So on Sunday, I took a pause from preaching to love my wife publicly.
In front of our whole church, I chose to publicly affirm my wife. I rarely use the pulpit to make personal announcements. I believe that when I am on stage to preach God’s Word, I need to do just that and make it as little about me as possible. However, there are those moments in my life and ministry where I chose to make a statement about my family, ministry or circumstances that I want everyone to hear.
This weekend we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. Molly and I dated for nine years and now have been married for 10. We have five kids. Needless to say, it has been a full decade. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the love that my wife gave me through the trials and joys of life.
How Can I Honor My Wife?
To model what it means to have admiration for your wife, and as a way of publicly affirming her, I told the congregation how grateful I was for Molly. I gave her flowers, hugged her and told her that I loved her in front of everyone. I believe God allows the preacher to use his life in the pulpit to preach, but not just with His words. At times it is good to step outside the text to model gratefulness for the richness of God’s blessings in life. This too can preach loudly. Here is what I think it allowed for and why this was worth the moment of declaring my love for my wife publicly:
First off, my heart was not for the praise of man—not for me, and not for Molly. My intention was to let the congregation know that she is in this ministry with me and I could not do it without her. I wanted them to praise God for His work through her.
Second, it lets other women in the congregation know that I have eyes only for her. I am proud she is my wife and I work hard to protect our covenant.
Third, it modeled for other men the necessity to give praise to our wives for all they endure for us, with us and of us.
Finally, marriage is a picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact that a sinner like me can be loved as I am by Molly portrays the Gospel fact that Christ loves us too and accepts us regardless of our faults.
So while it may have been a pause from the preaching to do this on the stage in front of everyone, I believe it honored God as I honored my wife. I was able to affirm my marriage covenant, use my life to preach, love on my wife, and let the world know that God’s goodness in my life is tangibly seen in a person I call, “Babe.” I love you, Molly, with all my heart.
Here is a clip of what I said today:
This article originally appeared here.