You Asked Pt 13

yellow-window-2Ok … 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.



6 thoughts on “You Asked Pt 13

  1. Michal

    As always Lori great stuff! It’s funny that you talked about Monday mornings being tough. This Monday I was wiped out and I knew Bryan felt the same way, but he had to head to the office. I was a cheerleader in high school(I’m a little embarrassed about that now), and sometimes I feel like I need to hold a little pep rally for my hubby. I’m curious to see if you have specific questions you ask to help your hubs talk through it all in his exhausted state. Sometimes I feel like such a looser because I’m like yeah, that stinks…..What am I supposed to say? Often, my brain is just mush too. Maybe you already answered it. You pray. I do a lot of that also. Some times I’ll even drop my hubby emails just to let him know I’m praying for him during the day. Just so he knows we’re in this together and he’s not alone.

    I know that we often don’t plan our vacations or time away until we’re already at the point of exhaustion. Lori that’s great that you have a routine so to speak and know the rhythms of ministry for your fam and plan to get away. That’s just it you have to get away. I can remember doing the same thing as a child when my dad was in ministry. We could never take a vacation at home. He had to get out of town.

    Wow! This is like my longest post. I think I really just repeated, but anyway. You’ve got me thinking about planning our next mini-vacation!

  2. Tiffany

    Thanks for sharing with authenticity. We like to call it the Preacher hangover in the Cooper house! Thankfully we both have an understanding of what these ups and downs can feel and look like so it doesn’t effect our family or ministry in a negative way. You gotta roll with the punches!

  3. donna

    Monday mornings are the same for us. Sometimes it starts Sunday night. The best encouragement I can give my man is… “Go to the gym!” A work out changes everything!

  4. Netta

    Such good, practical stuff! Thanks.
    We’ll be celebrating out 20th Anniversary in a few months, and I can
    whole-heartedly agree with your thoughts on this topic!! It can be
    easy to allow my own attitude to get mellow, bummed out and easily
    annoyed when my husband is feeling discouraged. But, these are the
    times I must, as you mentioned, pray harder and also find my joy & security
    in Jesus! My husband & kids need that from me!

  5. tammy

    On days when my husband preaches, he is so worn out after church. Mostly because of all the preparation for the sermon, but he is also the full-time worship leader–so, on preaching days, he’s leading the music and then quickly transitioning to preaching and then back to music.
    Sunday afternoons all the way through all of Monday can be tough. He feels discouraged. He questions whether or not he was obedient to what the Lrod wanted to do through him. He questions whether he made an impact. He feels drained and says that he gets bombarded with lies from the enemy–that spiritual warfare. I try my best to encourage him, but he thinks I “must” say those things b/c I’m his wife. He thinks I’m his only fan.
    I’ve learned the space thing on Sundays and Mondays. It’s the seasonal down times that I haven’t been very intentional about identifying and helping him through. I can think of several seasons where he has mentioned that he just isn’t cut out to do the church work thing and wants to leave ministry all together (all from discouraging thoughts). He feels so discouraged at times that even seeking out the Lord is draining to him. I’m still learning how to pray for him harder during those times and trying to figure out how I need to encourage him. Would he be more encouraged if I helped pick him up and tell him of the fruits of his ministry or would he be more encouraged if I just let him talk himself out of ministry? I don’t always have a clear answer about what would free him up more.

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