“My Turn to Support,” Ensign, Apr. 1993, 64–65
When we were newlyweds, my husband was called to serve as elders quorum president. At the time, I thought supporting my husband in his Church calling meant only one thing—not complaining. But now, after more years of marriage and of our supporting each other in a variety of Church callings, I have a broader understanding of this role.
Of course, supporting your spouse in his or her Church calling starts with not complaining about it. This means we do not complain to our spouses or to anyone else: our children, parents, visiting teachers, or neighbors. Unfortunately, our children can pick up our attitudes if they hear us say, “Dad’s late again!” or “Mom’s got another meeting!” We must not be guilty of murmuring in our homes as the children of Israel were found murmuring in their tents. (See Deut. 1:27.) What desire will our children have to serve in the future if they see us reacting negatively to the callings that come? How unfortunate it would be if an individual did not serve fully in a calling because of a desire to lessen a spouse’s complaining. Instead, we would be wise to pray that our spouses may have more control over their schedules and that other burdens our spouses are carrying may be lightened.
Supporting your spouse also means encouraging him or her. When your spouse is set apart to a new Church calling, it is your privilege to be there as a family and listen to the blessing he or she is given. These blessings can be a great source of strength and inspiration. Try to appreciate the fact that your home is being blessed by your spouse’s service and your support. Recognize the extra efforts your spouse puts into a calling and compliment him or her. Encourage your spouse to attend ward and stake meetings. Sincerely express gratitude to your spouse and to your Father in Heaven for the fine job your spouse is doing.
Beyond spoken praise, support each other by doing things to show support. Give your spouse a quiet place with a telephone for making phone calls. Set up the chairs for Primary if that would lighten the load of your wife. See that your husband has clean and appropriate clothes to wear. Take over a few of his or her chores to increase your time together and your family time. Be flexible in your mealtime. If your spouse has a 6:30 P.M. meeting, you can show support by being ready to eat at 5:30 P.M. so that your spouse has time to prepare for the meeting without being rushed.
Be creative in supporting your spouse. For example, if your wife is the ward organist, perhaps you could go early enough to listen to her prelude music. If your spouse is a teacher, go to the meetinghouse library to pick up the supplies he or she will need for a lesson. Work together on visual aids and discuss the upcoming lesson. Make or buy something for your husband to take to his home teaching families or for your wife to take to her visiting teaching families. Be creative! Magnify your role as supporter so your spouse can magnify his or her Church calling.
One of the blessings of this latter-day church is the opportunity for everyone who can serve to be given a calling. Some callings are more time-consuming than others. Some are less visible than others. But everyone can benefit by praise and encouragement from their spouse. All the support you give comes back to you as joy. Your spouse will grow in testimony and commitment as a result of magnifying his or her calling. Your home will be blessed, your spouse will be blessed, and you will be blessed. The love you share with your spouse will deepen as you each become devoted to serving and supporting each other.—Kathryn R. Bates, Folsom, California