Can I give the support my husband needs?

Being in the ministry comes with both blessings and hardships. God has given pastors the serious charge of proclaiming the gospel, shepherding the church, and disciplining it’s members. Although there is great joy in seeing the work of God in action for a pastor, it is also common for pastors to face temptation and adversity within the church. Knowing this, it is important for us as young pastor’s wives to equip ourselves and ask how can we give the support our husband needs.

Listen

When a problem arises for your husband in the church, it can be tempting to want to butt in and try to fix it. You might ask “Why else would he tell me about the issue? He obviously needs me to help him.” But that might not be the case. My husband and I have been married just over a year, but it didn’t take long for us to determine that we are very different when it comes to processing situations. I tend to think through a situation in my head and when I have arrived at a plan of action, I voice it. But this is not so for my hubby. He works through issues by verbally processing through them.

“Good listening often defuses the emotions that are a part of the problem being discussed. Sometimes releasing these emotions is all that is needed to solve the problem. The speaker may neither want nor expect us to say anything in response.”
Janet Dunn, “How to Become a Good Listener.”

The bible also instructs the Christian in good listening,

“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19

As wives, we can impact our husbands greatly with just the simple act of listening. We can offer our husband a safe place to voice his concerns without the need to identify the solution right away.

Encourage

God has given the pastor’s wife the ability to greatly impact our husbands ministry with just the use of the tongue. We can encourage (or discourage) with our words and actions like no one else in our husbands lives. Providing encouragement to our husbands can increase their self esteem immensely. A purposeful, well placed line of encouragement can strengthen your husband’s heart and ease his struggle.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Speak Truth

The most vital thing that we can do as pastor’s wives is to speak truth to our husbands. It is tempting for pastors to measure their success with how many people attend Sunday morning worship, how much money is placed in the offering plate, or how many men quote their sermons on Twitter or Facebook. The need for fame and riches has been the downfall of one too many pastors. But as pastor’s wives, we have been given the opportunity to remind our husbands where they should find their success, and that is in Christ alone.

“We’re always assigning to ourselves some kind of identity. There are only two places to look. I will either get my identity vertically, from who I am in Christ, or I will shop for it horizontally in the situations, experiences, and relationships of my daily life. This is true of everyone, but I am convinced that pastors are particularly tempted to seek their identity horizontally.” Paul Tripp, “Your Ministry is not your Identity”

The bible also instructs the Christian in speaking truth,

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” Ephesians 4:15

If we as pastor’s wives can remember to listen, encourage, and speak truth to our husbands, it will not only strengthen our marriages, but it will also positively impact the ministry that God has set before us!

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