The Ideal Minister's Wife

A personal account.

By Mrs. E.K. Slade

It was not my choice to be a minister's wife, for we were married before my husband was called to the ministry, and perhaps I have looked upon the calling as a bit more sacred and of greater importance than it might have seemed to me when a younger girl. I am inclined to take the importance of the place of a minister's wife seriously, and for that reason the influence for good or ill that might come from a right or wrong course has been greatly emphasized in my mind.

It has many times seemed to me a mistaken idea that the wife of the minister should give her time so fully to public activities as to neglect her home-making responsibility. An ideal wife should be able to make the min- ister's home all that it should be, not alone in contributing to the comfort. rest, and physical welfare of the family, but particularly as a n example and influence to others. I do not believe that God intends that the work of the minister should be destructive to homes. While the husband is neces- sarily away from home much of the time, the importance of a n attractive, well-kept home, even though it may be simple, cannot be overlooked.

There are ministers' homes which bear a strong and constant testimony in favor of Christianity and of the work that the minister is trying to do. On the other hand, it is to be regretted that we must observe homes of ministers which have a detrimental influence. The homes in which there seems to be little love and where everything is in confusion, with disrespect for parents, willfulness on the part of the children, and but little appearance of the Christian graces- somehow the message going forth from such a home speaks so loudly a s to nullify all the good words and counsel that the minister may give.

To me it seems deplorable to see a minister of the gospel who is earnestly laboring for the public, having the handicap of a home, wife, and children, and a general atmosphere of the home life, practically defeating his efforts. For this season I am inclined to feel that, first of all, a minister's wife should be an ideal wife and a good home maker. I believe that she should be an example in dress and appearance, avoiding a tendency to follow the latest fads and fashions. On the other Band, the equally serious evil of slackness, untidiness, and disregard for that which is becoming and proper, is to be feared. I do not wish to dwell upon this more than to say that in my judgment the minister is failing in the important work of the ministry if his wife is departing seriously from a proper standard in these things.

I have had impressed upon my mind the great importance of the minister's wife's knowing how to relate herself properly to all people. She cannot practice partiality in her choice of companions or associates; she cannot show special favor to a more agreeable class while neglecting those who are less inviting. The tendency that we frequently see of clannishness and par- tiality, always proves to be detrimental and damaging to the work the husband is trying to do.

The importance of fellowship and sociability is great, and if properly directed will be a means by which good may be accomplished; but I feel that there are many cases where damage rather than benefit has been done through the apparent neglect on the part of the minister's wife in her retation to certain classes, both in and out of the church. I cannot see how one who realIy Ioves the truth and has a proper conception of its true objective can fail to show a common and equal interest in all.

(To be concluded next month)

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By Mrs. E.K. Slade

January 1928

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