I want a call to ministry, Aunty, and I need a wife!
25 April 2022 |
Dear Aunt Sevvy,
I’m a ministerial student. I have been urged that I should have a wife to get a call.
Why won’t anyone date me?
Signed, Lonely wannabe pastor
When Aunty was in college, she remembers ministerial students being told that they needed a wife before they’d be hired. Back then, all pastoral candidates were men—and most still are.
At the time, Aunty thought it sounded rather silly. Who forces someone to get married to get a job—especially in light of 1 Corinthians 7:8? It’s been a long time since she’s heard that requirement mentioned, though. Aunty knows single pastors now who, like the apostle Paul, do just fine.
I don’t know why you’re struggling to find dates. I think an honest friend who knows you better could tell you that.
But I do know this: being a pastor’s spouse, as important as it is, is a tough gig that not everyone wants to take on. Pastors-to-be are sincere and well-intentioned, but the attitude that “I need a woman and I need her fast” didn’t make a gal’s heart warm back in Aunty’s college days—and it still doesn’t.
But Aunty also knows that ministry can be hard all by yourself. Right now, in most parts of the world, nearly every beginning pastor will spend some time in clusters of small churches, often in remote areas. Some of the tasks and conflicts of ministry are hard to manage alone. So while the theology of having to be married may be questioned, Aunty sees some practicality in it.
Compatible life partners don’t appear by magic. Some of the advice Aunty gave a few weeks ago to a young woman who wanted to be married applies here: you have to make yourself available, work on your own presentation of yourself in appearance, conversation, personality and deportment, and above all develop good social skills.
Aunty has sometimes wished that there was no-shame social training for certain kinds of good but shy men who need a bit of instruction on how to do courtship. Until that happens, she recommends lots of prayer.
You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published—without identification of the writer. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and her opinions are not necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.