Rebekah: Staying Strong Through the Mistakes in Ministry

Talking with a dear friend who has been a ministry wife for decades and excels in hospitality, she shared with me some drama unfolding in her church. It’s the kind of drama that involves pouting and ultimatums—”my way or the highway” attitudes—that can be deeply hurtful, making her question everything she’s done over the years. Ministry life is filled with joy, but it also bears a heavy weight. One mistake in a church member’s eyes can overshadow all the good you’ve accomplished, challenging your character and integrity. People might say to separate church work from home life, but that’s practically impossible, as ministry intertwines with your very being.


Rebekah’s Service and Trust

This situation reminds me of Rebekah, a model of hospitality and service. When Abraham’s servant was seeking a wife for Isaac, Rebekah’s kindness shone through as she offered water to him and his camels. In Genesis 24:19, “When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, ‘I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.'” Her extravagant selflessness revealed her character and heart of service. Additionally, Rebekah left her family to marry a man she had never met, an act of great faith and trust in God’s plan. Similarly, ministry wives often leave their families to support their husbands in ministry, moving to unfamiliar places far from loved ones.


Rebekah’s Mistakes

Yet, we often focus on Rebekah’s later actions, protecting Jacob and deceiving her husband, Isaac. In Genesis 27, her scheme to secure Isaac’s blessing for Jacob often overshadows her earlier virtues. This complexity in her character mirrors the lives of those in ministry: how a single perceived mistake can cast a shadow over years of faithful service and dedication.


What Truly Matters

Dear friend, remember, just like Rebekah, your acts of kindness and service are seen and valued by God, even when human eyes fail to recognize them. Your dedication and love reflect Christ’s love, which is what truly matters. Galatians 6:9 encourages us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Your work, heart, and integrity are seen by the One who matters most.

In ministry and in life, we face misinterpretations and challenges. Yet your perseverance, compassion, and unwavering commitment to serve define you. Continue to be strong and courageous, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Rebekah’s story reminds us that our lives are multifaceted, and our legacy will be built on the entirety of our lives, not on isolated moments.

–  Andrea Anderegg, FBC Hugo, Contributing Author

“I’m primarily a wife and mother to a teen boy. As a fine art photographer, I love capturing the wonder of God’s creation through my lens. I hold a Biblical counseling certificate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and am currently pursuing my ACBC certification. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, I met my husband while he was a missionary in Tokyo, and I have been a ministry wife ever since. Having served in different countries, it’s been a humbling journey learning from diverse cultures and people. I’m grateful for every chance to share Christ’s love with those who haven’t heard it.”