So You Want To Marry A Preacher?

Laurie wanted to marry a preacher! What did she think she was getting involved in? What was her real goal? Was it rational?
Many a young girl has said she would like to marry someone who will be her spiritual leader, and preachers are usually perceived as such. She imagines she will not have the normal troubles and temptations in life that other ladies her age have. She imagines she will be protected from temptation and sin, but this concept of a preacher’s life is unrealistic. Just because a husband is a strong spiritual leader does not mean there will be no temptations for the wife. If anything, Satan will seek her out (1 Pet 5:8).

Perhaps the young lady is unsure of her own faith, or she may have failed a few of life’s tests and knows she needs a “guardian angel” to watch over her. Whatever the underlying reasons, she needs to do some deep soul-searching before she takes the big step. Otherwise, when the pressures of the life she has chosen come to her marriage, she may cause the family structure to crumble. Not only will her family and friends be affected, but the whole church will be suffering.

First of all, the reason for marrying a preacher should not be to shore up her own weaknesses. She should think about what she herself can bring into the marriage. Can she truly be a helpmeet for him and support him in his work? Can she be depended upon to take up slack where he may be weak? Can she endure when other ladies either approach her husband romantically or reject him as their teacher? Both kinds of people will be in every congregation. How will she respond?

Other times Laurie may have thought that being married to a preacher would bring her respect and honor. Little does she know how few preachers are honored for their work, and even fewer wives are remembered at all. In fact, if a preacher is teaching truth and standing for Biblical principles, he may even be rejected by congregation after congregation. That rejection of the man most definitely includes the wife. Can Laurie endure such treatment? Will she be willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel of Christ (2 Tim 3:12-13)?

The life of the apostle Paul is a great example of what Christians and outsiders can do to a preacher. “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings” (2 Cor 6:4-5).

Can you endure such treatment as the spouse of a preacher? Why do you suppose Paul did not take a wife with him everywhere he went? On another occasion he says, “By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” (2 Cor 6:6-10). Can Laurie (or you) endure such extremes? Is she willing to admit these situations may well come to her?

If Laurie’s goal is noble, if her repentance is genuine, if her desire to live godly is true, then she must acknowledge that having the extra burden of living in a glass house could cause her to falter in her resolve. Is she prepared for the extra burdens that living in the limelight will bring? “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). If that is true of every Christian, then how much more is it relevant to a preacher and his wife!

Beth Johnson

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The King James Version.

Published in The Old Paths Archive