Hmmm … how to encourage a husband.
The thing is, not only do pastor-type husbands need encouraging, but All husbands need encouraging. And here’s a news bulletin – wives need encouraging, too.
But just some personal opinions about pastor encouragement.
1. Don’t talk about your husband – ever. I mean, you can say good stuff about him, but not bad stuff.
Ever get in one of those church ladies’ Bible studies where everyone sits around the coffee and donuts, talking about how they shouldn’t be eating the donut and then when the donut discussion gets over, they start complaining about their husbands?
The conversation goes from powdered vs. glaze to: “He won’t take the garbage out, he spends too much time at work, he doesn’t spend enough time with the kids.” The poor husbands (who aren’t anywhere around the church ladies) can’t defend themselves. (Yes, there’s time for counseling, but sitting at a table with a group of church ladies is NOT a counseling situation.)
Actually, what it is – is gossip. Your husband needs to totally trust that you will never criticize him in front of others. (And again, he should respect you in the same way.)
I like to think of it this way – Why would I criticize my husband? I’m the one who chose him. If he’s really all THAT bad, then that just shows MY poor taste. (Again, there are difficult situations which should be taken up with a counselor – but I’m talking about those nagging little things church ladies seem to major on when they get together with other church ladies.)
Unfortunately, I have known ladies who have had to bow out of “Bible studies” because they couldn’t stand all the complaining and refused to join in.
Pastors have people talking their ear off about everything from who left the backdoor of the church open last Sunday to Aunt Hilda’s infected toe. Sometimes he needs to talk and you need to listen. Sometimes he needs your opinion – because talking out the problem can help him see a solution.
3. Choose the time to talk about the leaky faucet.
I know the pastors in my family would be ready for Sunday about 7:00 or 8:00 on Saturday night. They’re rarin’ to go and are biding their time. This is NOT the time to talk about leaky faucets, what you’re going to do about your son’s math situation or the electric bill. Wait until a better time. (Just like you wouldn’t call up a husband who worked at a secular corporation and complain about these things five minutes before he heads in for a presentation to an important client.)
4. Let him know you love him – every day.
5. Let him know you pray for him – every day.