The ritual of marriage is not simply a social event; it is a crossing of threads in the fabric of fate. Many strands bring the couple and their families together and spin their lives into a fabric that is woven on their children (Jewish Proverb)
June. The month for lovers. Helping plan weddings inevitably brings nostalgic memories about your own wedding. But as anyone already married knows, having a successful wedding is a far cry from having a successful marriage. What seem delightful quirks in your lover’s personality before marriage, become monumental blemishes after the wedding. Benjamin Franklin offered good advice when he said, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards.
As the pastor’s wife we need to encourage the women in our church through teaching, example, and conversation to nourish their marriages. Teachable moments for this are easily available because women look for opportunities to be together. We are relationship oriented. You’ll find us shopping, picnicking, canning, and scrap booking together because we need to connect emotionally. (We also live healthier, happier and more productive lives because of our relationships.) But it’s been my experience that when women share, inevitably negative comments surface. As predictably as chickens following corn, when a complaint about a husband is aired, friends flock around to sympathize. Soon “I can’t believe he said that…” and “He did what?” fill the air. Allowing women to share openly, but steering their viewpoint back to a positive slant is extremely important.
Titus sets the guidelines for older women training younger women, and one phrase stands out: “…teach them to love their husbands” (Titus 2:4). I’m amazed how much humanistic thinking prevails in church, and husband/male bashing is a prime example. Take every opportunity you can to train women to build up, not tear down their mate. Remind them of Proverbs 14:1: “A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” You can set an example by complementing them on the positive characteristics you see — “Mark is such a good daddy, he blesses me every time I see him play with your kids.” It is appropriate to share your husband’s positive characteristics — “Mike does the grocery shopping for the family and even puts it away” — except the problem with this is that oftentimes they feel the pastors’ marriage is already perfect, so it comes as no surprise to them that the pastor does such-and-such, whereas their husband…
Sometimes it’s as simple as helping them understand that what they perceive as an overt sin on the part of their spouse, is simply one of many differences between the sexes. It’s not grounds for divorce, nor cause to hold a grudge, but simply men being men.
Use your power to influence your women to love their husbands. Acceptance is a badly needed commodity even in the church today, or should we say, especially in the church today?
[Reprinted by permission of PastorsWife.com and Janice Hildreth]