You Asked Pt 13
Ok … on to the very last question: How do you encourage your husband through the hard stuff? When he goes through a season of feeling defeated and depressed (which I hear that most church leaders feel), I often wonder if encouragement just means being nice or giving a good kick in the butt and not putting up with it.
I’ve noticed two kinds of down times. The first is Monday morning. I didn’t really notice this until Jud started preaching every weekend. But Monday morning is usually no good. I’m sure lots of it is spiritual warfare. I know Satan likes to mess with him after he has preached. I also think after expending so much adrenaline over the weekend, he is completely worn out. So, what do I do? I mainly just try to give him space. I know he recharges by being alone, so I know if I give him a few hours to rest and work, he usually snaps back out of it.
Then there are two seasons when I notice things are tougher. One is around Christmas and the other in the late spring/early summer. I think in both instances he is usually worn out. He has carried loads of stress and typically gone on long preaching runs. So, as much as I’m able, I try to clear our schedules from anything extra during those times. No dinners out with people. No extra stuff at night. I just try to give him as much time at home, away from everything as I can. Also, these are the two times of year that we try to head out of town. I don’t know what it is about crossing the state line … but somehow it makes a difference.
Also, I do totally believe encouragement is huge. Encouragement literally means to pour courage into. If I can do anything to pour courage into Jud during the hard times … that is awesome. And I try to listen. Sometimes I have to practically interview him, but I can usually get him talking. And since that is what worked for me, I always try to make sure that he is talking … if not to me … then to his best bud and accountability partner Mike.
And lastly, I just pray, pray, pray for him during those times. I pray that God will bring lots of other people into his path to help build him up and support him. And we have literally seen that happen. What a blessing.
I don’t know that this is an answer to your question at all, but it is the best I’ve got.