By Dennis Wiggs
The young preacher’s wife is not encouraged to read this article. However, the young pastor should study every word! February is the “month of the valentine.” More candy and flowers are given during February than any other time of the year. And while it is important for the young pastor to demonstrate his love for his wife during February, the display of love should not be limited to a single day or month!
The young preacher should demonstrate his love and appreciation regularly. If any husband ought to prove his love for the wife, it ought to be the young pastor. The woman in the parsonage is a special person. She has followed her preacher-husband to a church where everyone is usually a stranger. She has accepted her mate’s ministry as her ministry. Here are some suggestions to nurture the relationship between a young pastor and his most valuable asset—his wife.
Understand Her Position
The young pastor’s wife often has few close friends. In addition to her job and rearing the children, pastor’s wives face the daunting tasks of counseling distraught church members and keeping the house clean for unexpected guests.
My wife has reminded me many times that “A woman’s work is never done.” While the young pastor visits church members or eats out with a pastor friend, his wife is busy at home, guarding the “base of operations.”
The young preacher absolutely must appreciate the woman who guards, protects and sustains all that goes on in their home. He must not take her for granted, but cherish her and nourish the relationship.
Touch her tenderly every day. Your wife needs to feel your affection. A neck massage after the evening meal or holding hands while watching the evening news will provide a greater sense of security.
Tell her “l love you.” Those are magic words to a woman who has heard crying, demanding children all day. Take her out to eat once a week. Arrange for a baby sitter. Spend this profitable time together to reinforce the marital covenant. Trust your wife. Sharing your prayer requests and then praying together will develop a greater trust and devotion.
Keep your eyes away from other women. Adore the one God gave you. Buy her a new dress, a purse, shoes. Let her know that she is appreciated.
If your wife works outside the home, young pastor, you are obligated to assist her. Most women want to wash the dishes, vacuum the floor, dust the furniture, etc. The home is her castle. But the young preacher should be willing to take over the mop, grab a wash rag, or vacuum the carpets to relieve his tired wife who has worked all day.
Assist in Child Rearing
Yes, it is important to speak to the deacons, shake hands with the visitors, meet with the church board, and pray at the altar with someone who just heard your message. But this should not be the time for the preacher’s children to crawl under the pews, run around the parking lot, climb a tree, kick some adult, or pick a fight with another kid.
A wonderful sermon can be destroyed quickly by out-of-control children. Develop an understanding with wife and children before entering the church sanctuary. Better to load up the vehicle and go home, leaving the deacon talking, rather than give church members something to talk about the rest of the week.
And, young preacher, hold that baby! God gave the child both to you and your wife, even if the child does burp on your new suit. Calmly correct the child who is climbing over the church pew Know what those kids are doing.
Remember, the young preacher’s first responsibility is to his wife and children. The obligation to corral the kids is not just the wife’s job.
Birthdays and anniversaries ought to be recognized, of course. However, a note on the mirror of the bathroom cabinet or on the coffee pot will provide a loving reminder for the new day. The young pastor would do well to call his wife once or twice a day just to say “l love you.”
Both husband and wife should work on new ways to express the growing love between lifelong partners. Love church members as people who need you. But love your wife as someone who is part of you. Make her your valentine every day!
About the Writer:Dennis Wiggs retired in 2004 after many years in ministry.
Adapted from Contact magazine, February 1999.