Her Greatest Work

Dear sister, what is your influence upon his life?

WALTER SCHUBERT, Associate Secretary., General Conference Ministerial Association

No greater honor can be —bestowed upon man than that of the call to the ministry. No other profession or calling, not even that of an emperor, is equal to that of a soul winner. Oh, if every minister would sense the importance of this high calling! "The great­est work, the noblest effort, in which men can engage, is to point sinners to the Lamb of God."—Gospel Workers, p. 18.

Without violating its spirit, we might also read the statement this way: "The greatest work, the noblest effort, in which a woman may engage, is to have the privi­lege of being married to a minister, help­ing him to point sinners to the Lamb of God." In most instances you will find be­hind a great man of God, a kind, Christian wife—one who recognizes her high privi­lege.

Why is it that a minister owes a great part of his success to a lovinab wife? The Spirit of prophecy tells us:

"Marriage, a union for life, is a symbol of the union between Christ and His church. The spirit that Christ manifests toward the church is the spirit that husband and wife are to manifest toward each other."—Testimony Treasures, vol. 3, p. 96.

When a minister and his wife have in their hearts the same attitude toward each other that Christ has toward His church, then heaven's atmosphere begins for them right here. If a minister is happy in his home life, he is better able to preach with power the good news of salvation. His home environment helps him to lift the people with whom he comes in contact to a higher standard of life. If a minister's wife produces by her Christian charm and homemaking ability a heavenly atmos­phere for her husband and children, she is in a real sense of the word a soul winner in the Lord's sight.

A minister's wife may sometimes feel that she does not accomplish much in life or that her work is not appreciated. A wife who daily cultivates a spirit of kindness and tries to make home a little heaven on earth for her husband, deserves an equal share in her husband's reward.

A Praying Shepherdess

A consecrated Christian wife is a great asset in her husband's soul-winning en­deavors. As a minister's son, I recall how I used to find my mother praying in the parlor for as long as half an hour when I would come home from school in the late afternoon. One day I said, "Mother, why do you pray so long? I have to wait and wait before I can kiss you and run out to play." "Son," she replied, "Daddy will preach tonight, and I have been praying that God will bless him, that he might speak with power and sinners be con­verted, and that the church might pros­per."

Recently I had the privilege of visiting her grave, and as I stood there, past memo­ries played upon my heartstrings; and this incident came to mind—a picture of the prayer life of a godly minister's wife. Yes, Father's success was greatly due to Moth­er's unceasing prayers. Would it not be well if every minister's wife would pray daily and fervently for the success of her hus­band's soul-winning endeavors? What changes would be witnessed in soul win­ning! What wonderful experiences and what great joy would come into the home!

A minister's wife can exert a tremen­dous influence upon her husband's congre­gation. There may be some members in the church whom he has unconsciously and un­intentionally offended, and perhaps some have had to be reprimanded, and do not feel too kindly toward him. This is where a consecrated shepherdess can help to re­store good relations by showing a friendly spirit and speaking a word of encourage­ment at the right time. She will never be partial or prejudiced to any in her hus­band's congregation. She will always try to heal wounds with her delicate, feminine, Christian touch.

A consecrated minister's wife exerts a great influence for good among the church members, but she will never convey the im­pression that she runs the church or the conference. Her good judgment will tell her just how far to remain in the background. The Duke of Edinburgh is a shin­ing example of this characteristic. Even though Queen Elizabeth relies heavily on his good judgment and counsel, he knows just how much of the spotlight is his.

A good minister's wife knows how to keep a confidence when some sister in the church has opened her heart, unburdened her worries and problems, in the hope of finding a solution as well as comfort and consolation. She will never try to pry infor­mation from her husband that is of a con­fidential nature. Her husband, as an or­dained minister, is honor bound before God to keep forever sealed anything that has been related to him in confidence.

A thoughtful wife will never nag at her husband, even though she is convinced that he needs correcting. Nagging, faultfinding, critical remarks, and unkind words are all factors that can ruin the preparation and delivery of a sermon, and mar the efficiency and success of the husband's visiting pro­gram. An unhappy incident between hus­band and wife, a few unkind words in the morning, have often been the cause of many lost days in soul winning, and many sermon failures.

A good minister's wife, although she may at times feel she is not treated right, will always remember that her husband is a minister. Therefore, she must watch her every word and deed, for they will exert a powerful influence on his disposition, on his work, and on the people whom he visits—an influence for good or for ill. It is in her power to help her husband be­come a mighty minister of the Word, or to reduce him, by her spirit and by her in­fluence, to an unproductive servant in the Lord's vineyard.

Every worker who has had some meas­ure of success in the Lord's vineyard owes a great deal to the unfailing help and spir­itual support of his faithful wife, who has shared his responsibilities and joys of the ministry.

A Personal Experience

About thirty years ago, when I was a young minister, the going was hard, and there were a number of difficulties that taxed me to the limit. At this point I was offered a remunerative position in the business world with opportunities for ad­vancement. One day I came home and told my wife that I was leaving the ministry and the organized work to accept this gold-plated opportunity. My decision was made, and I was on my way to the conference president to hand in my resignation. My wife took my hand, led me to the bedroom, locked the door, and said, "I will not let you out of this room until you prom­ise me that you will stay in the Lord's work. I married a minister and not a business­man." For two hours we discussed the pros and cons of the situation, and after a season of earnest prayer we both made a new sur­render to God as with renewed faith and courage I dedicated my life to the min­istry.

Now, as I look back over the years, I thank God for a godly wife who came to my rescue in the hour of great crisis in my life. What a joy it is today, to think of the many scores of people whom the Lord helped me bring into the truth in various countries, and who are rejoicing in the blessed hope of our soon-coming Saviour. I have often thought of the statement, "God has given to every man his work, and no one else can do that work for him."—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 615. I tremble when I think of how near I came to failing in my duty. If I had left the ministry, would I not have to give an account in the day of judgment for the lost souls who might have been eternally saved?

Thank God for the thousands of won­derful, self-sacrificing ministers' wives in the ranks of our denomination, who work behind the scenes for the success of those they love, and who have chosen this high­est calling. Their reward may surprise them, for they will share the stars equally with their companions in the kingdom of God.

Dear sister, what is your influence upon his life?

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WALTER SCHUBERT, Associate Secretary., General Conference Ministerial Association

April 1956

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