Pastors & “Hot Wife” syndrome

As one of (maybe) 5 residential female students at a small seminary in the south, I have the pleasure of seeing different chapel speakers from around the globe come and share with the students a few times a week.

In our post modern society when pastors attempt to be relevant they tend to show off how beautiful their wife is to the audience usually followed by a statement such as “My wife is SOOOOOO HOT!”, “My wife turns me ON!”, “God blessed me with such a hot wife!” etc. etc. etc.

I know that I am sensitive in this area which is why it probably bothers me more than most women who would find it sweet, but the implication of such statements coming from a pulpit should be carefully and humbly spoken. I have seen that these types of statements unintentionally teach my male counterparts that if they are faithful in ministry that God will bring them one hot and sexy wife. It also tells females to gain a reputable husband who intends one being a pastor you must be “hot”, not only when you get married but to keep him, you must stay hot.

Subliminally the focus on a qualities of a future mate shifts from primarily spiritual reasons to the physical which in my opinion is dangerous. I understand that men and women would like for their significant other to be attractive, but should “hot” be one of the primary adjectives used by so many pastors as a description of their wives? Aren’t there more important things in a spouse other than how she looks to her husband?

Realistically in ministry, a hot wife is useless if she does not have discretion, wisdom, virtue, and the ability to stand by her husband when things get rough and at times extremely hazardous to the entire dynamic of the family relationship. I realize that these pastors probably know that these spiritual qualities are in their wives, but when coming from the pulpit why not use another adjective than hot (etc.)?

Proverbs 30:31 is just one of the many verses that exalts the spiritual instead of the physical stating “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman that fears the Lord is to be praised.” — So why not focus on, “My wife is such a blessing to me because ___(godly qualities)___, and just to add, she is also the most beautiful woman in the world.”? Would that not be more beneficial to both men and women?

My plea to pastors (current and future) please do not make physical beauty the focus when you speak of your wife to congregations or audiences, instead focus on how her being like Christ enhances her physical beauty. It brings the focus to the work God has done in her life rather than physical beauty that will fade.