Pastor’s Wives Ministry is a hard look at those few individuals who believe that they can be a pastor without a wife.
The Biblical Requirement
If we trash the authority of the Bible, then anything goes, and we can even see homosexual and lesbian pastors. But we do not do this. So we turn to Scripture to get our bearing here.
1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
God clearly makes a requirement for the pastorate is that the pastor must be…
- Married to only 1 woman
- He will then have a “home” and he must govern his house well, because that is the basis for governing the church.
We cannot see any way to interpret the text and do it justice to the language without requiring that the pastor be a man. This is a given. God has decided that the men are to be the leaders. (See section below about 1 Timothy 2).
While I have heard of single men using the excuse that this was a cultural thing of the time of Paul, I do not see any warrant for that. If you do that here, you can overturn any commandment or norm or standard or instruction by doing the same thing. Yes, there are cultural differences between our day and Paul’s day. On the basis of what exposition do you find authority to pick and hit this item and then that one without anything in the text to indicate it? Are the people who do this really following Scripture or what they want personally?
Married to only one woman
I do not know how to take this requirement really. If as so many want to make it, this is not about divorce and marrying a divorced woman, or being divorced and remarried, then what is it about? Were Christians marrying multiple wives in the time of Paul like Abraham?
Some say it means not to be married to more than one wife at a time. In other words, divorce completely the first wife before you take the second one. This is just wrong also.
I do not this refer anything to a pastor who loses his first wife and remarries. It just doesn’t fit the until death do we part aspect of marriage.
After you have twisted this verse into a pretzel in order to fit your desires, check it with verse 2. The Bishop is to be blameless. Does that check with your version of things? A pastor with a single and only wife checks. A pastor whose first wife has died and he remarries checks. Nothing else I have ever heard checks.
Govern his home well
The parallel drawn is that the pastor handles the governance of his family in much the same way as he governs the church. A wifeless pastor doesn’t have a clue about these things.
1 Timothy 3 Context
1 Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
If we understand that our Bible has helps, the chapter and verse divisions, then we can forget them for a minute and go back to original manuscripts and everything is one long running letter. The context (verses 9-12) has to be referring to the same issues as chapter 3.
In the matter of requiring only men to be pastors, 2:9 through 11 clearly disqualifies all women pastors.
Why do Pastor’s wives get a pass but Deacon wives don’t?
Pastor’s Wives Ministry