Your biggest job is to be an encourager and a helpmeet to your husband
You husband’s ministry is not going to amount to anything if you are not behind him 100%. You have all heard the old saying: behind every good man is a good woman. That is very true, but the opposite is also true. Behind every man who fails there probably is a nagging, complaining, unsupportive wife. Your husband needs to know he can trust you, no matter what.
When we first moved to Pennsylvania, there were many difficult days. My husband came in many times very discouraged. He would pull out the want ads and start looking for a job, expecting to either be kicked out by the deacons, or so exasperated with people he was ready to move to Siberia. It is at times like that I need to be there and listen to his heartache and then be an encourager to him, to listen and talk to him. I can quietly remind him that God is still in control, and let him know I am praying for him.
If on the other hand I were to say, “You are right. You are a real failure. I don’t know why we moved here in the first place. You deserve everything you are getting.” Who is going to scrape him up off the floor after I get done mopping up the floor with him? Your husband needs to know that you still love him, no matter what, and you think he is the best preacher in the world, even if everyone else is throwing darts at him. You are his best fan!
This also helps to keep his eyes on you and not drifting off to some other woman who does think a lot of him and tells him so. So many pastor’s fall into sin because of this very problem. If you don’t support him, and meet his needs, he will find someone who will. Don’t drive your husband into sin. Give him the love and support he needs.
Pray for your husband
He faces many decisions every day. He needs wisdom as he counsels with others. He needs strength to withstand the attacks of Satan, and they are many. He needs wisdom as he prepares his messages that he will preach what God wants him to. Satan knows that if he can get a preacher to fall or to compromise, it will affect a multitude of lives. Your husband needs your prayers.
Many young wives feel depressed and feel they can’t help with the ministry. They are home all day with the kids, they can’t go on visits with him or get involved like they want to. I have been there, and I know it is frustrating. But remember that you can have 2 great ministries right there at home—raising your children for the Lord and praying for your husband. Don’t ever under-estimate the value of those two.
Keep your priorities right
The pressures of being in the ministry are real. You will face many situations which you have never faced before. You will be confronted by things that you have no idea how to handle. Every pastor’s wife I know is very busy. It just goes with the territory. Therefore, you need to be sure that you keep your priorities right.
Priority #1-You need to keep very close to the Lord. A vital prayer life, and daily feeding yourself in the Word of God are a necessity. This is absolutely something you cannot do without, especially if your husband is in the ministry. If you are too busy to pray and read God’s Word, then you are TOO busy. You must have a close relationship with the Lord if you are going to survive in the ministry.
Priority #2-Your relationship with your husband. You need to be sure that he is first, not the children, not your duties at church, etc. He needs your support, your love, your prayers.
Priority #3-Children. Many wives whose husband is in full-time ministry must also homeschool their children. When our boys were young, they were homeschooled. Sometimes it is hard to juggle all your responsibilities, but it can be done.
Priority #4-Church. You need to be involved, but you don’t have to be Superwoman, trying to juggle 20 jobs and thereby neglecting your husband, your children, and the Lord. You need to learn to evaluate and to say NO sometimes. Don’t let others in the congregation make up your schedule for you or lay a guilt trip on you because you aren’t doing something the former pastor’s wife did. Hurrah for the former pastor’s wife, but you are not her. You let God tell you what to do, and it will be just right.
Remember the old saying, “Duties never conflict.” If you are having a conflict somewhere, then your priorities are out of whack. Go back and evaluate just what you are doing.
Learn to Listen
Usually when your husband talks to you about a situation or problem, he is not seeking your advise or wanting you to solve his problems. He simply needs someone to listen to him and to bounce his ideas off of. I used to feel that my husband was telling me all these things because he wanted my input, or he needed me to solve for problem for him. So I would get all bothered and flustered, and try to rack my brain for an intelligent answer! But all he needed was a sympathetic listening ear.
Many times as we talk, he will ask my opinion, and if so, I will give it. But only if he asks. Usually he solves his own problems just by talking things out. All I have to do is sit and listen and look interested!
God is faithful!
After 44 years in the ministry, I am happy to report that God has never failed us! He is always there. He has always met our needs. He has always answered our prayers. He has always given wisdom when we asked for it, and many times when we did not. He can be trusted with your life and your future. He knows what is best!
Keep in touch with Jesus—He will keep you sweet!
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.