HomeLifestyleBooksLessons of Wisdom for...

Lessons of Wisdom for the Christian Leader’s Wife

“I never knew what I was supposed to do. I never knew my contribution.”

Being the wife of a Christian leader is not easy. Debby Thompson knows firsthand, and when she heard a fellow “leader’s spouse” once utter these words, she was inspired to share her personal story with others. As a result, she wrote The Leader’s Wife, Living with Eternal Intentionality, published earlier this year, which she also uses to communicate the wisdom she has learned from spouses of other Christian leaders around the country. Her book is labeled as encouragement to women “to pursue intimacy with Jesus, authenticity with others, a passion for their calling and a purpose for their influence.”

You are equipped to be the partner He created you
to be.

Debby and her husband, Larry, are no ordinary couple. When he proposed to her, she did not know the journey ahead, but his words provided a telling indication. Rather than a simple, “Will you marry me?” — he asked, “Will you go with me in helping to reach the world for Christ?” Their wedding ceremony closed with the hymn, I Have Decided to Follow Jesus…no turning back, no turning back.

They have now served in global missions with Campus Crusade for Christ International since 1974, and they spent a total of 33 years in missionary work in Eastern Europe.  The couple perhaps has faced more daunting challenges than most as in 1977, they left the U.S. and “flew into the great unknown” with their 17-month old child in their arms to live covertly behind the Iron Curtain in communist Poland. While there, she gave birth to two more children, and they witnessed dramatic social, political, and spiritual change, raising their family in four different countries with four different languages and four different cultures. (Editor’s note: You can read about a special Thanksgiving they celebrated in Poland HERE.)

While Debby points out the life of a leader’s spouse is an “invigorating, stimulating experience,” she also notes that it comes with its own set of pitfalls. A unique calling with unique challenges, this position requires you to share your husband with large numbers of people. Loneliness is a factor along with gossip, criticism, and people using you to try to get messages to your husband. There are financial challenges, opposition, long hours, monster schedules, and the urge to try to protect your spouse and fight his battles for him. Indeed, the spiritual battles upon a leader’s family who is following God’s will are more intense than others. The Leader’s Wife deals with all of these hurdles and additionally focuses on:

  • Your beauty and worth as a person
  • The challenges you face as a partner in being married to a leader
  • God’s glorious portrait for oneness
  • God’s promises which are to be embraced and celebrated

A leader’s wife needs courage, perseverance, and resilience. Debby has gained some valuable wisdom over the years from other godly women, books, seminars, etc. But her most significant source of help has come from the Lord Himself, especially during those times when the enemy tried to get her to quit, such as the time she tried to persuade Larry to leave Eastern Europe during a political and economic crisis in communist Warsaw. But “you are equipped to be the partner He created you to be,” Debby noted.

In her book, she provides four categories of growth and discusses the importance of finding your own strong identity in Christ, and she offers three “life-changing” principles to help make this happen. When Satan attacks you with pangs of insecurity, she provides some scriptures to arm you for the counterattack and to help guard and protect against “identity theft.” “A battle rages for your marriage — arm yourselves with the Word of God,” she advised.

Debby also includes personal stories about the wives of great leaders, both historic and current, such as Katherine Von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther; Elisabeth Elliot, who ministered to the Auca Indians after they killed her missionary husband; and Ruth Graham, wife to the legendary Rev. Billy Graham.

She discusses the importance of having a communication covenant with your husband and tells how she and Larry became workaholics after they turned into empty nesters, causing additional issues to overcome.

Debby even includes an entire chapter about sex, and how the Bible serves as a “marvelous manual” on the topic. She talks about the associated myths and offers suggestions for a “sanctified, sizzling, sex life” for Christian married couples from newlywed newness through the empty nest nostalgia.

The final chapter discusses powerful promises for the leader’s wife from God’s word. I won’t give any more of the book away as you need to read it for yourself. But be assured that her pearls of wisdom can be incorporated into the lives and marriages of any Christian spouse, whether your husband is a leader or not.

Now living in Cincinnati, Debby serves on the Global Leadership Council of Athletes in Action International, the sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International.  An active grandmother of six, she is also a sought-after speaker, writer, and mentor for women around the world.

You can subscribe to Debby’s blog, Living with Eternal Intentionality™, GPS for a Woman of Purpose™ at DebbyThompson.com, and follow her on Twitter at @Debbythompson17. To contact her directly, email: Debby.thompson@cru.org.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be the first to.know what's happening in the Christian community

More from Author

Big Daddy Weave Kicks Off Alive Tour in February

“Everything that has been shaken will be shaken.’” But now he said he feels like Big Daddy Weave is coming out on the other side, entering a new season of life and a season of ministering from a place they haven’t been before.

Joseph Habedank: Restored and Blessed with Successful Solo Ministry

In the fall of 2003, The Perrys introduced a 17-year-old Joseph Habedank to 20,000 Southern Gospel fans at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

Drawing Courage from the Women of the Bible

In Courageous Women of the Bible: Leaving Behind Fear & Insecurity For A Life Of Confidence and Freedom,” Latan Roland Murphy details the courageous stories of 11 women in the Bible, and they all demonstrate valuable life lessons for today’s Christian woman.

The Martins are Still Standing

They are the Martins, and they will showcase their beautiful family harmony when they perform in concert at New Covenant CCCU (535 E. Second Street) in Waverly on Friday, April 27, at 7 p.m.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Prayer, Faith Can Help Teens with Mental Health Issues

A study on teens and young adults confirmed that those who pray and have a relationship with God were more likely to flourish in life more than their peers.

Count Your Blessings Daily, Not Just Once a Year

I heard about a family seated around their table looking at the beautiful golden-brown turkey. Dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, various vegetables, and casseroles complemented the turkey. From the oldest to the youngest, they went around and expressed their praise.

More than 7,000 Kids Decide to Follow Jesus –YFC

The Youth for Christ announced that 7,323 kids and teens decided to follow Jesus Christ this year, twice the record reported in 2021.

Billy Graham Archive & Research Center is Now Open

The new Billy Graham Archive and Research Center opened in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, the birthday of the late evangelist.

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the songs on their latest album in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, long before the nation was divided over issues that now dominate the headlines.  Millard, though, believes the album’s release in 2022 had been God’s plan...

‘Praise the Lord!’ Ukrainian Christians Cheer Kherson Liberation

Ukrainian Christians celebrate the liberation of Kherson with cheers of praise and thanksgiving, seven months after Russia occupied the city.

JESUS Film Makes History, Now Translated in 2,000 Languages

The JESUS film makes history as it is now translated into its 2,000th language making it the most translated film of all time.

U.S. Renews Calls Against Blasphemy Laws

The United States joined 15 countries in expressing concern over international blasphemy laws.

Franklin Graham Attracts Record-breaking Audience in Italy

More than 13,200 people gathered for an evangelical outreach led by Franklin Graham in Milan, Italy on October 29.

A Hindu PM Marks a Historic Moment in the UK

Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's first Hindu prime minister. He is also the first person of color to hold the highest office in the UK.

A New Biblical Worldview Study Series is Now Available Online

Family Research Council and Summit Ministries announced a partnership launching a new biblical worldview series called Now We Live.

Gen Z Could Change the Faith Landscape in Australia

Two recent surveys on Christianity and the church in Australia found that Gen Zs are generally open to conversations about faith and spirituality.