Why Not Try This? …Ask Your Spouse What They Wish You Knew

         Pastors are struggling human beings, too. But that is why it is especially important for us pastors to be humble and teachable. We need to hear, in a loving way, what areas we might need some growth or help in. Who is in a better position to do this than our wives?

          Within the past few months an informal, random and anonymous survey was taken of dozens of pastors’ wives in the NPUC with this simple question- What do you wish your pastor husband knew?

          Here are some of the responses. I wish my pastor husband knew…

  • When to stop working!! He just doesn’t know how to stop and join us at the dinner table.
  • How much we want him to join us for family worship when he can and participate with us.
  • How important regular exercise and eight hours of sleep a night is.
  • How to better manage his time as a pastor.
  • That his choices affect his spiritual influence and example.
  • The difference between needy church members and females with ulterior motives.
  • That movie theaters are not the place for pastors to be.
  • That I am willing and able to go on some pastoral visits.
  • I would love to go away with him for a weekend without taking the children so we could have a chance to re-discover or reconnect.
  • More of the basics of ministry- visitation, Bible studies, preaching, solving problems in the church, etc.
  • How to help us coordinate calendars as a family and let us know his plans a little better.
  • How to better express what he’s thinking and feeling.
  • To stop burning the candle at both ends before he burns out.
  • That when we are having “our time” that he should not answer his cell phone or allow that time to be interrupted by members’ whims.

   Ellen White shared the following counsel with a church leader who was not teachable. He was not willing to listen to his wife or anyone else. “If you are determined to listen to no counsels but your own, and you will work out every problem for yourself, then be sure you will reap that which you have sown. You will miss the right way altogether or else, wounded, bruised, and dwarfed in religious character, you will turn to the Lord, humbled, penitent, and confessing your errors. You will become tired of beating the air.” {Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce p. 61.2}

        Perhaps it would be good for each of us to reflect on which of these items in the list above (or others) our wife might wish we knew. Why not set aside a little time together and ask her to tell you what she wishes you knew, or ask her to write it down on paper so you can reflect on it. When I asked my wife which of the items on the list she wished I knew she quickly directed my attention to one of them! Now it’s up to me to me to take specific steps to respond to what she shared! If we will ask and listen, our wives can help us be better pastors and better people.

Blessings to you,

Dan Serns

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