By Elizabeth Prata
I love to listen to sermons, especially my own pastor’s sermons. They are rich and deep with a lot to think about. He exposits verse by verse or chapter by chapter through a book of the Bible, and along the way he challenges us with his points. Just the way I like it.
I’m such a dunce though. I long to apply the words to my life so as to partner with the Spirit in my progressive sanctification. But I often don’t know the questions to ask myself in order to kick-start the process for that day. I found a helpful aid in the book I just finished reading, “Her Husband’s Crown,” a short exhortation of 9 points and a conclusion by Sara Leone.
Below are some good questions a woman can ask herself after hearing a sermon. Though the author’s intended audience is pastors’ wives, these questions are good for any woman to ask of herself after hearing her pastor’s sermon, or any sermon. I hope they help you as they helped me.
We remember the exhortation to “…receive with meekness the implanted word.” (James 1:21).
What has the word of God taught me today? Has it pointed to a sin I must confess? What promise has it encouraged me to claim? Is there a godly example for me to follow, a Christian grace to develop in my life? How should I apply the lessons of the sermon to my daily living? In other words, our goal should not be to critique our husbands’ sermons but to benefit spiritually from them.
Her Husband’s Crown, p 20 Sara Leone
As I finish the books I’ve set aside for this summer’s reading, I’ll review them.
Her Husband’s Crown by Sara Leone is for sale at Amazon for only $3. It’s 42 short and sweet pages that I found practical and helpful. Sara is a pastor’s wife. The blurb says “Although written primarily for pastors wives, this booklet will encourage Christian wives in general and will stimulate prayer for and support of pastors and their wives everywhere.”
I say it’s a helpful book for any Christian woman who is a member of her church, married, unmarried, pastor’s wife or not.
What I liked about it is that the advice inside is practical, no-nonsense and nothing you haven’t really heard before. But it’s bundled in such a way that the advice and points are brought to mind again in a good way. There are blessedly few anecdotes of a personal nature, just only enough to be lightly sprinkled throughout and helpful to her chapter’s point. There is a lot of scripture. Just the way I like it.
For example, Chapter 3’s point, “Be a sympathetic and confidential listener to your husband,” based on Romans 12:15, is a wonderful treatment on the importance of pastor’s wives to be, well, sympathetic to your husband’s cares and concerns but also keep them confidential. This can be applied to any situation where a person confides in you. In other words, it’s easy to apply her points if you are a pastor’s wife and easy to adapt her points if you are not. And her points are good.
Another example, chapter 2, Fulfill your responsibilities as a mother before seeking other ministries in the church. Here, Mrs. Leone speaks to a common misperception, that the pastor’s wife is ‘First Lady’ of the church and in that role must fill the gap or lead the way for many of the ministries going on. Not so.
If you’re not a pastor’s wife then the advice is still good to be reminded of that a mother’s primary role is mother, not ministry leader. I mentioned that her advice isn’t anything you haven’t heard before, so of course we know that if you’re a mom then motherhood is a primary essential. But I also said that her advice is needed. Why? When we see many Christian mothers podcasting, running all over the US in their book tours, being guests on podcasts, writing books, maintaining a strong social media presence, and raising 7 children or 4 children and the like, it makes many true stay-at-home Christian mothers wonder if they, too can “do it all” like these other, more famous women who seem to have successful myriad ministries yet claim also to be focused on raising their children. So, Leone’s advice is needed.
The author does not come across as bossy but gentle. She is sharing these 9 points from a long life of experience but also as reminders from scripture. Reading this book is like sipping a cup of tea with a friend in the shade under a dappled dogwood tree.