THE ROLE OF AN EVANGELIST’S WIFE IN THE MINISTRY OF HER HUSBAND
In Ephesians 4:11, ‘evangelists’ is one of the five-fold ministries mentioned in the Bible. Though there is argument among theologians whether this fold ministry should be regarded as five or four ministries because ‘pastors’ and ‘teachers’ are governed by the same determiner (some) and are regarded as one ministry, I think Christians should not be concerned about this argument. Our concern should be with the third ministry – evangelists. One thing that is certain is that apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers are all evangelists because all Christians are instructed to preach the gospel. The commandment is ‘… Go ye into the entire world, and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15). Our Lord Jesus has commanded all His followers to evangelize the world.
By examining the book of Ephesians 4:11 which says, “And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers” it could be deduced that some are specifically called to work as evangelists. In this write up, we consider the role of the wives of ‘the called evangelists’. Evangelists unlike pastors do not have any church of their own, but they move from one church to another; from one village to another, from one town to another, from one city to another, even from one country to another in propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ. They hardly stay at home nor have time for their family members. In such situation, what should be the role of their wives?
The first thing the evangelist’s wife should know is that her husband’s ministry is her own. Apart from the fact that both have been joined together to become one; the wife of an evangelist is also an evangelist so far she is a Christian. The Lord Jesus does not only command men for the work of ministry, but also command women. In order words, both men and women, husbands and wives are required to proclaim the gospel. Another way of looking at it is that, when ‘the called evangelist’ is out there preaching the good news, the wife is at home taking care of the children. Both are doing what is required of them. Having this knowledge will help the evangelist’s wife in carrying out her responsibility effectively. Hence, the following are the roles of the evangelist’s wife:
Prayer: The first and most important duty of the evangelist’s wife is prayer. God constantly seeks communion with his children. It is the duty of the evangelist’s wife to set aside a period specifically for praying for her husband, her husband’s ministry and the children. During this time of prayer, she should give herself to worship, thanksgiving, confession, fellowship, petitions and intercession (Philippians 4:6). The evangelist’s wife should pray for journey mercies for her husband as he travels from one place to another; pray particularly for more souls to be won to the kingdom of God by depopulating the kingdom of Satan in order to populate the kingdom of God; pray for the growth of the converted souls; pray for her children; etc. Most importantly, the evangelist’s wife must be conscious of the fact that her prayer is crucial to the success of her husband’s ministry.
Encouraging her husband to be faithful: Also, the evangelist’s wife should be an encourager. Since she is in partnership with her husband and God, she must be ‘daughter of encouragement’ as Barnabas was ‘son of encouragement’ in the book of Acts 4:36-37. Barnabas gave his total support to the apostles of the early church. And as a result of his encouragement coupled with the fact that he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, many people were brought to the Lord (Acts 11:22-24). However, the evangelist’s wife should NOT encourage her husband to sin against God like Sapphira who agreed with her husband to test the Spirit of God in Acts 5:1-11. If Sapphira had not encouraged her husband to lie to God by keeping part of the proceeds when they sold a piece of property, they would not have died suddenly. Therefore, the evangelist’s wife should learn from the story of Ananias and Sapphira by encouraging her husband to be faithful to God and be plain in dealing with people especially the men of God since ‘the called evangelists’ work with many other ministers of God in the course of staging crusade from one place to another.
Managing the home: Another role of the evangelist’s wife is managing the home. The book of Proverbs 31 describes a virtuous woman. It is necessary for the evangelist’s wife to be the wife of a noble character. She must possess all the virtues, honours and strength to manage her home well. She must be trustworthy, faithful, hardworking, caring, loving and supportive. Proverb 31:11 states that the heart of her husband has confidence in her. This means that her husband trusts her. She is not the type that flirts about when her husband is away on the field. Also, she provides food for her family (Verse 15). Oh, what an industrious woman she is! All ministers’ wives should be hardworking and supportive in ministry.
Training children in the way of the Lord: The Bible says, ‘Train a child in the way he should go: when he is old, he will not depart from it’ (Proverbs 22:6). It is the primary duty of the evangelist’s wife to train her children in the way of the Lord. There is a saying that, ‘Eni kan lo nbimo, gbogbo eniyan lo ntoju re’. In another way, it takes a village to train a child. Ministers’ wives should examine this saying very well. The world we are is different from the world of our forefathers. If a woman is not serious in training her children in the way of the Lord, the internet, television, radio and bad friends are there to train them in the way of the world. Therefore, it may be said that it takes a diligent and prayerful woman to train a child. Parents especially mothers are the first teachers of their children. In the book of Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and 11:19, we are admonished to teach our children the commandments of God. While it is important for parents to allow Children Evangelical Unit (CEU) workers to assist in teaching their children, mothers should be intentional in teaching their children the word of God; they must be actively involved in teaching them.
Lastly, as the wives of the ministers of God, we should be encouraged to stand by our husbands, encouraging them, praying for them, managing the home, training our children, etc. And greater shall be our reward in heaven. Shalom!