In the last two issues (One Here and Two Here) we have looked at three different ways that a wife can help her husband to succeed. She should seek to please him, putting his needs before her own. She should not possess him—but allow him to pursue the path that God has laid out for him. And she needs to praise him, letting him know that she is his biggest fan and she has confidence in him. Let me say again that these things apply to anyone—not just a wife whose husband is in full time Christian service. This month we want to look at another way a wife can “stand by her man” and help her husband to succeed, no matter what occupation he may be in.
Yes, every man that is called by God needs a good wife to protect him from interruptions at crucial times. Many people think that all a pastor does is preach twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday night—and the rest of the week is basically free. If you are a pastor’s wife, you know that is a laughable statement!
Some people look on the pastor as the man they pay to be at their beck and call. So if they have a need, they call the pastor. If they are lonely, they call the pastor. If they need someone to visit their great aunt Matilda, they call the pastor. If their cat is up in the tree and won’t come down, they call the pastor. And on and on the list goes. If you have a whole church full of people with this attitude, you can see that your husband indeed does need protecting.
Be sure to guard his sermon preparation times. A pastor must study on the average about 5-10 hours for every sermon he prepares. If he is preaching 3 times a week, that time adds up quickly. Many wives are jealous of the time her husband requires for study. But remember God has called him to feed the flock that he is overseeing—and he has an awesome responsibility to fill.
How can you protect your husband in this area? Screen his phone calls and don’t disturb him when he is studying unless it is absolutely necessary. Most people who call with an “emergency” have been living with the problem for twenty years and just decided today to do something about it. That is why it is an “emergency” in their mind. Let them know that you will pass the message on to your husband when he is available. Don’t let the children interrupt your husband while he is studying, and don’t use that time to ask him about getting new drapes for the living room.
If his office is at home, you will need to be especially watchful. He will need plenty of quiet time to be able to study and prepare his sermons. Sometimes a wife will forget that her husband’s study is so very important. After all, she has things she needs to do too. Why can’t he help out more? Resist the temptation to send him on errands, to ask him to answer the phone or to watch the children. A considerate wife will notice when her husband is tired or distracted and keep the little ones outside or playing quietly when he needs a nap or is studying.
A wife can also protect her husband from “designing women” in the church. Sadly, every church has them. They are the women who think that they need the attention of your husband—and they will seek any means to get that attention. One way to protect your husband is by making calls with him—on visitation, at the hospital, to welcome new families to the church, etc. Your visibility at his side lets others know that you are an inseparable pair. It is also important to sit in with your husband in counseling situations when he is dealing with women. A wise pastor will never counsel another woman alone.
Another way to protect your husband is by meeting his needs—emotionally, physically, and sexually. If your husband knows he is loved by you and you are doing your best to meet his needs, he will not be tempted to look anywhere else. Other women will not interest him or draw his attention. He will have eyes only for you! And that is the way it should be.
Beverly is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and Doug Hammett have been married for over 35 years. Since her father was a pastor and her husband was already a pastor when she married him, she is well acquainted with the blessings as well as the problems of the ministry! Bev’s favorite things to do are read and spend time with her family.
In Autumn of 2010, Doug stepped aside from his position as senior pastor at LVBC to reach and train men in Botswana and South Africa. Beverly continues to write for our ladies publication, giving her unique perspective of life in the ministry, and now life on the mission field. You can read more about their ministry here.