Love the one you’re with

Ladies, grab your husband, hug him, kiss him passionately and tell him how much you love him. Resolve the argument, put aside the differences and LOVE him.

I write this today, after a dear friend, Raewyn, tragically lost her husband in a car accident. He was 63, they had been married for over 35 years. He was fit and healthy and was working on the farm in the morning. After lunch, he drove into town and never arrived. She is absolutely devastated at losing her life-mate.

So often we take our marriage for granted. We slip into a comfortable easiness, where conversation is light and shallow, the passion non-exsistent and  life just passes us by. Or we let arguments and differences remain unresolved, festering under the surface, putting on a public face of happiness when, in reality, all is far from good.

God created marriage. He brought the two of you together, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in sickness, for better for worse, until death do us part. Sometimes, in the poorer, sicker, and worse parts we can lose sight of God’s purpose for bringing us together, but God sovereignly brought you, as a husband and wife, together. For His good purposes and for yours. For your sanctification, for procreation and for your pleasure.

Read Song of Solomon (together is better). It is about marriage. A marriage that is passionate and loving. God wants us to have a marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and the church. We can never fully grasp the fullness of Christ’s love for his Church but we can have some idea of the sacrificial love He had for her, and how we are to love Him back, because He loved us first. We need to work on our marriages to make them all that God created it to be.

We do not know how many days, months or years we have left with our husbands. It may be that the Lord calls him home this very afternoon or tomorrow or next year. Treasure your marriage. Today.

What is the role of an elder’s wife? Part Two

Let us look further at this role of elder’s wife. By way of definition, this includes a pastor’s wife. Although her husband is usually employed full-time and there other expectations and additional parts to her role, this article still applies to her.

Here is a comment I received that I think deserves a reply.

A good wee writing only problem I had was this paragraph.”who will love him when he comes home late from yet another meeting, who will never begrudge the time he spends on elder-work but rather sees it as a privilege for him to serve the church in this capacity and will support him through the good, the bad and the ugly. This also means helping the children to understand the high calling it is that Dad has been called to serve the Lord and sometimes Dad may have other thoughts on his mind or he may be tired.” 

Mainly because, If the Church is preventing the Elder from being a husband and Father ,because of “another meeting”. Than there is a problem. 1st calling is to wife,than kids… Church comes a very distant third. If a wife thinks she has to “toughen” up and get through the away all the time elder\Husband because that is what is expected rather than discussing with him the implications of his absence.

To begin with, I totally agree that a man’s wife and family come first before church,(how can a man rule the church if he cannot rule his own household)  but to say that church comes “a very distant third”? I don’t think that the calling of being an elder or pastor is that distant. It is part of an elder’s service to God and because we are bound to our husband in marriage and we are one, this, then, is also part of our service to the Lord. To be an elder is a high calling and one that, as wives, we can help our man tremendously, by first, changing our attitudes to how we view our husband’s time away from home on Church business. Do we begrudge the time he is away, or do we encourage him and praise him for the great work he has undertaken. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband very much, and sometimes he is out way too late at elders meetings. I could sit at home bitterly wishing he was home and berate him for not calling an end to the meeting earlier (he is the Chairman) or I could greet him with a smile, a hug and a hot chamomile tea and seek to “soothe his brow” as the saying goes. It has been my observation that most churches (the elderships are men with families of their own) do try to not have too many meetings. Our churches do demand more of elders than many denominations but I do believe that they do a great job. There will be times in a church’s life, that some very difficult issues arise and extra meetings are called for. These can be very trying times for elders and pastors and their wives. It is at times like these, that wives need to be especially understanding as their husbands carry very heavy burdens of difficult pastoral concerns.

Perhaps if wives made home life and themselves so attractive, men would want to end their meetings early. 🙂 Said a little tongue-in-cheek but take a look at what you can do to make your home and yourself attractive and somewhere they can recharge their batteries, renew their spirits, and be ready to take on whatever is waiting for them outside the four walls of your home.

It is a difficult area, because some meetings do seem to go on and on but I have found that as I have changed my attitude, and seen it as a privilege, and encouraged the children to see it as one too, I have eased my husband’s load.

A husband and father still should not shirk his responsibilities at home and use “church business” as an excuse to do so. He is still the head of the household. He is responsible for the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of his wife and children. This may require some creative use of his precious time. It will definitely require some sacrifice of everyone but if eldership is seen as a privilege by all, the family will be working together to serve the Lord during this time. It brings about a special bond of togetherness and a sense of striving together for God.

It is not about a wife having to “toughen up” to get through the time the husband is away. It can be a time that can be viewed as a time of rest and refreshment. I often ring my invalid father on Elder meeting nights as my Dad likes to talk, for ages. Doing it then means I am not taking time away from David or the children (the younger ones are in bed). I love writing, painting, reading, craft. I sometimes use the time to do my ironing while I watch Pride and Prejudice (yet again). Lately, as my children have become older, I have used the time to visit other women, have organisational meetings for women’s groups, or catch up with my adult children. I always use it as a time to think about, and pray for my husband and to anticipate his homecoming, so that when he comes home he has my total attention and care.

Our role as an elder’s/pastor’s wife is an important one, often under-rated, unacknowledged and under-valued. Remember, this is part of our walk with the Lord. It is part of learning to serve the Lord, and Christ’s church. It is part of loving our husband and encouraging him to be all that he can be.

What is the role of an elder’s wife? Part One

This very interesting question was asked of me recently. This friend’s husband had been elected as elder and she was wondering what her role now was. She asked another elder, only to be told that her role was to bake a cake for the elder’s meetings when required. But surely, she asked me, there is more to it than just baking a cake once in a while. There are, I believe, a number of things an elder’s wife  (and a pastor’s wife) can and must do. All of them vital and important. Number one on the list is being a suitable helpmeet for an elder. An elder needs a wife that is to going to encourage him when things get tough (and there will be times when things are tough for an elder or pastor), who will love him when he comes home late from yet another meeting, who will never begrudge the time he spends on elder-work but rather sees it as a privilege for him to serve the church in this capacity and will support him through the good, the bad and  the ugly.

This also means helping the children to understand the high calling it is that Dad has been called to, to serve the Lord in this capacity and sometimes Dad may have other thoughts on his mind or he may be tired. Ask the children to join you in prayer for him.

An elder also needs a wife who is utterly trustworthy in what she says to other people. He is likely to have already decided in his mind whether you are trustworthy or not by your past together. Have you talked to others about things in your marriage you shouldn’t have? Have you mocked or laughed at your husband’s faults in public? Have you pulled others down, or slandered them? An elder’s wife needs to the soul of discretion. There will be some issues that he would benefit from your advice, and womanly perspective, and he needs to know it an’t gonna go no further.

An elder also need a wife who is hospitable. One of the qualifications for an elder is to be hospitable. He hardly going to be able to do that if his wife can’t stand having people in her home or she can’t/won’t cook for others. This is one thing that is sadly lacking for many in eldership. It is an ideal vehicle for an elder to get to know families/people in the congregation or to be able to help people who are in need. To know that his wife is willing and able to cook a meal, sometimes at short notice, makes his “job” so much easier. There is something special about sharing a meal, talking around the table with others. Perhaps that is why there are so many examples and verses in the Bible about meals taken together, feasts and commands to be hospitable.

An elder’s wife can greatly help her husband by being his ears and eyes in the congregation. To be a truly Titus 2-older woman. If you are an elder’s wife, by definition, it means you are an “elder” woman. Women are desperately looking for older women whom they can learn from. Guess what? You are IT! It is so helpful if an elder’s wife is able to help other women. Even just being interested in their lives, their children’s progress, their work, helping when they have a baby, crying with them when they have a miscarriage, laughing with them when they laugh, taking a twenty-something out for a coffee. It all helps bring the church closer together. Some women may need counseling. Do this with your husband’s advice and blessing. Be a woman of prayer and godliness. Titus 2 says older women are to be reverent in their lives. This overflows from a close walk with the Lord. Reading His word daily, thinking and meditating on it, and PRAYING. Your “elder” husband needs prayer, encouragement and support. He needs a hospitable, godly wife. So… if this isn’t enough to be going on with, add baking a cake for the elders meetings to the list. 🙂