Anyone leading a ministry or in a position of leadership in the church will receive criticism. And this includes their wives. In this video, Diane Nix walks through some of the responses that ministry wives can have to criticism of both themselves and their husbands.
Diane Nix is the director and founder of Contagious Joy, a community and resource for ministry wives. She and her professor/pastor husband, Dr. Preston Nix, have served in ministry for 34 years.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
How should we deal with criticism?
We often say in my household that we can have a whole group of people and we can all think that we’re going to be on the same page, but the truth is with two people you’re going to have at least three opinions. That’s just the way it is.
Criticism is always going to come at leadership.
Forever and ever and ever. We have not spoken in this way until recent days. But in my early days as a ministry wife, we didn’t speak of us as leaders. And most of the time, a lot of times, as ministry wives, we don’t want to call ourselves leaders. But we are. We’re leading and influencing the women and even the men in our church. And we’re leading and ministering to our husbands and partnering with them in this job. Anyone that is leading a pack is just going to receive criticism.
So the best things that I can say to you about criticism of yourself. Number one, wounded women wound women. What I need you to understand in the world that we’re living in today, the culture that we’re living in today, women are coming into Christianity very, very broken and wounded. They’re going to misunderstand you. They might feel threatened by you.
And you and I have to make certain of our giftedness. But most of all, number one, would be certain of our calling. And number two, our giftedness. And that we understand that we’re not serving men. But we’re doing everything as if we’re doing it unto the Lord. That’s what the Scripture speaks to us about in Ephesians: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all for the Lord Jesus Christ.“
Find a safe person that you can let your hair down with. Another ministry wife. Another like-minded woman. Another leader that you can be safe with. Don’t dump it all on your husband because he’ll want to fix it. But then you need to make certain that you’re taking it to the Lord. But if you need to talk about it, find someone safe to talk about it with.
Secondly, if it’s coming against your husband and they’re coming to you, I always give this word:
“You know what, my husband would love to hear that word from you. Believe it or not, we don’t always share those kind of things in our home. We don’t talk about the church all the time. But I know, if it’s this important for you to come to me, he would love to hear that from you himself. So practically, take it to my husband. I don’t want to misunderstand you or miscommunicate. So you take that him yourself.”
And then I make it my point to never bring a criticism to my husband that is frivolous or something that’s going to distract him. I make certain that I’ve prayed it through and only when I’ve prayed it through with guidance with from Holy Spirit do I share or not share what has been said to me.
Learn more about Contagious Joy, a community for ministry wives, founded by Diane Nix.
Want to see more from Diane? Check out here other LifeWay Voices video: Ministry Wives: Take Courage.