As I was giving thought to what topics would be good for this series, I asked my husband if he had any suggestions. One thing in particular that he mentioned is the need for the preacher’s wife to encourage her husband to preach the whole counsel of God, and to support him when he does so.
According to 2 Timothy 4:2, a preacher is to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” The reality is – preaching is not always a pleasant, feel-good pep talk. Part of preaching IS to exhort; to encourage one another; but it is only that – a PART of his responsibilities as one who proclaims the Word. Preaching the whole counsel of God is difficult and sadly not all brothers and sisters in Christ are willing to hear the hard things.
There are times when preachers need to address difficult topics and the result may be that they are fired. There are preachers who are told to go elsewhere because they dare to proclaim God’s Word on marriage, divorce and remarriage. Some preachers have been fired because they addressed the issue of modesty. If a preacher sets forth God’s plan for the home, watch out, because he is bound to hit a raw nerve or two – or three or more. Your husband needs to know that you appreciate him and his willingness to be a man of integrity. If your husband is unwilling to compromise God’s Word for the sake of popularity or his salary, then you should thank God for him and be that encouragement that he needs; he needs it from you, most of all.
From time to time, your husband may need a different kind of encouragement. It is possible that because he has such strong passion for the Word, he may come across as harsh at times. If he appreciates and welcomes your advice, there may be occasions when offering a few carefully chosen words can help him avoid coming across too abrupt. This is certainly not the same thing as suggesting to your husband that he should compromise or avoid difficult preaching, but there is a lot to be said for tact and timing, and a feminine viewpoint can be helpful. Keep in mind, however, that our feminine selves tend to react to things more emotionally, and our judgment concerning the force of his delivery may not be accurate either. Squelching the fire in his bones is not the desired outcome.
No two people will agree 100% on everything, but when it comes to doctrinal matters, division between husband and wife can bring much stress to the marriage, and even more so between the preacher and his wife. A preacher needs a wife with some backbone. YOU need to have as much conviction as he does when it comes to the Word of God. Be willing to stand behind him when he has to do hard things. YOU are the most importance source of encouragement in his life. Let him know how much you appreciate him!