There has been lots to learn in reading Iain Murray’s soon-to-be-released biography of John MacArthur. A couple of days ago I read the chapter that looks at MacArthur’s wife, Patricia. Here Murray turns to John Watson and Charles Spurgeon as they speak of the value of a godly wife in the ministry of a pastor. Here is just a small portion of what he says:
If whom we marry is the next most important thing to conversion itself, it is doubly so for every pastor. John Watson, advising students for the ministry at this point, warned that of all men “they ought to be most careful in the choice of a wife, for she may be either a help or a hindrance not merely to his comfort but to his work.” A good wife, he continued,
advises her husband on every important matter, and often restrains him from hasty speech … receives him weary, discouraged, irritable, and sends him out again strong, hopeful, sweet-tempered. The woman is in the shadow and the man stands in the open, and it is not until the woman dies and the man is left alone that the people or he himself knows what she has been.
MacArthur would have no doubt about the truthfulness of Watson’s words. He would go further and say with Spurgeon,
A true wife is the husband’s better half, his flower of beauty, and his heart’s treasure. In her company he finds his earthly heaven; she is the light of his home, the comfort of his soul.