We are going to continue this month looking at some ways that you as a wife can help to make your husband to succeed in the ministry. We have mentioned several in the past issues: please him, don’t possess him, praise him, and protect him.
Even a big, strong, hunk of a man needs special nurturing and loving. As his wife you have a special opportunity that no one else has. By pampering him, you can let him know that, of all the men in the world, you are glad that you married him. Let him know how special he is to you.
Make it a point to observe the times that your husband is likely to be down and determine that is the time you will be strong. Most preachers are tired after the Sunday night service. That is not a good time to plan a big party. When my husband was a pastor, I found that usually by the time he got through with everyone who wanted to talk to him, it was quite late. He generally did not want to go out and socialize with others. He just wanted to get home, get into some comfortable clothes, have something light to eat, and get to bed.
I also found that after the services on Sunday, he usually needed to talk for a little bit about the happenings of the day, and about different situations in people’s lives. It used to bother me when I had to turn down invitations from people to go out with them after church. But I realized that being available to meet my husband’s needs was more important than spending time with others.
Make yourself available to spend time with him. If he calls and wants you to go somewhere with him, try to rearrange your schedule and go if at all possible. Make use of every opportunity. Go on walks together. Talk together. Spend time together.
Reaffirm your commitment to him often. The pressures of the ministry are great, and Satan wants to drive you apart, but you need to be very close. Besides your relationship with God, your marriage relationship is the most important one that you need to nurture. Work on it. Keep it fresh and vibrant.
Speak words of kindness, softly and gently to him. Let him know how much you love him and appreciate him. Surprise him with a sweet note or card in his lunch. Cook his favorite food, and serve it in a special candlelight dinner. Give him an unexpected gift. Fill up his vehicle with gas. Thank him for something good he has done. Spend time with him doing something he likes to do.
Read old love letters to each other or write new ones. The glow and passion of your early romance will help you see how far your relationship has grown or stagnated. If it has grown, rejoice. If it has stagnated, work to renew it. The amazing thing about this process will be your recollection of how much love you had for each other at the start when you had so few material possessions. Renewing romance will be good and fun for both of you.
Provide a Pleasant Atmosphere
It is up to the wife to make her home a beautiful, pleasant place. This is especially true of the minister’s wife. Almost without his realizing it, the needs of all the people in the church can build up to the point of being overwhelming. Though the duties may not kill him, they nag him constantly. His heart and mind are continually filled with challenges. The pressures start when he wakes, they are with him all day, and sometimes they torment his sleep at night.
For these reasons and more, a pastor needs a refuge, a place to go to where he can relax and recoup. He needs nurturing and intimacy at home. More than you know, he needs a place of calm. If the house is messy or dirty, he will not be able to relax.
Analyze your priorities at home. Make it a habit of life to have your home clean and orderly before you leave in the morning. Get up a few minutes earlier, see that all the basics are done—beds made, dishes washed, clutter picked up, floor clean, bathroom fresh and tidy.
A pleasant atmosphere should also include having the children under control. Pastor’s kids are not perfect, but they should be well disciplined and well behaved. A pastor’s children are a reflection of his ministry. God says, “If a man knows not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”
Children in a preacher’s home need as much of a regular routine as you can provide—regular bedtimes, mealtimes, naptime, with appropriate schedules of work, study and play. A wise wife can do so much for her husband and children by carefully planning the day—making lists, keeping a family calendar, and encouraging organization by all family members.
Remember that part of your job as a keeper at home means taking care of his clothes. Does he have to ask for brown socks to go with his outfit? Are missing buttons promptly replaced and ripped seams repaired? Are his suits taken to the cleaners and his ties kept clean? Does he have a clean pressed shirt to wear each day?
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.