Serving in the role of a Pastor in a local church brings excitement to me. Every time I walk up to the pulpit to preach or the table in the youth building to proclaim God’s word, joy runs through my body. I am thankful that at the age of 15 years old I was called into ministry and that God has blessed me with amazing churches where I have served. However, if I was, to be honest with you, the reason I can do ministry, doing the calling God has laid on my life, and impact lives with God’s word is because of my wife, Leigh.
My relationship with my wife is unique and special to me. I am thankful to my wife for seeing God’s calling in my life and helping me grow as a Pastor. In my context of ministry, I work with teenagers and have for the last 14+ years, and I have seen my wife jump into ministry to serve beside me daily. I am thankful for Leigh’s servant heart, but more importantly for her walk with Christ. Leigh loves the girls within on our ministry because of her walk in Christ. I have realized that sometimes I have not shared my thankfulness to Leigh for all she has done for me, the student ministry, and for the Gospel message.
I recently wondered if there are Pastor’s out there who are looking for ways to show their spouse that they love them and are thankful for the sacrifices made for ministry. I created five means that you as a Pastor can show your wife that you love them and are grateful for their impact in your ministry.
Share your sermon ideas and notes with your wife
I know that this may come across a little weird, but your wife wants to be a part of your ministry and wants you to share what God has been doing in your heart during the sermon prep. Leigh knows every sermon and direction the sermon I am preaching is going. Why? Because when I share my message, ask her for illustrations, and her thoughts, it shows Leigh I value her opinion. When we appreciate our wife’s thoughts and views within our ministry, it shows them our love and respect.
For the record, if you use an illustration your wife gave you, please give her credit. I want the congregation to know that my wife was part of the process. Because my wife is my partner in ministry, and we celebrate wins. When there are losses in ministry we talk about it and how the ministry can grow from the loss.
Date nights with your wife are non-negotiable
God has called you to ministry, but God has also called you to be a husband and a father first. Trust me, I am a workaholic at times, but one of the greatest lessons I have learned from fellow Pastor friends, love your wife and children first, then the ministry. I know it can be hard because there are many different things that tug on our schedules, minds, and hearts in ministry. However, God has called you to be a husband to your wife first.
Leigh and I take dates regularly, and we make sure once a week we go out for “us” time. I have learned that when I am at that particular time with Leigh, I do not get on my phone or do ministry. When we are on a date, my time with Leigh is the most precious time. I do not respond to text or emails. Plan at least one date night a month for you to take your wife somewhere and just have time together.
Write Thank You Cards and mail them to your wife
At least once a quarter, take a moment from your office at church to write your wife a thank you card. I use the Student Ministry stationary that says, “Thank you for your awesomeness.” I want my wife to know I saw something she did over the last month or quarter in ministry and I am thankful for her.
I try to play it off, but my wife knows my handwriting. A thank you card allows you to write your a personal letter to your wife, sharing why you value her in the ministry with you. Do not allow your wife to feel or think it is her job to love on the students. She needs to know she is valued by your ministry.
Share your workday with your wife
When I come home from work my wife every day asks me, “how was my day?” and “what did I work on?” I know after a long day you just want to come in and sit in silence. We all have been there from time to time, but I have learned that Leigh asks me about my day because she values the work I am doing.
Take time once a day or a few times a week to just share with your wife the things happening within the ministry or that you are working on. I realized very quickly that Leigh was excited and loves asking questions about a new series I am thinking about or event I am planning. Take time to just share your work day with your spouse.
Invite your wife to student events and them a big deal
I wanted to end with this one on purpose. I love going to sporting events, concerts, recitals, etc of the students within our ministry. There is something special about seeing students doing life outside of the church. Leigh and I agreed that two nights a week we would go to youth activities together, two nights a week we go to church activities, and three nights we would stay home. I love our agreement because church nights are non-negotiable and two nights a week allows for us to head to see our students out and about. However, I like taking Leigh to student events in our community.
There is something special about sitting next to your wife at a high school basketball, wrestling, choral event, and the list goes on and on. I make sure that after we go to one of these youth events, we go out to eat somewhere. We do not go anywhere expensive, but we go and talk about the game or concert. I want to make a big deal out of these students events because my wife is part of my ministry. If we are going out to an event, I want it to be something special for our marriage that we are doing this together.
No matter where you serve and do ministry, take time to value your wife. She helps keep you going and grounded in ministry, but she is your number one fan.