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Andy Sanders: "Pastor's Wives: No Longer Figurines Set on Display by the Church"

Andy Sanders
Nov 27, 2016

Steve ShultzFrom the desk of Steve Shultz:

Dear Elijah Listers,

In some ways, I consider this Word such a "given" for the Church that it's almost as if the article doesn't need to be written...

On the other hand, I'm simultaneously aware that huge swatches of the Church do not yet know anything about truly releasing women in ministry.

I believe the time is coming when it will be rare to use the term, "The pastor's wife." Instead, we'll be referring to them as "Ted and Marie – the pastors of this church."

Until then, and maybe for the foreseeable future, we need to be releasing the wives of pastors and ALL WOMEN into productive ministry.

One of my favorite ministries is headed by Patricia King and it's called, "WOMEN ON THE FRONT LINES." We need to understand and grasp that, like it our not, the women in the Body of Christ ARE ON THE FRONT LINES of the battle. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List go here.)

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The Lord spoke to me clearly while ministering at a conference a few weeks back. After calling the pastor's wives forward, a powerful move of God rested on the minister's wives that evening. As I spoke over them, saying, "You are no longer a figurine set on display by your church," I could feel and see the power of God break depression, oppression, and all the many frustrations and insecurities some of them have had to walk through during the years of being a pastor's wife and in ministry. I watched the Holy Spirit empower some of them, setting some totally on fire that night in a radical way.

No Longer Bound

Now is the time for the women of God's House to step forward, come free, and believe that God wants to use them more than ever before. For way too long we have, consciously or subconsciously, bound the women ministers of the Church with Scriptures like these:

But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. (1 Corinthians 11:5-6 NIV)

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. (1 Corinthians 14:34 NIV)

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22 NIV)

These passages weren't intended to bind the women of our congregations; rather, they were to place a proper order within the family and church organization as an example of Christ's love and structure to the Church, His Bride/Body while we are here on earth.

By using God's Word to bind or stop women we end up aborting the intended blessing designed by God to work through minister's wives. This is a grave form of spiritual abortion—and how much more damaging is spiritual abortion when it is happening right within our own churches? (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Christ didn't come to set men free and then bind up women! When we deny the authentic gifts of the minister's wives, we deny a part of God's heart as a gift to the Church. The pastor's wife is somewhat like the mother to the church; indeed, she is a much-needed, genuine leader to the flock. Their office to the Church is just as important as any other office, and it should be esteemed as one of the most honorable positions because it is very dear to the heart of God. Our heavenly Father chose a woman to create the channel between God and man for Jesus Christ. Father God could have chosen any other way to bring the Messiah to earth.

Some of the answers to problems that are being sought out right now among Believers can be found in the women, the pastor's wives of the congregation. Churches that honor their voices will see tremendous breakthroughs, divine nourishment to the Body, and creative expressions released within their congregations.

When women are connected properly to the Church Body and allowed to function in the way they were designed, God is able to illustrate another side of Himself to our congregations.

Free to Be a Blessing

Many times we have forced our women (pastor's wives) to do everything else except what they were called to do. We have crafted them into great nursery workers when some of them were supposed to be prophetesses. We have forbidden them from speaking, lest they stir up the wrong individuals within the Church. Unfortunately, this has cut off their ability to speak a mother's intuition, which is without a doubt one of the more powerful voices within the Body of Christ.

Women have a distinct ability to see and discern what men cannot, which they have gained through the blessing of bearing children and being amazing moms.

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We men can sometimes walk right into a mess that our wives attempted to warn us about, but we chose not to listen to them. I have been married for just over twenty-two years and will be speaking next year (2017) for twenty-four years. If there is one thing that I have learned about life, family, and ministry, it is summed up in one statement: Listen to your wife!

When we don't listen to the women of the Church, the enemy will throw our fellowships in many different entanglements. When women (ministers' wives) are forced to be quiet, it is like the Body of Christ functioning with half the body parts. God placed the pastor's wife in the church to be exactly what He intended them to be—free! Free to live, function, speak, and minister the way God wants them to be and the way they need to exist as women of God.

It is time to remove the shackles that bind our women of God. Pastor's wives (minister's wives and spouses as well) aren't called to be every congregational member's personal figurine set on display by the church. Pastor's wives are called by God to serve and oversee the Body of Christ, illustrating the feminine side of God—the nurturing, loving, tender, emotional parts of God, all vital to the local church.

Of course, there are more roles to a woman than what is listed here that the Church can benefit from. The point is—pastor's wives are not secondary servants or slaves—people who will do all and become all for everyone. They are chosen vessels of honor, gifts from the Father to the Body of Christ and sent to earth for His purposes.

Time to Soar

Men and women carry different roles on earth and, in some cases, within the local body (Luke 8:1-3; Romans 16:1-6; 1 Timothy 2:15; 5:9-10; Titus 2:3-5). There are many more Scriptures on this topic, and I am not writing to debate which gender is better in the Kingdom. There is a slight variation, however, between how Scripture was perceived through the Old Testament (prior to Christ's arrival on earth) compared to how we view Scripture after Christ came and left, having both the Old and New Testament together. (Photo via Flickr)

One differentiation was that in Jewish Old Testament culture a woman wasn't considered a person; rather, the woman was put on earth to assist and please the husband for whatever purposes they needed. This is not what God originally intended when He had Paul write the verses above. Personally, I think this sums it up the best:

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 NIV)

The Lord is setting His pastor's wives free. This is the era for the woman of our day to soar and fly. It is time for the Katherine Kuhlmans and Aimee Semple McPhersons to come out of the closets of our churches and set the world on fire again. This is the hour to let their voices be heard!

I see women filling pulpits, open fields, and stadiums all across the globe, and as they are speaking and ministering they are releasing God's fire through their mouths and hands. God's supernatural power being released through them is a sign that God will choose anyone He desires to work through. The Lord is setting this matter straight within our church communities.

A Woman's Decree

Women of God, you are no longer figurines set on display within the churches that you are called to serve. You aren't created to please the congregations that you serve but rather to equip, mend, and heal the Body of Christ the way you were designed to do. You are no longer bound by the expectations of the congregation, nor must you submit under pressure to perform. We speak over you that you will not be a target out of jealousy, hatred, or hurt from those within the church sent out to try to harm you.

I encourage all of you to bless your pastor's wife today! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List go here.)

Andy Sanders
5 Fold Media, LLC


Andy Sanders had an encounter with God just before his high school graduation that altered his life forever. He has since devoted his time to preaching the Gospel, writing, and developing authors. He co-authored the Capturing the Supernatural series ( Andy has a BA from Central Bible College and carries a masters and doctorate in Christian education from Freedom Seminary, graduating with honors. His family resides in Syracuse, NY.

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