I had a very encouraging meeting with a newly married man recently who was seeking counsel on how to faithfully disciple his new wife. We must as pastors get our newly married men in the church to see the spiritual care of their wives as their primary responsibility to establish patterns in their family that will last. So, here are a few things we talked about in our meeting that helped this newly married man know some practical ways how spiritually to care for his wife:
Pray with her for her out loud. Shockingly, one of the most difficult things for a man to do with his wife is pray with her, for her out loud. I still know pastors who struggle with this. A man will pray for his wife, but often not with her for her. An essential way to help married men spiritually care for their wives, which result in their wives feeling cared for is if we train them to pray, not just for their wives, but with them, for them, out loud for them to hear.
Read the passage preached last Sunday. Spend Monday and Tuesday with your wife reflecting back on the word that was preached the previous Sunday by reading the passage and talking about the sermon you both heard. It helps to be reminded of the truth preached and aids in the application of those truths throughout the week.
Read the passage being preached this Sunday. Starting mid-week, beginning to read together the passage that will be preached the upcoming Sunday. Read with your wife, have her ask questions, discuss the details of the text. It will better prepare you both to hear the word preached on Sunday.
Pray with her for others. Men will better spiritually care for their wives if they don’t just pray for their wives, but teach them how to pray for others. We best accomplish this in our church through our membership prayer guides which is a daily schedule to which every member gets prayed for in a month. Take a day in that schedule and each of you pray for those on that particular day. It will cultivate a meaningful prayer time together and remind you both of your responsibility to pray for others besides yourself.
Pastors, be deliberate to equip the men in your church how most effectively to shepherd their wives and children. It will be the start of a long-term agenda to create a discipleship culture that will spread to the entire congregation.