Deacons - The Qualities of the Wives

The last time we considered the thought how that a deacon ought to rule “well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” That he ought to be a “family man,” if not in practice it ought to be in his heart. Now we will consider some of the particular “qualities of a deacons’ wife.” What kind of wife must she be according to the word of God? I am sure that most folks probably didn’t even know that the Bible had anything to say about that, but here it is. First we read in 1 Timothy 3:11, “Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.” Some wives may be thinking in their hearts “Why do I have to be considered at all, after all I’m not the person that is being ordained?” To that I would say, that’s right, but the wife has what might be considered the most important role in the support of her husband, in his ministry as a pastor/elder and a deacon, after that of God. In order for him to be able to, in the most effective manner, perform his duties his beloved wife must have these God given “qualities.”

First, she must be “grave.” This means that she must be “venerated for her character.” She must be a person who is worthy of respect. She ought to have a mature mind and heart. She ought to be a person who lives a life with reverence toward God, having a deep sense of respect for the cause of Christ, and His Kingdom Church. She ought to be serious about her role that God Himself has given her as the wife, mother and a pillar of support to her husband in his efforts to serve not only the ministry and the church membership, but his service to her as a deacon. I cannot stress how critical this “quality” is in the life and ministry of her family as a whole, nor can I over emphasize its worth to her husband. To be grave she must be of a stable character, reflecting her “worthiness” in her personal bearing and a “genuineness” in her faith which is observed by the people in the church. You can believe me when I say that this is not something that she will be able to manufacture, but is that which God has placed within her very being. As her husband is being considered for his office, she ought to be patiently praying to God, her Master, that He would bless her in this endeavor by which He is giving her to undertake. I know that God does indeed answer such requests.

A deacon’s wife, we are told in 1 Timothy 3:11, must have the “quality” of not being a “Slanderer.” Let us consider the word “slanderer” carefully for just a minute. The Greek word that is used here is the word “diabolos,” and this is the only place the New Testament where is translated in this way, e.g. as “slanderer.” Most of the times that we find this Greek word; we find that it is translated by the English word “devil,” which it is the way that it is translated no less than 35 times in our King James Translation. In two other places we find that it is translated as a “false accuser.” Therefore, we must conclude that a deacon’s wife is not to be any of the things that this word describes. Have you ever met a person who is a slanderer? This person is quick to say things in the form of gossip: things of a false nature to other people in order to damage the character or reputation of another brother or sister.

We can clearly see how that the word would aptly apply here, because the word “devil” literally means “false accuser.” We find in the book of Job a passage where Satan comes in among the “sons of God,” and accuses Job to God, saying in effect, “If you really knew Job, you would know that he is not really faithful to you.” He suggests to God that if he could only be aloud to have all of Job’s cattle and family and his possessions, and remove them from him that Job would curse God to his face. Of course, the things that follow prove that Satan is a liar, and as Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that Satan “Was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

The wife of a deacon has the privilege of communicating with other members of the church her husband is to serve. Few deacons or preachers can avoid going home and talking to their wives about church troubles. And this is as it ought to be, but it’s also a good springboard from which a man or a woman can then go out and make false accusations in the form of “idle gossip” about other people. A deacon is to not be “doubletongued” and that his wife is to have a “careful tongue.” Nothing that can destroy a deacon’s usefulness more quickly than a wife who has a careless or malicious tongue.

The deacon’s wife must be “sober.” This means that she is to be “temperate.” Surely this means that she lives her life “well,” that she has the “quality” of having a balance that abstains from the hurtful and harmful things and a life that treats the good things of life with the “moderation” that would be pleasing to God. She is the kind of wife who desires in her heart that her husband will be the kind of deacon that he ought to be in his rendering of the most effective service that he can give. She does this with the “qualities” set forth in God's word concerning the deacon’s wife.

She is to be “faithful in all things.” This means that she ought to be dedicated and willing to be consecrated and to contribute to her husband's work as a deacon. She ought to understand that if the church has indeed called her husband to fill the office of a deacon, that God is faithful to also set her aside and equip her to the task as well. She too has a holy work in her place within the office of her husband. He must have her support in order for him to be the most effective deacon that God would have him to be. Without her support, it will not be impossible for him to serve. However, she may be a continuing blessing to him and her church in his work if she will be the woman that God has given her to be.

Beloved, if she loves her husband, then she is ready and willing to share him with those to whom he is called to serve. First, her husband must go out and earn a living. She understands that he must get up in the morning and go off to do that which his job requires of him. She understands that when he returns home again that this demand will consume a certain amount of his vitality and energy. In addition to this, she understands that the responsibilities of the office of deacon are not just a temporary thing, but are a way of life to which he will serve for his entire life. Second, she understands that there will also be inescapable demands that will be made upon him because he is a deacon. She is willing to share him with the church and its service for the glory of Christ Jesus and His Kingdom Church.

She must face the fact that there is time to be spent at his job, and now time will be demanded for the work that he will do in his church as a deacon. In all of this he will need her sympathetic, prayerful and loving encouragement as she dedicates her husband to God and to Jesus Christ and His dear Church Kingdom. This is no time for her to sit down and have a good critical talk about the shortcomings and faults of the church membership. Rather, this is the time to talk about the blessings of the Lord and the privileges of serving Christ, about how God has greatly blessed them both, and a time to remember how He has brought them both safely through each of their trials and tribulations. In so doing God will add to her His love blessings that are not of this world.

 

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