"It was your worst sermon you have ever preached." I am as guilty as charged of saying this phrase. My husband always wants my opinion after a sermon, and while I am always honest. This phrase has come out of my mouth once before. Most of his sermons are amazing, as I am sure your husband's are. But you know, like all pastors there have been a few "rough" ones in the mix. One here or there that was a little confusing, harsh, or not well thought through.
My husband always said in the beginning of church planting to always say he did great. Then after a couple days go by, tell him how it really went. Unfortunately, I don't have the gift of waiting. I know, I know God is working on me. Those few times it was rough, I couldn't help but smile extra big and say you did good in a wobbly voice. Then he usually knows what I thought, and the cat is out of the bag by the time we are driving home.
Don't get me wrong, it isn't a disappointed or angry confession. A "rough" sermon doesn't affect me. I feel bad that it was rough and I have to tell my husband, he had a rough one. His biggest cheer leader, has to let him know his quarterbacking skills were a little shaky this morning. It's hard for me, and harder for him. However, as pastors' wives, and as our husbands' helpers, we must figure out how to protect their heart and mind.
Saying it is "your worst sermon you have ever preached," is a lot too extreme. Thankfully, and unfortunately I have only said this once. But as his biggest cheer leader, honesty has to be covered in grace. I have had to find a word or phrase that is honest but still builds him up. Such as this, "It was good. There were just a few spots here or there that I didn't understand. But I am sure it came across well to everyone else." Or, "Your into was a little long and repetitive, but after that you hit a home run." You see how much more encouraging but still honest that was?
Always encourage, and don't forget to tell him after every Sunday something about his sermon. I always love to tell my husband something I loved in the sermon. Everyone loves to be encouraged, and to be encouraged specifically is an added bonus. Cheerleaders are suppose to cheer on their team winning or losing. God can work through a great or rough sermon. The week my husband had his "worst sermon he ever preached" four people got saved.
Cheer him on, with lots and lots of grace!
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor