It's October, the month your church sets aside to say thanks for all you do. Your congregants may express gratitude for your hard work preparing biblical sermons, the time you spend guiding them and the countless hours you pray for and minister to them. While churches often do their best to recognize your spouse as well, only you know how much your wife does to support you. She encourages you, listens to your frustrations, helps with church projects and keeps your family functioning so you can shepherd the flock. Just to bless her, why not declare October your own personal Wife Appreciation Month? You can pass on the gift of your congregation's encouragement to your spouse. Here are some ideas to try:
Get a gift
Find something you know your wife would enjoy, but would never buy herself. Maybe purchase her favorite perfume or flowers, get those earrings she admires or buy her a new dress coat.
Give her a day off
On your next day off, give your bride a break from her usual routine. Take care of the kids or her elderly mother; insist that your wife take a day off. Encourage her to do something she enjoys — shopping, visiting a spa or spending time with friends.
Write a letter
Buy a card that expresses your feelings. Write a note telling her how much you appreciate her.
Go on a date
Say yes to that church friend who's offered to baby-sit so you can take your wife out. See a play she loves, eat at her favorite restaurant, pack a picnic and enjoy the autumn colors together. Ban church talk during your date. Instead, discuss other interests you share.
Volunteer for supper duty for a week. And there's no shame in take-out if you can't cook.
Speak well of her
Speak highly of your spouse to others. Rather than using an embarrassing incident as a sermon illustration, tell how she exemplifies the excellent wife in Proverbs 31.
Talk to her
Just tell your wife how much you value her; your praise is priceless.
Remember, appreciating your wife isn't limited to October. She'll love your expressions of thanks anytime.
Ever feel like you need to wear a mask to cover up who you are? Are you concerned that, if people knew who you really are and how you really felt, they wouldn't understand?
One minister, two jobs and the family that's at the top of the list. The number of bivocational ministers, those in full- or part-time ministry who carry an additional job, is estimated by some researchers to be as high as 30 percent of ministers nationwide.
"You should see the church they attend," Lucille said, armed with bulletin and newsletter. Creases formed across my brow as celebration gave way to comparisons a trap that had sprung too many times.