October 15, 2012

Appreciate Your Pastor

October is publicized as Clergy Appreciation Month. This "holiday" is a good reminder to practice biblical ideas like encouragement and honor of one's leaders. A pastor's wife is in a unique position to appreciate her pastor and what he does in his ordained role year-round. 

She can:
Tell him he is a good pastor. Every pastor's wife knows about a time when a parishioner takes out personal frustration on the pastor or when a family leaves the church because of a trivial reason. That is the time to underline for the man what a dedicated, loving pastor he is while giving a few specific examples.

Let him know she prays for him. Being a pastor can be lonely, at times. He needs God's help and does ask for it. And, he feels less alone in his requests when he hears his wife pray for him or she tells him that she does.

Ask for his advice and take it. Scores of people ask their pastor, "What should I do?" A conscientious pastor will try to give answers based on biblical principles. Sadly, some inquirers walk away and do whatever they want. In contrast, a pastor's wife can recognize the wise advice her husband gives and heed it in response.

Refrain from criticizing the church. The church is more than a 9-5 workplace to a pastor; it is a labor of love for him. And yet, a pastor's wife knows the church is not perfect. She has power to tear it down by her words. Instead, she should seek to build up the church and, thereby, support the life's work of her husband.

Realize that complicated problems don't have an easy solution. In an attempt to help her pastor husband move beyond ministry challenges, a wife sometimes offers a quick fix. An extreme example of this is Job's wife who says, "Curse God and die." A wise wife sees that some situations require bearing with another's burdens without becoming part of the problem.

Listen to the specifics of his sermons. A hostess takes more delight in a dinner guest who thinks a particular dish is seasoned just right and who wonders how it was made than she does in the guest who only says goodbye at the door. For a preacher, his sermon is like that meal. His wife can show she is engaged in the preaching when she mentions how a specific point changes her thinking and intrigues her to learn more.

According to freedictionary.com, the usage of the word "appreciate" should involve valuing something or understanding it sympathetically. A pastor's wife, with her knowledge of the pastorate, is in the perfect place to give high regard, encouragement and appreciation to the man she calls her pastor. 

1 comment:

  1. "Listen to the Specifics of his sermons" is so convicting to me. I know how much it means to me when my husband gives me positive, thoughtful feedback about something I've written, I need to be better about doing the same for him. Somehow, getting Sunday lunch on the table always takes precedence. . .and it shouldn't!


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