“…to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house…”
to the beloved Apphia,
Apphia was the wife of Philemon (v. 1). Wives had the responsibility for slaves, and thus Apphia had an interest in Onesimus’ situation. The wife, according to the custom of the times, had responsibility for the slaves in the household. She may have had responsibility for Onesimus.
Good partnership in marriage is essential for successful ministry.
If a person is married, success in ministry comes from a good partnership. If a marriage is a mighty grim scene, the focus is on conflict. If there is harmony in the marriage, there is a heart for others.
Pastors, whose wives are not behind their ministry, have a tough row to hoe. The pastor, whose wife stands with him through difficulties and troubles, receives a great blessing indeed. If you are considering ministry as a full time occupation, be very careful in choosing a mate. It will make all the difference in your effectiveness for Christ. She will be criticized from every angle, so she must be able to take disapproval and disparagement. If she cannot take criticism, her husband will not last in ministry.