You’re pouring your heart out. You preach like a man possessed (in a good way). You wax eloquent. And then it happens; you make eye contact with the one person in the crowd that can truly humble you – your spouse.
You can fake it with others, but not with her.
Possibly the most difficult part about being a preacher of the Gospel is that at least one of the listeners knows everything there is to know about you. I think God plans it that way. The great equalizer for many preachers is that their spouse knows better.
It is easy; very easy to impress some crowds. Say the right things in the right way with your best preacher voice and you can wow the crowds. But when someone siting there knows the intimate secrets of who you really are, that is another story.
Preach about faith; she knows your doubts. Preach about prayer; she knows your prayer life. Preach about integrity; and she may smirk (inside).
I think God plans it that way. To keep you humble…to stay real…God reminds you that, no matter what you say, one other person there besides you and Him knows your bathroom habits.
I think the toughest part of being a preacher is that my wife sits there, amening me, nodding her head and being supportive, but knowing full well all my flaws. And still she graciously receives the Word. Quite humbling, I must say! And good for us preacher-types, lest our arrogance get the best of us. Without these humbling realities, our heads would probably explode with pride. The way it is, it’s sometimes difficult to hold your head up while preaching when she’s in the crowd.
I’m thankful for grace from God and from my wife.
By the way, any preacher who won’t admit to this is either a liar or more spiritual than I am (which isn’t always saying much).