The Sweet Aroma of a Pastor’s Wife

In loving memory of Marie Davis
Marie Davis

Marie Davis always had a smile on her face and a little chuckle in her heart. She left quite the impression on this pastor and my wife, Linda.

During our many years of serving side by side, Linda and I observed over and over how God can use a godly pastor/wife relationship to help build up and unify a body of Believers. Marie and Don were the epitome of encouragement and unifiers. Sadly, we’ve also witnessed the decline in a church’s spiritual health when a pastor and his wife are not in sync with one another or their ministry.

Linda and I developed a deep bond of friendship with Pastor Don and Marie during our years serving on staff with them. And for that season of ministry, we are most grateful. During their 30 years of ministering to their beloved church family of Trinity Baptist in Cayce, SC, this body of Believers were exposed to a wonderful example of a loving, God-called, God-honoring, and God-empowered pastor and wife team.

Just as Pastor Don is dearly remembered as a caring and compassionate pastor with an uncanny ability to remember names, Marie will be fondly remembered for her calm grace, her quiet confidence, and her sweet spirit which drew people to her. Their eternal impact of faith, dignity, and godliness will be felt by their church family and thousands more for many generations to come.

Marie was a nurse. It was a perfect career to use her gifts of mercy and compassion. I’m sure she shared some of her precious pearls of wisdom with the nursing staff who cared for her many times during her later years as a patient.

As an exceptional soloist, with a trained voice, Marie sang God’s praises from the depths of her soul.

Marie was also an outstanding Bible Teacher. In fact, when I served at Trinity as Minister of Education and Youth, I had a hard time persuading her class to divide and grow because the ladies didn’t want to leave her. This wasn’t only because she was a great Bible teacher, but also because she genuinely loved the women entrusted to her care, and she was always there when they needed her.

Marie modeled the life of a godly woman and a godly wife who served as a personal mentor for scores of young women, and when they came to her for advice and counsel, she handled it discreetly and with great compassion. She showed us that being a pastor’s wife is much more than wearing the title. She understood that a pastor’s wife is a called “Christ-follower” just like her husband and in whom the Holy Spirit has also deposited spiritual gifts with which to honor the Lord as she serves alongside her husband.

1 Peter 4:10-11(ESV) says: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

What Marie taught us, and especially Linda, was that every woman’s first responsibility is to be the helper her husband needs and then to be the mother their children need her to be.

Being a pastor’s wife requires much sacrifice, especially when children come along. She knows when not to interrupt his study, prayer time and sermon preparation. She understands that they are on-call 24/7 to meet the needs of their flock, and she’s willing to do whatever is required to help him meet those needs. Like a soldier runs toward the battle and the firefighters toward the fire, a pastor and his wife run toward the hurting to do what they can, for as many as they can, for as long as they can. When their work is done, God calls them home.

Many seminaries today teach a different model, and many pastor’s wives struggle with their role. According to the Scriptures, if the Lord calls a man into the ministry, he calls the whole man, and that includes his wife and his family, for they are the first evidence, or examples of his calling. Though each church has its own expectations of the role of a pastor’s wife, what Marie offered was this: simply be the woman, wife, and mother God created you to be, and trust Him with it all.

Having been blessed with an amazing pastor’s wife now for 46 years and seeing how the Lord has used her in so many ways, and in so many lives, I believe there is a special anointing upon women who serve the Lord in this capacity. To you who serve in this way, don’t lose heart. Press on toward the goal of your upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

Marie Davis embodied 2 Corinthians 2:15-16. She was a sweet aroma of Christ among us, and the fragrance of her life will linger with us for as long as we live, and the testimony of her love will continue to flow through us to others as we are reminded of her love for us.

A godly wife is priceless. Her husband has complete confidence in her as his partner because each day she brings him good and not harm. With her hands she makes beautiful things. She works diligently for the good of her husband and family. In the community she is known for her kindness and wisdom. She handles money well and is very capable in business. She is able to initiate great projects and lead others well. Her arms and her heart are open to the poor and needy and she does not neglect her own family. She is strong, elegant, and happy. In all that she says and does, she brings honor to the Lord. (Proverbs 31:10-31 - paraphrased)

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