It might not surprise you if I told you that many Christian man struggle to pray for their wives with their wives. What might shock you is if I told you many Christian pastors struggle to pray for and with their wives. I’m not talking about praying with her and the family at meal time. I am talking about a pastor sitting down with his wife, with no kids or other distractions, looking her in the eyes, and asking how she is doing and how you can specifically pray for her.
As I talk to pastors and aspiring ones about why this is a struggle, there seems to be a universal answer, “I do not know why it is hard to do, it just is.” I am sympathetic to this answer as there was a time where I experienced this same awkward, intangible, uneasiness in approaching my wife to pray for her with her. I think there is an intimacy and vulnerability in a husband’s effort to care for his wife in this way that is uncomfortable for most men and pastors fall prey to this also.
Whatever the reason, our clever enemy has used this awkwardness to keep pastors from praying and spiritually caring for their wives in this way. What a cunning tactic of spiritual battle by the enemy that pastors labor hard to shepherd and care for their flock, daily pray for and with numerous people within the church, while neglecting the same kind of spiritual care for their wives.
The “magic solution” to overcome this struggle: Pastors and Christian men who struggle to pray for and with your wives, I have a magical solution for you in your struggle. It is foolproof to overcome our fears and break the stronghold the enemy has over this area of our marriages. Are you ready? JUST DO IT! Just make yourself do it. I do not care how awkward it may seem to you. You need to be doing this and I promise, your Christian wife wants it from her husband and pastor. It will also help to see how pathetic, unfaithful and hypocritical it is to diligently pray for and with our flock, but then not do it with the soul of the one God has first entrusted to our care above our flock.
I can speak from experience on this one, the more you make yourself do it, the quicker the awkwardness goes away. In fact, you will find once it becomes a habit in your marriage, you will love and long for those times to encourage and care for your wife in this way. Additionally, if you do not pray with your wife on a certain day, you can still pray for her, then send her a text or email that you prayed for her. That can be just as meaningful.
The point is pray for her and with her on some kind of regular basis. I assume you have picked up on the fact that I do not care if it feels awkward or strange to you. If we are truly shepherds of souls, it should and will be evident in both our churches as well as our homes.
Pastors’ wives, any comments on how meaningful it is when your husband prays for and with you as a source of encouragement for those struggling?