The Pastor’s Toolbox: Our Wives

Wonderful Counselors, Critics, Confidants, Comforters
“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Gen. 2:18)
God’s wisdom is constantly being vindicated. Each day we men see the need for a helper. God was so gracious to us at the dawn of civilization to provide one. Without these special helpers constantly at our sides, we would be lonely, frustrated, overworked, and only half a person. Truly God is both gracious and wise.
For pastors, our wives are a tremendous blessing because they are in a unique position to help us in ways no the person can. Among those many ways, let’s consider just four areas.
 As a counselor and critic, she stands in a unique role. She knows us, she loves us, she can talk to us openly, she has our best interests at heart, and she knows when and how to approach us. She will hurt when we fail and will rejoice with us when we are successful. We should take advantage of such wonderful help. Our lives, plans, options, goals, frustrations, fears and relationships should be open to her. She should feel perfectly at ease to serve in this capacity. We should specifically invite her to counsel and critique us often. She needs to know that we will not retaliate, rationalize, or put up defenses, but rather that we will listen to her and appreciate her
Most wives seem to be equipped with an innate ability to pick up on small nuances and reactions that men overlook. She wants us to be wise and to do better. She is our helper. She deserves to be heard because God put her in that helping role. But she should also be listened to because she usually has something very worthwhile for us to hear.
There is another way in which she is our special helper in the ministry. She is our confidant. In our roles as shepherds, we often deal with very serious personal problems and the sheep. Sometimes it is hard to carry the burden alone. As a result there are times when we desperately need someone with whom to talk. God has provided such persons–our wives! We can trust them. We don’t have to worry about the possibility that they will reveal confidential details. 
Our wives also help us by serving as our comfort. Let’s face it, sometimes a ministry can be frustrating and painful. Our members may disagree, disappoint, or divide themselves from us. But our wives are always there to cheer us on, to support us, to help us refocus, and to help us turn our eyes off people or events and back onto our Master. 
It is no accident that our Lord used the relationship between the husband and wife to represent His relationship with the church (Eph. 5:22-23). By using that analogy He has taught us to care for and cherish our wives. Since they help carry the load of the ministry, God wants us not only to love them but to deeply appreciate them for the special ways in which they provide us invaluable help.
Gary Chaffins, is co-pastor at The Grace Community Church at Bigelow in Portsmouth, Ohio. He has a beautiful wife, two rotten kids, a big-white dog, and carries a large NASB.

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