An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
—Proverbs 31: 10-11, 28
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
After a long stretch of meetings, last week I took a day off to spend time with my wife. We went out to lunch where we ran into pastors from one of our congregations. When the waitress brought me the bill, she had a note that our meal had been paid for by the pastors. I went and thanked them for the generosity. Their response was that they were glad that I was spending time with my wife and wanted to express their appreciation for both of us.
The wedding rite in Lutheran Service Book states that God intends marriage “For the mutual companionship, help and support that each person ought to receive from the other, both in prosperity and adversity.” One of the greatest, but oft-forgotten ways that God supports professional church workers is through the gift of a faithful, Christian spouse. For church workers who struggle with the demands of their respective offices, God’s gift of a spouse should never be taken for granted. Servants in the church, who find themselves lonely and overwhelmed, truly need the mutual companionship, help and support that marriage provides.
It is good for your congregation when your pastor spends time with his wife. It is good for students, youth and families when commissioned ministers have time with their spouses. Healthy congregations need healthy servants. Healthy servants need healthy marriages. That is not to say that God has blessed everyone with the gift of a spouse. But our hope and prayers for those who are single would be blessed by God with companionship, help and support through others within the family of God.
Pastors and commissioned ministers should be on guard from the temptation to neglect their spouses. While sin rears its ugly head in all relationships, servants in the Church should guard and protect the precious gift of marriage. Service in the Church does not spare workers from the assaults of the devil that are seen in internet pornography, emotional affairs and marital unfaithfulness. My hope and prayer is that God would bless and strengthen our workers and their spouses.
Please pray and give thanks to God for the spouses of our church workers. At church on Sunday, take a moment to express your appreciation to your pastor’s wife for her support of her husband. Since October is Pastor Appreciation Month, it is a great time to provide your pastor with a gift card (and money for baby-sitting) so that he and his wife can spend time providing one another mutual companionship, help and support. Don’t forget those Directors of Christian Education and Deaconesses, too. School Boards should begin making plans for similar gifts during National Lutheran Schools Week for teachers. Let’s give thanks to God for all of our church workers and their families.
Prayer – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we give thanks to You for the ways in which You provide support and encouragement for the servants, especially the gift and blessing of Christian marriage; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan