Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Encouraging Your Husband

What do you do when the pastor is discouraged and you just happened to be married to him?

I interviewed some church planters' wives and asked them some questions about ministry. I asked this question and I'd like to share some of their thoughts with you.

Judy Puckett, veteran church planting wife, said that recognizing discouragement is important - it often displays itself as irritability and being short with you or the kids for no apparent reason. In reading the stories of Moses, Elijah, and Jonah, we see that even the strongest Christians experienced times of discouragement. She said that no one is immune from discouragement and offered some great ideas:

Be sensitive and listen (more than you speak). “You seem to be on edge (or worried). Is something bothering you today?” Often, just allowing him to verbalize his frustration will solve the problem.

Encourage him to do things he really enjoys doing, like a hobby, or watch a favorite TV program. Something that takes his mind off his problems may help him to de-stress.

Keep quiet about other issues, needs, chores, and problems until a better time.

Meet his physical needs. Be loving by giving him a back rub or some other physical touch. Make his favorite foods. A little comfort food goes a long way.

Enlist help if the discouragement persists.

Brenda Lewis, another veteran church planting wife agreed and shared that increasing her prayers for her husband seems to help. She even prays that God will help her know what to do and direct her to scriptures that might help. She agrees that being together (they drink a lot of coffee together) and just talking helps. She's found that when one is down, the other is up and can often encourage the other.

There are many ups and downs when planting a church. Inevitably, our church planting husbands will get down - sometimes after a big victory. A little extra TLC can be just what they need!

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