Yesterday I was talking to some friends in my church about a pastor they had several decades ago. This guy was great. He was basically the adopted son of every family in the church. He was the kind of guy that would visit people’s houses around lunchtime knowing that he would be invited to stay and get something to eat for himself. At some homes he had the freedom to go in the kitchen and get whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. The people loved him.
But things didn’t end well.
I’ll never forget the answer I got when I asked what went wrong.
“He didn’t have a Marsha.”
Marsha is my best friend and wife and also a huge asset to my ministry. This man didn’t have that. His wife was remembered as being cold and distant and not really liking people, or her husband for that matter, and it eventually killed his ministry. It was at this point in our conversation that my friends informed me that I married way over my head. They really emphasized this.
“Way, way over your head, Jay. No, you don’t understand. Way over your head.”
They were right.
Yesterday’s conversation made me even more thankful for a wife who does not berate me publicly or privately. It made me thankful for a family that I look forward to going home to instead of one that I look forward to leaving every morning. It made me thankful for being married to someone who is a partner, not an opponent, in raising kids and doing ministry.
Wives, in your words and actions, are you functioning as your husband’s opponent or his friend? Whether he’s in the ministry or not, he needs you. Yelling at him and constantly talking about how fat he’s getting doesn’t do anybody any good.
Husbands, are you embracing your role as the leader of your home? If not, your wife will be forced to lead and it’ll make her look like a nag and you’ll both be miserable.
When my wife and I got engaged an aquainttence stopped to congratulate me. As we were talking I asked him for any advice he had for my upcoming marriage. And that’s when the yelling started.
“Ben (name changed to protect the embarrassed), come get these kids! And bring me the keys! And hurry up! Come on, Ben!”
When Ben’s wife stopped yelling, he looked at me and said, “Advice for getting married? Don’t do it.”
And in it’s own way that was some of the best advice I could’ve gotten. I’m thankful that I got to see early on what it looks like when husband and wife aren’t serious about serving Christ by serving each other. And I’m thankful that yesterday I was reminded of how blessed I am as a husband.
I’m thankful that I have a Marsha.