The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us

Ministry Wives


O.K.  all my lovely friends out there who have husbands in some kind of ministry (and that should be all of you who are married to believers)–this is for you.  Bill has been in vocational ministry roles for most of our marriage.  Though not vocational anymore, his ministry responsibilities at Sojourn keep growing.  The more responsibility he’s given, the more nasty things we hear said about/to him.  I know I’m not new to this, but I need some counsel from you ladies who are good at handling these situations.  Ladies like Kacie, Sarah, Julie, you don’t get to sit out on this one without making a comment.  🙂  What do you do to protect your heart from anger or sadness when you hear something hard about your man?  Bill guards me as much as he can, but there are times when someone will just tell me to my face when he isn’t around.  I rarely act in faith in these situations and let it consume me.  It doesn’t help that one of my sins is the fear of man.  I am going through a particularly difficult season right now where I feel like we’re being hit from all sides.

For clarification, though there are definitely many times Bill has been called to repentence by brothers in his life, I’m talking more about the times that I have found out there was a gossip session about him, times when someone gets angry that he calls out sin in his/her life, or times when someone is simply bitter and takes it out on him for instance.

4 thoughts on “Ministry Wives

  1. I know exactly what you mean. It’s hard at times. But it’s important to remember that you are serving an audience of One. A dear friend just talked to me about this recently and she advised me to remember that the only thing that matters is, “what does God say about him? is he doing what God has asked him to do?” I said “yes.” Then she said, well then all other opinions shared are given in vain, aren’t they?

    All the chatter and stupid comments will come to an end someday when the Lord says, “well done my good and faithful servant.” Until then, it’s important for us wives to remember that this world is not our home and we should expect that we will encounter trouble in all shapes and forms. That doesn’t make harsh words sting any less, though. I love what this verse says about this issue.

    “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”
    1 Corinthians 4:1-5

    Praying for you today!


  2. Hi Courtney!

    This is an area where I was forced to grow immensely in NM. It seems to hit at all sides, all the time.

    I only had one instance where my anger surfaced in public. I want to tell you that it wasn’t in front of a couple hundred people at VBS, but it was. *BLUSH* I’m sure Kacie still remembers the call she got that day.

    I have seen David attacked for many reasons.

    Sometimes, he actually *was* making poor decisions/was in the wrong/etc. and it was just the way the situation was handled that was wrong. In those situations, I found it easy to not become angry and just prayed for the men or women who needed to come to my husband to do so in a godly way (and not behind his back). David is actually pretty good in admitting when he is wrong or has made a poor decision or sees an area for growth.

    I have seem many people jealous of my husband. In those situations, they would say horrible things about him that weren’t even true (or were extremely misconstrued) just to hurt him. Malice was their goal and, oftentimes, it worked. In those moments, I felt pity. For those people, that is. I can’t understand what motivate some to be so hurtful. I grew to love David even more during those times (which seemed often in certain seasons) because he never retaliated. His actions were very godly and I so much respect that.

    Lastly, some people were blatantly cruel and harsh and rude and unkind and sometimes even vicious because they flat-out did not like my husband. They could criticize anything. His clothes. The shoes he preached in (not that anyone ever did- as far as I know LOL). But you get my point. In those moments, my instinct was anger and bitterness and retaliation. In those moments where I battled to be spirit-controlled I prayed for God to help me see those people as He sees them. I also many times reminded myself that my sin is just as disgusting as theirs. Not that I always succeeded, but when I could look at these people in that light, it made it easier to love them, pray for them, and actually have a heart for them.

    I don’t know if any of this makes sense or if I am just rambling, but it helped me =)

  3. Well, unfortunately I don’t have much to add in this department! I’m so new at this I’m just trying to figure it out myself so I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to say. 🙂

    I can say that so far we have been very blessed with a church body that very rarely says things to me about my husband. When things come up I try to refer the person back to him, but it hasn’t happened a whole lot with anything major.

    As far as him dealing with conflict that I hear about later (I don’t hear about it all, he tries to keep most it from my impressionable ears 🙂 ), I try to follow his lead. SInce he is really good at being a duck (letting things roll off of his back), it helps me to be a duck too. LOL, I bet you weren’t expecting my response to have duck references in it! When it does bother me, I talk it out with him a bit and get his take. That always helps.

    Also, I think that people dealing with conflict in an unBiblical way (gossip, etc) is reason for us to feel sad. That type of sin does bother and sadden me just at it saddens God. I have to be especially watchful for bitterness and an unwillingness to forgive to creep in. And in those times, I have to keep reminding myself that the person is a fellow child of God and that He is sanctifying and growing him in the way that He sees best.

    Anyway, like I said I’m not much help here. We’ll be praying for you guys!


  4. For “not having much to add,” I sure wrote a book up there! Sorry!

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