Moving around in the military afforded us with great opportunity for leadership. With each move, I was called to serve in a leadership capacity, and my husband was by my side. As a stake Relief Society president, I could count on him showing up after each activity to load things up and help clean the Church. Now that he is serving as the stake president, I can support him in the same ways that he supported me. The ways he supported me included:
- Commit yourself from the very beginning to help her fulfill a calling.- Be a sounding board for her to discuss areas relating to her callings, and always keep it confidential.
- Be positive and encouraging about the time it requires.
- Be available to care for the children, prepare food or do whatever is needed while she is away from home.
- Be there for her. Often a strong pair of arms is needed to carry in, help set up, carry out and wash up.
- Express appreciation to her for the many hours she puts into her calling and tell her how proud you are of her; you're the only person who really knows how much she does. It's a great opportunity to do this in the presence of your children.
Helping each other soon becomes second nature and creates a delightful closeness and genuine respect. – Geneva Smith, Tacoma, Wash.
What we did:
Here are five things I do to help my wife serve as Relief Society president:
- Let her have more private time. Since she is on the phone very often, particularly in the evening, I do the dishes and take care of the kids in order to let her do her duties.
- Pray for her. This calling requires strength and inspiration. I include her in my daily prayer.
- Support her participation in Relief Society activities. I try to be home to look after the children when she needs to attend homemaking nights the last Friday of every month and other occasions.
- Encourage her to seek inspiration and guidance. I invite her to pray, read Church publications or study the scriptures that may provide her with fresh ideas, inspiration, guidance, as well as comfort.
- Remind her to think positively.
- Keep confidences. I make sure I keep confidential what is heard when she is on the phone. – Richard Fund, Hong Kong
I have learned many ways to support my wife as she has fulfilled leadership responsibilities. I have been a sounding board for her ideas, I have lent a listening ear when she wanted to share spiritual experiences or vent her frustrations, and even offered a shoulder to cry on when the going got tough. I have found that the very best way to help my wife is to keep the household running as smoothly as possible when her calling takes her away from home. When my wife steps out the front door the family schedule continues as usual, which includes homework, school projects, cooking meals, packing lunches, washing dishes, doing laundry, giving baths, having family prayer and tucking children into bed. I have seen a look of relief and gratitude on my wife's face when she has returned home to find everything in order. Every husband should see that face. – Don Davis, Beaumont, Texas
We recently celebrated the golden wedding anniversary of my husband's parents. In preparation, I asked a dear friend if she could help in the kitchen; I also asked if she was supposed to attend a stake auxiliary training meeting to be held that same evening, to which she answered that she hadn't been invited. In the meantime, she was issued her invitation to the meeting, but said nothing to me. The evening of the anniversary arrived and this sister was found filling my request, only to soon be replaced by her husband who diligently prepared refreshments and washed dishes as they were emptied.
One male family member said to this brother, "You're making the rest of us look bad." The reply was given, "If I remember correctly, I raised my arm to sustain her." The male family member replied, "I guess I did too," and spent the rest of the evening pouring punch to be served. – Sherrie McMullin, Cleveland, Utah
Everyone is serving
Growth comes by service, and service can be provided only when there is support at home. If I serve my family so my wife can serve as an auxiliary leader, everyone is serving and the family is strengthened, brought closer together and made happy.
I love my family and am eager to spend evenings with them to support my wife. When the children were young I stayed home with them, fixed dinner, played games, helped them with homework and put them to bed. I have had the opportunity to serve as a speaker on numerous occasions for the auxiliary organizations in which my wife served. I have helped chaperone youth conferences, as well as stake dances.
Humorous experiences take place when the father is in charge. Once I found our 2-year-old with a half-empty jar of petroleum jelly and hair you could comb straight out to the side. I washed his hair many times, and then took him to Mutual to share with my wife the humor of the occasion. We laughed together, and then I took him home to wash his hair some more!
All callings are important, and the Lord needs everyone to serve. – Norman Davis, Springfield, Va.
Pray for her
It should be considered a compliment to have one's wife called to serve. So when her name is read from the pulpit and you raise your hand high, take that sustaining vote seriously. Explain to your children what sustaining Mom means. Help them to know what Mom will be doing and that she will gone from home sometimes. Help them commit to helping Mom by doing their chores happily. Pray for her. By praying in family, couple and individual prayers, she will feel both your support and that of the Lord.
Be willing to be inconvenienced. Plan ahead to avoid conflicts. – Brent A. Fisher, Corona, Calif.
Reminded of talents
As I have served in various auxiliaries, my husband has been very supportive. I'm impressed by two things he does that help me to feel sustained:
- Sharing the workload. When I served as Young Women president, I spent a week at girl's camp. While I was gone, my husband scrubbed our house from top to bottom, did the laundry and kept up all of my household chores so that when I returned I was not burdened with them. I have felt support from my husband as he has prepared a meal or has done the dishes. He has also willingly helped more with the children, such as bathing, taking them to sporting activities, etc.
- Reminding me of who I am and the talents that I have. I have had several instances when I felt discouraged by how things were going in my calling or just overwhelmed with all that it entailed. Each time my husband has built me up by reminding me of the talents that Heavenly Father has given me and then challenged me to accomplish the task at hand. – Laura Wall, Murray, Utah
How to checklist:
- Take sustaining seriously; commit to help; pray for her.
- Share household duties; do chores, help with children.
- Encourage her; remind her of who she is and of her talents.
- Be supportive as family; help children understand.
WRITE TO US:
Oct. 26 "How to be more sensitive to those around you in different marital and family circumstances."
Nov. 2 "How to take responsibility for your own happiness."
Nov. 9 "How to find joy `in the morning.' "
Nov. 16 "How to instill spirit of Thanksgiving in children."
Nov. 23 "How to prepare for the arrival of first child."
Nov. 30 "How to appropriately develop a dating relationship as single adults."
Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2121 or use internet E-mail: [email protected]. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.