I’ll never forget one summer night having dinner with a pastor and his wife. Andy and I were newly married and navigating the world of working with teenagers. I don’t doubt for one minute that this pastor’s wife loved Jesus and meant well, but something didn’t feel great about the vibe between the two of them. I remember her telling us that she always felt it was her role to keep her husband humble. What with all the people praising and complementing him all the time… He chuckled a little bit uncomfortably. She was pretty proud of her success.
In spite of my complete inexperience and floundering to figure out what being a ministry wife meant, that one thing failed to ring true for me. I decided to do the exact opposite. My goal became “be his greatest cheerleader.” I don’t always get it right, but that’s the bull’s-eye on the target. Even when busy with ministry and family and whatever else, my top priority apart from my personal relationship with Christ is Andy. There are lots of people affirming him and admiring him. Why would that EVER make me do it less?
So, for what it’s worth, here’s my advice. Never assume the role of keeping your husband humble. Don’t let anyone else “out cheer” you. I don’t mean loudly and publicly and obnoxiously. I simply mean in HIS heart and mind, you’re his greatest fan.
A few ideas to get you thinking… I’m so proud of you. I love what God is doing through you. I love life with you. I love parenting with you. I’d marry you again in a minute! Thank you for your sweet text, it made my day. That shirt looks really good on you. Have you been working out? Okay, okay, maybe I’m getting carried away, but you get the point.
I’m convinced that this approach is a win for your ministry, a win for your husband, and a win for YOU!
A note to the guys: Men, how would you like to hear this? “Honey, I wish everyone who hears you speak could know how well you live what you teach. You’re the real deal.” Hey, give her some stuff to compliment. Live up to what you teach. You potentially have the best cheerleader in the world right next to you.