I am currently in NC on a management team retreat and I just hung up the phone with Lucretia. I LOVE these retreats…we get tons accomplished and today was no excepetion; however, I HATE NOT BEING WITH MY WIFE!!! I left her this morning and it was TOUGH. She’s the most incredible lady in the world…and there is NO ONE who I would rather spend time with than her.
Which brings me to a question to the pastors who read this blog…hey dude—how’s your wife?
Lucretia and I have an awesome relationship…but it takes work—lots of it. We are NOT perfect…but here are a few things I do to keep our marriage where it needs to be.
#1 - I Make Date Night A Priority!
Guys…it is up to you to MAKE date night happen—period. And don’t hand me that weak stuff about not having time…she’s your WIFE…MAKE TIME!!! Take her out to a restaurant where you don’t have to order off of the dollar menu and talk to her about HER!
And pastors—please—leave the cell phone in the car!!! “But what if my people need me?” Uh…what about your wife needing you. If “your people” can’t do without access to you for a few hours a week then you have some pretty pathetic people…OR you are a pretty pathetic leader because you have taught them to depend on you!!! (Which is what some pastors want because they need to feel needed!)
One more thing…I know some are going to be tempted to e-mail me and tell me how this is going to change for me when ‘Cretia and I have kids…SAVE IT…she’s always going to be my FIRST priority. Wait and see!!!
#2 - Ask Her What She Needs From You
I know so many pastors who will download messages on marriage, read books on marriage—even attend conferences about marriage…BUT they will never ask their wife to define what they perceive as being success in marriage.
Let me be clear…I love and admire Dr. James Dobson…but he does NOT define what success is in marriage, my wife does!!!
At least once a month I ask ‘Cretia questions about how I can be a better husband and how I can make her feel more loved and appreciated.
#3 - Protect Her From The Church
Pastors…GET THIS…she is YOUR WIFE—NOT the CHURCHES!!! She married you—she did not marry your church…and this should be reflected in the way you take care of her.
For example—Lucretia comes to ONE of our FOUR services…that’s it—just one. I once had someone ask me why she didn’t attend all four services…and I proceeded to ask them, “Why don’t you? You need it more than she does!”
If you are not careful the church will develop expectations about your wife—expectations that are NOT based on Scripture but rather on what the former pastors wife was like. And pastors…if you don’t guard her…then no one will.
She should be as involved in your church as she wants to be…and should NEVER feel pressured into doing ANYTHING. Here’s why—YOU are her #1 ministry…you should be her #1 priority…and if she is doing that well then she isn’t likely to have the time to do a ton of other things.
I will say this—NewSpring is AWESOME at not placing STUPID expectations on ‘Cretia…they know she’s NOT going to play the piano or knit choir robes…but she is going to be my wife, something only SHE can do, and because she does what she does…I can do what God has called me to do.
#4 - Always Talk About Her In A Positive Light
One of the things that HACKS me off more than ANYTHING is when I consistently hear pastors bash their wives while speaking. If a pastor does this then you can bet your bottom dollar than he is an insensitive jerk that needs someone to take him out behind his church and beat the crap out of him! (Yes, I mean that!!!)
I talk about Lucretia…and MOST of the time it is in a positive light. The few times I have mentioned something that she did that could have been taken as me “cracking” on her…I have always asked for her permission before I shared the story.
Pastors…once again, guard her!!! If YOU talk bad about her—guess what, other men in your church will begin to talk bad about their wives as well because of the way you modeled it for them. STOP IT!
#5 - Pray With Her At Night Before Going To Sleep
I can honestly say that I have NEVER gone to bed mad at Lucretia…and for ONE simple reason…I pray with her every night before turning in. I don’t know about you…but I can’t pray for someone who I am angry with! So…we made the commitment from the beginning of our marriage to pray together every night…and IT WORKS!
Those are some things that I do to guard my relationship with Lucretia. Pastors…keep this in mind…she needs to be your priority!!! I have seen churches turn on pastors…and then they turn to the one they have neglected for years and she has nothing to offer because she is completely empty. DON’T MAKE THIS MISTAKE!!!
SO…need to call your wife?