We have been looking the past several months at different ways that a wife can stand by her husband and help him to succeed in the ministry. Remember, these principles apply not only to those in the ministry, but to any man whatever his occupation. As a wife, you are to be your husband’s cheerleader, his chief supporter, and his encourager. We have looked in the past few months at how you can please him, not possess him, praise him, protect him, pamper him, and provide a pleasant atmosphere. We want to look at a few more areas this month.
A preacher desperately needs someone who understands his need to relax and laugh and play. In the ministry, he will face many tragedies and heartaches. He will spend many hours in study and in counseling of other. He will often be called to stand with a family in times of great sorrow and during the loss of loved ones. He carries the burdens and needs of the congregation on his shoulders. And there are always the countless problems that come up that must be handled.
Therefore, he needs a wife at home to tease, to play games with, and to laugh with. If he doesn’t find a place at home where he can relax and unwind, he will look for it somewhere else. Some women think that they should be super-spiritual all the time and never laugh or have fun. But as I read my Bible, I am convinced that God has a sense of humor. So don’t be a stuffed shirt. Loosen up a bit! Don’t be afraid to enjoy life with your husband.
When the Scripture says that Isaac sported with his wife, Rebekah, it is obvious that he must have given her a playful, loving gesture—a pat, a hug, maybe he bit her ear. Whatever it was, the king could tell that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife, not his sister. Likewise, a wife’s loving response to her husband ought to be playful and lighthearted. Don’t be so sensitive that you can’t take a little lighthearted teasing. Or so serious that you can’t unbend and even be a little silly together in the privacy of your room.
Be His Partner
There are many ways you can find to be your husband’s partner in the ministry. Here are some ideas you might try (with your husband’s permission, of course):
Read helpful books or articles to him.
Read books for him and take notes on them.
Type up his sermons for him.
Find illustrations for him.
Go visiting with him.
Be involved in counseling with him.
Type his correspondence for him.
File helpful articles for him.
Keep his office clean (just don’t move things on his desk without his permission!)
Instead of going your own way, ask yourself how you can be a help and a partner to your husband. Remember, a problem looks significantly different when shared with a trusted confidant. Sometimes your viewpoint can provide a new slant on an old problem. Difficulties change their shape and lose their strength when they are shared. You can be that kind of partner to your husband in the ministry.
Every preacher’s wife knows that her husband is a frail human being, even if church people put him on a pedestal and think he is just about perfect. Just like every other man who has ever lived, your husband will make mistakes in ministry. If he loses his temper and yells at you or the children occasionally, don’t label him a hypocrite. God chooses to display His power through weak vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of men.
Even though he is a man of God, he is a sinner, just like you are. You will see his worst side, because you live with him. You know his weaknesses better than anyone else. You need to be careful that you don’t let Satan use this to a disadvantage in your life. Be patient and keep on believing in him. Remember that God is still working in his life too. Affirm his ministry. When he does a good job, let him know how well he did. If he knows that you are behind him, and encouraging him, it will strengthen his resolve to keep going.
Finally, be prayerful and faithful. Your husband needs your prayers. No one can pray for a preacher like the preacher’s wife can. She knows and understands his heart like no one else. Pray that God will protect him from temptation and keep him pure. Pray that God will anoint him with power. Pray that God will give him wisdom for the many decisions he must make. Pray that God will give him strength to carry out the many responsibilities that he handles.
One of the greatest services you can ever render to your husband during a service is simply to be there, faithfully in your place, praying for him as he preaches. If there is an area in his life that you believe needs to be corrected, pray long and hard about it before you even try to talk to him about it. You cannot change him, only God can do that.
Pray for your marriage relationship. Satan knows that if he can destroy your marriage relationship, he will destroy your husband’s ministry. Pray that God will make you the kind of wife you need to be to support your husband. Pray together with your husband. If a husband and wife are spending time together on their knees, it will bind their hearts together in a special way, and make it harder for Satan to wreak havoc in their lives.
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.