Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Greatest Things You Can Do For Your Pastor Husband (Guest Post)

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When the man that I was in love with (and would soon marry) told me that he was going into seminary nine years ago, I was rather unprepared for life as a pastor's wife. There are many demands placed on a man in all types of positions and yet some things are unique to a life of ministry. I believe that some of the most important things we can do as pastor's wives are to support, pray for and speak well of our husbands! Here are some of what I hope will be helpful things that I have learned in the past six years of being a pastor's wife.

Speak Well of Your Husband to Others

One of the first things I became aware of when my husband entered the ministry was how important it was to speak well of him in front of others and of course at home as well. Much of our husband's reputation is affected by what we as wives say about him in front of our friends and family. Sometimes we don't even realize that we are demeaning him and/or his work, so it's good to evaluate what we are saying as well as how we are saying it.

I once told a lady in the church when my husband forgot to line up kitchen help for an event he was in charge of, "Oh, he doesn't think about those things. He's a man." I should have put my hand over my mouth right then and there! It was a small comment, meaningless to me, but every little statement sets the tone for the way our husband is perceived by people in the church. And this applies whether our husband is a pastor or any other profession! Proverbs 31:11-12 says about a good wife, "the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."

Speak Up for Your Husband When He is Criticized

Equally as important as speaking well of your pastor husband is speaking up for him when he is criticized. I'm not talking about constructive criticism, but of the times when his character is being attacked. Thankfully I haven't come across this situation in our present church even once, but it happened while my husband was in seminary. It was hard to choose my words carefully, but instead of going on the defensive, I found it most effective to emphasize my husband's good character and reputation (which he had already earned) in the face of misplaced criticism. This helped to reinforce the fact that others trusted him to make good decisions and also encouraged him personally, knowing that his wife was standing by his side. 

One caution, however, in doing this is to not allow yourself to become a martyr, taking everything personally and believing that the world is against your husband. This can quickly turn into bitterness and will make your ministry experience miserable! God does not intend us to live this way, instead He calls us to live at peace with all men (as far as it is possible) and forgive seventy times seven! 

Listen to Him and Offer {Solicited} Advice

If your husband comes to you with a concern over a situation in church and is wondering what to do, take the time to listen to him instead of giving him your knee-jerk reaction {guess how I know that?}. Oftentimes just allowing him to talk it out can resolve the situation. Likewise, if he doesn't want to talk about church matters, let it go! Sometimes my husband doesn't tell me things because it's something he just needs to deal with on his own or doesn't want to bring me into because it may hurt my feelings unnecessarily. 

Thankfully, my husband asks my opinion and advice about many things, even when he is preparing his sermon. I figure he doesn't need my help on the spiritual content but since I'm a competitive speech coach, I usually have "helpful" advice to offer about the delivery and presentation of the sermon. But I've also learned that right after the sermon isn't the best time to bring up my constructive criticism! :) When I say things at the right time and especially if I wait until he is receptive to what I have to say, we are able to share ministry ideas together.
Praying Pictures, Images and Photos
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Love Him and Pray for Him

Praying for your husband and simply loving him deeply is what I've found to be what truly "covers a multitude of sins." Tough things will happen to your husband in the ministry, some that are unintentional but still difficult to handle. But when your husband is secure in the fact that you will bring him good, he can find comfort and security when he comes home. I believe that our pastor husbands need this stability and support, especially because things change so often in ministry due to the variety of needs that exist within the church.

Intercede before the Lord on your husband's behalf--there are many needs he has that he may not even realize! Pray for him to be inspired by the Spirit, to be grounded in the truth, to have compassion and patience, to have wisdom in what he preaches and teaches, to be tuned in to the needs of his church. Pray God's protection over him, because the devil will throw many darts--and covering your pastor husband in prayer is your greatest weapon!

Trust in the Lord that He who has begun that good work in your husband (and in you!) will "carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Jenn is a daughter of Jesus, wife to a wonderful pastor and mom of three amazing children {so far!}. On any given day you'll find her going on family walks, having tickle fights with her kids, trying to maintain a clean house {ha!} and curled up with her nose in a good book. 

She shares her thoughts on loving your husband, raising kids right, living debt free and organizing a home, all with an eternal purpose at The Purposeful Mom. You can also join her on Pinterest and  Facebook! 


Laura Lane said...

Thank you for sharing this. My husband was thrust into ministry, not as a pastor, but as relief coordinator for a large church in Joplin, Missouri.

It's been a big change for our family.


Jenn said...

Whether your husband is a pastor or serves another role in the church, he always needs encouragement and prayer! I can imagine that your husband's position would be an overwhelming responsibility and definitely a change for you as a family as well. Thanks for commenting, Laura. I'll be praying for you!


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