and society!