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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever

Serving Your Wife Before Serving as a Pastor

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The following is a guest post from Brian Croft. Brian serves as the senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to contributing to the 9Marks blog, Brian also writes regularly on his own blog called Practical Shepherding. Brian is married to Cara, and they have four children.

 


How can an aspiring pastor serve his wife before actually becoming the pastor?

Aspiring pastors are usually chomping at the bit to become pastors. Rightly so. Because of this, those aspiring to pastoral ministry often times dream to the future to one day serve in that capacity and miss some very significant ways he can serve his wife now that he cannot once he becomes the pastor preaching every week. Here are a few of those ways:

1) Sit with your wife in church every chance you get. If you asked a pastor’s wife what she wants most for vacation, most will answer, “I want to sit with my husband during church.” This is why you should not preach while on vacation. If you are not regularly preaching on Sundays, do all you can to sit with your wife. A day will come when you will not and you and your wife especially will be glad you once made that a priority.

2) Stay home on Sunday with sick kids. This is a wonderful way for any man to serve his wife when the kids are little. In fact, one of our pastors modeled this well this past Sunday. He sent his wife to church, while he stayed home with their sick kids so she could come hear the Word. My wife ALWAYS stays home on Sundays when our kids are sick because I am preaching. Until that day comes, serve your wife in these moments. She will be grateful.

3) Get up and down with the kids during the service. One of the most overlooked roles of my wife in our church is that she is always dealing with our children by herself during the service. Most husbands and wives are working together to deal with children sitting in the service, but not my wife. She is doing it on her own so I can preach. When you sit with your wife during the service, take initiative to deal with your kids, correct behavior problems, and answer their irrelevant questions asked in the middle of the sermon. Be the one to take them out if necessary. A day it coming when she will be flying solo on these things.

Aspiring pastors, I am glad you are anxious to dive into pastoral ministry. You should. It is a great joy to serve God’s people in the weekly public ministry of the Word. However, do not allow your ambition for this work to cause you to miss some small, but practical ways your wife will feel very loved and care for by you now.

Actual Pastors, read this post with feelings of gratefulness for your wife. She does so much on her own so we can do what God has called us to do. Never underestimate how much she will appreciate a “thank you” from you in regard to these Sunday tasks with our kids that we easily take for granted.

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This is a wonderful way for any man to serve his wife when the kids are little. In fact, one of our pastors modeled this well this past Sunday.

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