Ron Edmondson


Ron Edmondson

Ron Edmondson serves as the senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and has an impressive history of church planting and church growth. A nationally known Christian leader, he was raised in a Christian home and active in his home church, First Baptist Church of Clarksville, Tennessee, serving as a lay leader, deacon, Sunday School director, and teacher. After twenty years in business, including time owning an insurance agency and a small manufacturing company, Ron heard God’s call to ministry.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Ron’s strong theological background guides him to teach faithfully from Scripture. Ron identifies himself as a wisdom seeker and a teacher.

Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about

7 of the Greatest Needs of a Wife

In my years of counseling and ministering to married couples, mostly in distress, I have learned some principles that run fairly consistent within each marriage. Couples really are not that different from each other. There are common needs most men and women bring to a marriage in order to make the marriage the best it can be. We may use different terms, but the needs remain relatively similar from marriage to marriage. While this is based on my observations they seem to resonate with many couples.

I’ve also learned that understanding the needs is the first step in addressing them. We only know what we know. Here’s to a better understanding of each other’s needs. Be sure to read the husband’s greatest list HERE.

Here are 7 of the greatest needs of a wife:

LoveEphesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” How did Christ love the church? 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

Men, do you love your wife above everything else in your life (apart from your Christ relationship), including your work, your hobbies, your friends, family, and even the children? And, more importantly, do your actions prove your words?

Attention – Wives want to be listened to (even when the television is on) and know that we believe what they have to say is important. Our wives would prefer to talk with us over other women, even though another woman might better understand.

Men, are you truly listening to what your wife is saying? Again, do your actions prove this?

Protection – Wives want their husbands to be the defender of the family; not just against the strange sounds in the night, but against all the threats in society. They want us to take the ownership in leading our family spiritually and in teaching our kids how to defend themselves and stay strong in an evil world.

Men, are you working to protect your family—from all threats?

Security/Commitment – The wife wants to know you are going to be there forever. Wives often see their visually stimulated husbands looking at other women. Does she know you won’t cheat on her? Are you going to be faithful always?

Men, can she trust you? Do your actions build that confidence?

Appreciation/Value – Wives want to be valued for who they are as much as for what they do. Wives want to know we see them with value beyond just what she does to keep the household running. Is she more important than the stuff she does? Is she still beautiful?

Men, do you regular tell her what you admire about her? Do you genuinely compliment her—not just what she does?

Compassion – The Bible refers to women as the “weaker vessels.” Of course this doesn’t mean they are less than men, but that men and women are different. Women are going to respond differently to situations. They may cry easier, take longer to resolve things emotionally, feel tired quicker. Also, wives want a little romance in the marriage. (For most of us, if we’ve been married over a week they already know that’s not going to happen with you.) We can all, however, be kind, loving, and occasionally romantic. We usually get good credit here just for honestly trying.

Men, do you understand that your wife is not wired like you? Are you patient with her, allowing her to process things differently than you? Are you still attempting to be romantic at times—pursuing your wife—like you did before you were married?

Partnership – Wives don’t want to do life alone. They want their husband’s participation in raising the kids, making decisions around the house, and, yes, sometimes even picking out paint colors. They want someone to do life with them, not live two separate lives in the same household.

Men, would your wife say you are truly her partner? Are the two of you becoming one more everyday?

Ladies, that’s my list. Again, it’s from personal observation. What would you add to the list?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


A 4-Step, Simple Strategy to Destroy Your Stress

Are you ever stressed?

Silly question, right?

We can never remove all the issues of our life that bring us stress. We have to somehow learn to navigate our lives through stress.

I have some easy suggestions. I have shared this strategy so many times. I hope you find it helpful.

Let me warn you: This isn’t some deep, researched system. These are simple. But, in my experience, they are powerful suggestions.

Here are 4 steps to a less stressed life:

Get a set of index cards. Write on each one what you are most concerned about in life right now. Only one concern per card, but use as many cards as necessary. Everything you’re concerned about—worried about, if that’s your word—goes on a card.

There is something cleansing about writing out your concerns. It is a therapeutic exercise. (Insider information—you’ll find some of the things don’t merit a card once you have to write them.)

Place cards. After you’ve completed your cards, lay them face up on a table in front of you. This is a bare-your-soul moment. Now, share them with God. He knows them already—better than you—but do it anyway. It is freeing to give your recorded burdens to your Creator.

Pray. Pray something like this: “God, this is what I have before me which I can’t handle. I’m asking You as my Father, who loves me more than I can imagine, to give me direction, success, wisdom, patience, and understanding in every area of my life. Lead me along the path you would have for me. I’m trusting completely in you. If this season is a success in my life, it will depend on You. I love You Lord. In Jesus name, Amen”.

Do the best you know how to do. And then leave the rest in God’s hands.

Please understand this is not a formula for success. I don’t believe those exist.

And this isn’t simple. I used the word simple earlier, but that was just to keep you reading. There’s nothing simple about walking away from your right to control your outcome and leaving things in God’s hands. Even though we ultimately have very little control over the way things turn out in our life—we still naturally want to try. Worry often comes easier than faith.

Also, understand God is certainly not defined by our prayers. God will do what is best for us and His will—even when that disagrees with what we think we want.

This “system” is, however, Biblical—in my opinion. I based it on Hezekiah’s actions in response to receiving a letter that threatened his entire kingdom. (Talk about stress.) Read that story again in 2 Kings 19:14–19.

I have tried this numerous times, and God always responds to my humble attempt to surrender my fears, stress, and concerns to Him.

Sometimes this response has relieved me of my stress. Most of the time, however, this process helps me refocus and feel a sense of calm among my circumstances knowing my God is ultimately in control.

Try this and see what happens.


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


7 of the Most Dangerous Church Cultures

I was talking with a couple of pastors recently about leading in church revitalization and growth. Both of these pastors are seasoned church leaders—having far more experience in total than I have in vocational ministry.

Mostly, I listened to their stories. Both are currently in difficult pastorates. One of them serves in a church that has a history of very short-term pastorates. The other is in a church that has seen a roller coaster trend in church attendance—every time they get in a season of growth, it’s followed by a season of decline—sometimes rapid decline.

Frankly, I prefer to have conversations about opportunities and possibilities than about challenges and frustrations. But get a few pastors in the room, and there will be some war stories. Leading towards health in a church can be a battle sometimes.

Just like it’s been said numerous times—leading people is easy if it wasn’t for the people.

I tried to encourage them in their call and offered a few suggestions for them in their current situations. But the conversation stayed on my mind for days afterwards.

A few days after this conversation, I was talking with another pastor friend reflecting on what I had heard in the previous conversation. I didn’t share names or specific situations, but it led us to a discussion about church cultures.

Every church has its own culture.

Both of the pastors in the original conversation just seemed to find themselves in some very bad church cultures.

I’ve seen lots of different cultures while consulting and working with churches for over a decade.

Regardless of what some believe—there are some healthy churches.

And there are some who are not so healthy.

It always breaks my heart to encounter a church that is ready to implode. Frankly, some churches live in that tension continually. Some cultures are dangerous—toxic even.

Why do some churches seem to have such a hard time keeping church staff for any significant length of time? It usually has something to do with the culture of the church.

Why are some churches more resistant to change than others? It will almost always reflects back to the culture of the church.

Why do some churches have a history of church splits? Culture.

This friend in the second conversation said to me, “There’s a blog post for you. You need to talk about some of those dangerous cultures.”

Sadly, according to numerous statistics, more churches are in decline or have plateaued than are growing. Certainly, not all growing churches are healthy. I would never define a “healthy” church exclusively as growing church. I do believe, however, most healthy churches will eventually grow.

Some of that health in a church depends on the culture of the church. How do people respond to church leadership? How do they respond to each other? How do they react to change? How are decisions made? What upsets people most? What is the atmosphere—the mood—of the church during the week and on Sunday? How does the church treat vocational staff?

All those are usually relative to and indicative of church culture.

So, I decided to post about some of the more dangerous church cultures I have observed. Most likely you’ll have some of your own to share.

Here are 7 of the most dangerous church cultures:

Selfish – Some churches are filled with people who just think they have to have it their way. And they fold their hands—and sometimes hold their money—until they get it.

Prideful – This is a culture that is proud of their heritage—which is a good thing—but is resting on their laurels. They refuse to realize it’s no longer the “good ole days.” Their pride in the past keeps them from embracing the future. They resist any ideas that are different from the way things have always been done.  

Rigid – A rigid culture would never kill something—even if it isn’t working. These churches do tradition well. They don’t do change well. Try to change—and it’ll be the death of you.

Cliquish – I’ve heard this from so many people who felt they just couldn’t break into the already established groups within the church. In this culture, it takes years for people to feel included, find a place of service, or begin to lose the “new person” label.

Bullying – Sometimes this is disguised and called church discipline, but in some of the stories I’ve heard I would tend to call it legalistic. If it’s a “one strike you’re out” culture or people are made to feel they can’t be real about their struggles for fear of retribution—the picture of grace that Christ died on the cross to provide is diminished. People are encouraged to put on masks to hide their struggles.

Stingy – In this culture, there is a greater concern that the balance sheet look attractive than meeting the needs that God brings their way. This church rarely walks by faith because that seems too irresponsible.

Depraved – This one may in some ways be a summary of the previous six—because there is sin in all of these cultures—but I wanted to expose it on its own. If the Bible is left in the rack attached to the pew and no longer the foundation guide for the church—the culture will obviously suffer. Church culture can begin to decay whenever the focus is more on things like money, programs, buildings, even worship style—as good as all of those can be—rather than on living our lives as children of God for the glory of God. Whatever distracts us from the very core of the church—our Gospel mission and calling—will injure our church culture.

Those are from my observations.

What dangerous cultures have you seen?

I should mention again—especially to those outside the church, those who have experienced pain from these type churches, or those entering into the ministry in whom I may have raised caution—there are healthy churches. There are healthy church cultures. There are no perfect churches, but there are some who have staff with long tenures, where change is manageable, and where people truly live out the Biblical model of church.

And as someone who loves the local church, that’s where I hope to lend help through this blog in the majority of posts I share.

In a future post I will try to expand on some thoughts and experience I have in helping to change church cultures.


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


7 Ways to Make Bad Decisions

I’ve made lots of bad decisions in my life. That includes my time in leadership—both in business and ministry, but I’ve also made plenty of bad decisions in family and personal situations. None of us set out to make bad decisions, but sometimes the way we make them can significantly increase or decrease the chance the quality of our decisions.

Granted, I’ve learned from every bad decision I’ve made. And I’ve even repeated a few of them a few times—and still learned something. But, as much as I can, I want to make better decisions—the first time.

In my experience, there are a few common factors that lead to me making a bad decision.

Here are 7 ways to make bad decisions:

Make them too fast – I’ve learned that haste does indeed make waste. I make lots of decisions each day. I would be a poor leader if I couldn’t make most of them quickly. I’d always be stalled from my potential. When the potential outcome is significant, however, the more time I can give to it the less likely I am to make a mistake—certainly the ones that could have been avoided with more thought. Learning when to wait, seek God, the counsel of others, and for better personal discernment is part of maturing, but can help us avoid some of the more costly bad decisions.

Make them too slow – Equally true, there are times when a fast decision is easy; even prudent. If I know the right answer—if it has a Biblical basis, for example, or my conscience is clearly convicted—but it is simply hard to implement, I’ve learned that waiting seldom makes the decision easier and often only complicates the process. I’m more likely to make a bad decision the longer I wait.

Make them to keep people happy – The right decision is seldom the popular decision. People pleasing as a decision motivator rarely accomplishes matters of worth. It often makes the worst decision of the options available.

Make them when angry – I don’t know about you, but I don’t think clearly when my emotions get in the way. If I’m angry—or emotional in any other way—I tend to overreact or under react. Emotionally based decisions, especially immediate decisions, are often ones I tend to regret later.

Make them alone – “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22) A part of leadership involves standing alone at times, but rarely are we really alone. We should always walk in the counsel of God’s Spirit, and, in my experience, even when I have to make the decision seemingly alone—if I’m making wise decisions—it’s not really that I’m alone. I’m just ahead of where others know we need to go, but haven’t yet been willing to go. Building a collaborative environment as much as possible helps me avoid bad decisions.

Make them reactionary – Ultimately we want to work from a plan. We want to make decisions before the decision is needed. We want proactive decision-making. That’s obviously not always possible, but in my experience, I’m more likely to make a bad decision when I’m reacting to a situation, rather than having thought about the scenario and my response beforehand.

Make them out of fear – We are called to walk by faith, yet fear is often a more powerful initiator. But I’ve learned, when I decide because I’m afraid to—or not to—do something, I almost always make a mistake. Following my faith gut, even when afraid, is part of leadership. And part of life.

I’m sure there are many other ways to make a bad decision. These are some of my personal examples.

Which of these get in your way the most in making good decisions?

What are some ways you end up making bad decisions?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


5 Reasons God Might Put Someone in a Miserable Environment

I have the opportunity to speak to dozens of pastors each month. It’s one of my favorite things to do in leadership. Often I will share parts of the conversations I have with my wife Cheryl. She’s a great sounding board and always helps me form a more relational context around the situation.

Recently, I was discussing a young pastor who is in a difficult church environment. He is a mid-level staff member and feels God may be opening the door to another opportunity. The problem is—from my perspective—he may be entering another difficult church environment. I said to Cheryl, “It could be miserable for a while.”

Cheryl knew all the principles I’m about to share, but they didn’t resonate before her immediate response.

Cheryl asked, “Would God really call someone into a miserable environment?”

Well, of course, He might. Consider Jonah. What about Elijah? Ever heard of Nehemiah or Noah or Daniel or David or Paul?

Here are 5 reasons God might send someone into a miserable environment:

The Gospel is needed. That’s why Jonah was being sent. People needed to know the Living God. They weren’t yet seeking. They were very wicked people. That’s why Jonah didn’t want to go. But God was seeking them. He wanted to use Jonah to reach them.

People need renewed hope. And that’s a Gospel issue, too. Imagine the “atmosphere” among the Israelites when Moses showed up to offer deliverance. They were frustrated, scared, oppressed, lonely from lack of interaction with God. But Moses was being used as the deliverer from suffering into a renewed hope.

To show people a better way. It was probably a tense moment when Peter first arrived to the brothers after his time with Cornelius. Good disciples didn’t hang out with uncircumcised men like him. But Jesus had brought a new message—one of grace—not one of rules. Peter was a messenger of grace.

We learn to trust more. We develop more in environments of tension. Abram left all that he knew to go to a strange land. He went without a good plan—certainly not one he could see very far ahead. That must have been miserable. Yet, God was using Abram to become Abraham—father and example of our faith. Faith is always going where you cannot see. Without Genesis 12, Abraham would have never been ready for Genesis 22.

God gets the glory. Who gets the glory when the credit goes to us? But when we are in a miserable environment—and God shows up—who gets the glory? Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery. He was eventually thrown into a prison cell. Miserable existence for someone who had tried to do the right thing. Yet, God raised Joseph to a seat of honor. Who gets the glory in that story?

I’m sure there are many other reasons God would send someone into a miserable environment. I should be clear, it’s not at all that God loves to see His people miserable. That would be absolutely contrary to everything else we know about the character of God. I do believe, however, that God is very purposeful to work things for good. And sometimes the best good comes from the most miserable—when the power of God is at work.

His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


4 Important Principles You Need to Learn from the Book of Esther

I love the story of Esther. If you haven’t read it lately, you can do so HERE.

Here are the four principles I’ve observed from the story of Esther.

1. God has a special plan for your life.

Esther was placed in a royal position, not by chance, but for a purpose.

Reminds me of one of my favorite verses. Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plan’s his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

God didn’t make a mistake where He has you today. I think we spend too long in our life trying to figure out where God wants us to be or wishing we were somewhere else, instead of just allowing God to do something with our life where we are, while waiting for more to come.

2. Sometimes you will have to go against common sense, against what others advise, even against what you want to do in order to follow God’s plan.

Esther would have to approach the king, though she didn’t have permission. This could have meant certain and sudden death for her, since it was even against the law to approach the king. Esther’s response: “If I perish, I perish!”

Sometimes God’s will makes perfect sense, as you examine your experience. (I wrote about that HERE.) That doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t be required to take risks for God. The best things in life often come with the greatest risks. The degree of difficulty is not an indication that God is not in it. In fact, the opposite would be closer to truth.

3. The time to follow God’s plan is now.

I find Esther 4:14 interesting:

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

We mostly consider that last part of the verse, but notice the “Who knows?” It’s a question. They weren’t sure. They knew she was in the position as queen. She had opportunity to see the king. They knew God wanted to save the people. They knew for whatever reason Esther had been made aware of the plan. But did they know for sure that’s what Esther was supposed to do? Apparently not! They went without being 100% certain. Who knows?

There will be times in your life when you’ve gathered all the information you can, you’ve prayed as well as you know how, you’ve sought Godly counsel; whatever you are doing is not sinful… but there is something inside of you that’s still not sure. You can sleep on it. That’s something I always do. Esther waited 3 days, but at some point you just have to muster the courage to move forward. Without all the answers, are you ready to step out and walk by faith? Don’t be afraid to allow God to determine the outcome.

4. Trusting in God completely brings great rewards.

In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them. (Esther 8:17)

Esther saved a nation. Her obedience saved God’s people from destruction! The reward for obedience was even better than expected. Esther went before the king prepared for the worst case scenario… she got the very best! Many people became followers of God! The people were inspired by the faith of one woman and one man that everything changed in that nation.

It will always prove profitable in the long run to obey God. When others see us living in radical obedience—obedience that makes no sense—they’ll want some of what we have. The world around you is looking for answers, trying to figure out how to make life work. We may not have all the answers, but we know about a God who does.

When was the last time you asked, God what do You want to do through my life? Are you ready to walk by faith?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


7 Words of Wisdom for Navigating through the Disappointments of Life

I have the opportunity to sit with many people who are experiencing disappointment in life. Many times, even when we are doing the best we know how, we find ourselves disappointed with where we find ourselves in life at the time.

Life happens. It could be tragedy or a minor set back, but it hurts. Pain is always relative to context. And if we don’t know how to respond we can have a very hard time recovering.

Having faced disappointment many times in my own life, I’ve learned a few things about navigating through these times. I hope some of my wisdom gleaned through experience can help you.

Here are 7 pieces of wisdom for the disappointments of life:

Keep your heart close to God. That’s important always, but especially during times of disappointment. The Psalmist said, “God is close to the brokenhearted.” God is most likely at work in ways you cannot presently see or understand. Often disappointment ushers in some of the greatest seasons of God for your life. Don’t miss it by not listening to Him.

Wait for your emotions to heal before you make major decisions. Recall how the prophet Elijah was ready to die during a difficult period (1 Kings 19). Yet God still had great plans for his life and ministry. We tend to make irrational decisions immediately following times of disappointment. Let some time pass and make sure you are thinking rational again before you implement major changes in your life.

Don’t quit doing what you know to do. While you shouldn’t make major changes, an equally dangerous tendency to give up or stall until the next opportunity arrives or life gets “easier.” You may need a resting period, but keep your mind and hands busy doing what there is to do today. It will help protect your heart and mind from the attack of fears and doubts. And do things that keep you alive and healthy. Eat, sleep, exercise.

Don’t allow a disappointment to determine your sense of self-worth. Read many of David’s psalms (22, 69, and 121 are a few of my favorites.) You can read his despair—then as He reminds himself of God’s love and faithfulness—he is restored. Be restored in who you are as a child of God. Beloved. Let God and the people who know you best help determine your worth. It’s monumental worth. Yes, even today! You don’t have to be defined by your disappointment. 

(And be on the lookout for signs of severe depression. Things like withdrawal, constant feelings of despair, severe worry, not eating, dark fears or thoughts, etc. Don’t resist professional help.)

Remember, you are not alone. Even though it may feel that way. Back to the story of Elijah, he couldn’t see it at the time, but God had reserved an army of supporters for him. Disappointments are a part of everyone’s experience. There is likely someone who has experienced the same type disappointment. Don’t be afraid to find them and let them walk through this period with you. (This is not a time to remove yourself from the church community—this is a time to find real, life-giving community.)

Learn everything you can from this period. No one welcomes disappointment, yet most who have experienced them learn some of life’s best lessons during those times. Even failure can be a great teacher. Don’t miss the value of experience.

Move forward when opportunity presents itself. Too many people become paralyzed after a period of disappointment, refusing to ever move forward again. Living an abundant life requires risk-taking. Dreaming again. Loving again. Ultimately, to be obedient to God’s call on your life, you will have to walk by faith again. If you ever hope to escape the moment of disappointment—when the time is right—and you’ve grieved your loss or disappointment sufficiently—get on with life.

Learning how to handle disappointments will make your life better. Eventually, God will—if you allow Him to—grant you the privilege of helping others who experience disappointment.

What wisdom have you gleaned from times of disappointment?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


7 Ways to Tell if This is a “God Thing”

And without faith it is impossible to please God… Hebrews 11:6

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you. 2 Chronicles 20:12

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27

God calls people to seemingly impossible tasks. It gives Him glory when I can’t do something, but He can. I can do “all things through Christ who strengthen me,” but often what He calls me to do can seem foolish to attempt (at least to others—and sometimes me) at the time. Imagine what the friends of Abraham, Moses, and Noah must have thought when God called them to what appeared to be impossible assignments. God calls people to walk by faith into the unknown.

If you know God has called you to something, don’t be dismayed if others can’t quickly identify with your calling. In my experience, God is often raising up others with the same heartbeat, but you can’t always see them at the time; so there may be periods when you have to stand alone on God’s calling. That may be for a season, but at times it could be for years. (Consider the case of Noah.)

With that in mind, what are some indicators what you are experiencing might just be of God.

Here are 7 ways to tell it may be a God thing:

  • Everyone says it can’t be done. There’s no way. It’s never been done before.
  • You feel you aren’t qualified. You don’t have what it takes. You’re scared. Overwhelmed. Under-prepared.
  • There aren’t enough resources available. Not enough money. Not enough people (or so it seems). You don’t have the building, or the location or the perfectly mapped-out strategy.
  • It makes no rational sense. Seriously, who in their right mind would do this?
  • People are questioning your intelligence. Or asking if you are “sure you know what you are doing.”
  • Accomplishing it would give God all the glory. There would be no other explanation.
  • It honors God and is true to His Word.

I’m not saying this post confirms what you are attempting is from God. It might. It might not.

What I am saying is that you should not dismiss the call you believe God has placed on your life because it doesn’t make sense to others around you—or to yourself at times. God things seldom do. Read a few Bible stories if you need some inspiration—or confirmation of what I’m saying.

Are you in the midst of a God-calling?

Has God called you to things which made no sense at the time?

What would you add to my list?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


7 Ways to Honor Your Pastor’s Wife

One of the toughest jobs in the church is that of being a pastor’s wife. 

It has been called the loneliest job in the church.

No doubt I have one of the best. Cheryl has a professional job as an accountant, is an excellent mom and wife, but the demands on her as my wife are some of the most overwhelming.

Still, she handles it with grace and a smile.

In this post, I want to help you know how to honor and protect your pastor’s wife. 

Truthfully, I am not talking on behalf of Cheryl. She would never ask for this, and, frankly, we are mostly in a good church environment as far as the way our staff and spouses are treated. Plus, we came out of the business world into ministry. We were older and more seasoned by life; so, we’ve always approached things differently—protected our personal time more. Sunday is Cheryl’s favorite day of the week.

I know, however, because of my work with pastors that many pastor’s wives are facing burnout, a sense of loneliness, and some even struggle to come to church. That should not be.

Here are 7 ways to honor your pastor’s wife:

Do not put too many expectations on her.

Regardless of the church size, she cannot be everywhere at everything and know everyone’s name and family situation—and still carry out her role in the home. She simply can’t. Don’t expect her to be super-human.

Do not expect her to oppose her husband

She will be protective of her spouse. Hopefully, you would equally protect your spouse. If you bad-mouth her husband, she’s likely to respond in a way you don’t want her to—but should expect her to. Don’t complain if she does.

Protect her from gossip.

She does not need to know the “prayer concerns” that are really just a way of spreading rumors. And you know when that’s the case. Check your motives in what you share. Don’t share what you don’t have permission to share.

Let her have a family.

The pastor is pulled in many directions. The family understands the nature of the job. Life doesn’t happen on a schedule. But, in reality, there are often unreasonable demands on the pastor. That always impacts the family. If you can—limit your demands to normal working hours for the church and the pastor. Send an email rather than calling at home if it’s not an immediate concern. It will help the pastor have a family life.

Include her without placing demands or expectations on her.

That’s the delicate balance. The pastor’s wife is often one of the loneliest women in the church. She rarely knows whom to trust and often is excluded from times that are just for fun. Don’t be afraid to treat her as a normal human being. She is. But if she says no—don’t hold it against her either.

Never repeat what she says.

Ever. If the pastor’s wife happens to share information with you about the church or her personal life, keep it to yourself. Always. There will be temptation to share her words as “juicy news,” but you will honor her by remaining silent. And, over time, you will build her trust and her friendship.

Pray for your pastor’s family.

Daily would be awesome. And much needed.

Finally, if your church really wants to honor the pastor’s wife, find ways to give her time away with her husband and/or family. That is probably what she needs the most.

Feel free to give a shout-out to your pastor’s wife here and share practical ways you can honor your pastor’s wife. If you are a pastor or pastor’s wife, I would love to hear your thoughts.

(Two closing notes. First, these may work equally well for the husband of a pastor or minister, but I can only speak from my perspective. Second, I’ve been told numerous times that a pastor’s wife IS the problem in the church. That’s the subject of another post, but I do understand and recognize that there are times this is the problem. It is very difficult for a pastor to be effective without a supportive spouse.)


12 Ways Christians Can be Less Mean

I wrote a post recently encouraging Christians to be less mean—especially online. It was called “When Did Christians Become So Mean?

It seems to me, we’ve lost some of our civility when it comes to what we post on social media. We are quick to blast a company that we feel has wronged us. We criticize people — right on their Facebook page. We load the comments of a blog post with crushing blows.

Surely you’ve seen it. The web has made it much easier to be a critic.

But, it’s also in public. I’ve seen Christians I know act like jerks in a restaurant or grocery store. I consistently hear of bosses who serve smiling on Sunday but are mean to employees during the week.

It all has to hurt our witness as Christians.

The post got a little attention.

Actually, some people, proved the need for the post by the way they responded. :)

Still others asked for some suggestions of how we could improve—some even wanted examples.

I decided not to share specific examples. In my opinion, that would be mean. So, you’re meanness will remain anonymous in this post. If you are mean, most likely others already know your name.

I did decide to share some ways we can be “less mean” online.

Here are a dozen suggestions:

Consider others better than yourself. (Philippians 2:3)

Forgive one another. (Ephesians 4:32)

Love one another. (John 13:34)

Be kind and compassionate to one another. (Ephesians 4:32)

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)

Treat others as you would want to be treated. (Luke 6:31)

Have the mind of Christ. (Philippians 2:5)

Remember kindness leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. (Psalm 34:13)

Honor everyone. (1 Peter 2:17)

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29)

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)

Just a few of those should improve the quality of our online involvement.

And, finally, a bonus one:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12–14)

Those are some of my suggestions.

Got any others?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


7 Things You Need to Know about Your Husband

I recently wrote a post about 7 things you may not know about your wife. It was a popular post and I committed to write a companion post for the wives.

Here are 7 things wives need to know — but may not know — about your husband:

His ego is more fragile than you imagined. I know, you’re probably tired of hearing about the male ego. I get it. But it hasn’t gone away, and, frankly, the world isn’t too kind on our ego. We see the jokes on every sitcom and commercial about how inadequate we are at times. But there’s not a man with a soul that’s alive that doesn’t want to be admired by the woman in his life. Not one.

He is very visual. Very. More than you are probably thinking. You see his eyes roam. That’s a natural reaction for him. Now, he has responsibility over his eyes—not the girl who attracted them—but if there’s a pretty girl around, he probably saw her long before you did. And he likely battles staring more than you will ever understand.

He doesn’t want you to be his mother. You can say “ouch!” if you need to, but men want a wife, not a mom. I hear this from men frequently—especially young men. If you’re a mom they want you to be a great mom—just not theirs. I know we need mothering sometimes. All of us do. We may even act like big babies at times. But mothering a husband never works. Ever. Be our partner. Our best friend. Not our mother.

When you correct him you hurt him. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t need correcting. He might. But the way you do this is huge. Your respect for him is huge for him. His greatest emotional need. That could be in how he fixes the bed—or the fact that he doesn’t—or for things far worse. If he senses you are talking down to him—not respecting him—he may comply with your wishes in actions (or not), but inside his heart will be growing colder towards you.

He loves you uniquely. He probably won’t love you all the ways you expect him to love. And, frankly, he won’t be all the love you need him to be. He may not always feel love as an emotion as strongly as you do. Your heart is capable of much more than he can fill completely. There will be times—hopefully even seasons when he does—but no man will meet every need of your heart. (Other than the man Jesus.)

What he does really is who he is many times. It’s his identity. If it’s golf, his career, fishing, antique cars or his extensive comic book collection—that’s a part of him. When you miss that or don’t value it, he may feel like less of a man.

He probably thinks you’re more wonderful than you think he does. And he has a strong desire to protect you because of it. He sees all you are capable of doing. He wonders how you keep up with everyone and everything as you do. He may even envy that about you. He respects you—probably more than he knows how to communicate to you.

Guys, anything you would add?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


7 Things You Need to Know about Your Wife

Guys, can I be honest with you? Marriage can be hard.

Did you know that already?

Sometimes you do the wrong thing before you even knew you did the wrong thing. You try to figure out the one you love the most, but the more you try the more confused you get. I get it. I understand.

Men and women are different. (You can tweet that.)

We don’t always think and respond to life the same way.

And likely there are some things about your wife you just didn’t know.

Over the years, through counseling training and actual counseling—and learning from my wife—I’ve observed some things. And I’ve realized some men simply don’t know them—or don’t realize how important they are to their wife.

Here are 7 things you may not know but you need to know about your wife:

You step on her feelings more than you know.

You just do. And you don’t even mean to—or know that you are most of the time. She may think you do, but you don’t. You’re just not as aware of how she’s wired emotionally. And most of the time she overlooks it. She knows it wasn’t intentional. But it hurts. And the more you do it the more it hurts. So, be careful with your words.

And that leads to the next one.

Your words are heavier than you think they are.

You need to know that. When she asks you how she looks, for example—yes, it is a quandary on how to respond, and there are plenty of jokes around about that dilemma—but your response matters. Probably more than any other response of her day. It’s a small question to you but big question for her. And you communicate things to her continually through how you say what you say and the body language you combine with your words. And they weigh a ton to her. A ton.

She wants you to take the lead.

At least occasionally. I know all the women’s rights issues cloud this for you. It can be confusing, but there’s likely something in your wife just waiting for you to make a decision. She values your input, and she wants you to lead in the home as well as she sees that you can lead elsewhere. And speaking on behalf of men, I know you don’t always want to be the leader. She’s better at making many of the decisions than you are. Still, she’s waiting—hoping, that you’ll step up where you need to lead.

She doesn’t want to be like her mother.

Or to be compared to her mother. And these type jokes aren’t funny. Ever. Trust me. In fact, she doesn’t want to be like any other woman either. She wants to be seen for the unique wonder she is—which, by the way, was God-designed.

She is likely with you even when she’s not.

At least in her mind. Our wives are very relational. So, if she asks about your calendar, now you know. She’s not trying to be difficult or suspicious. She’s trying to be with the one she loves.

It’s okay just to hold her hand.

And, also, to occasionally be romantic. You may have established a long time ago that you’re not the romantic type. She may realize she married funny—or serious—or dedicated—more than romantic. But every woman needs a little romance occasionally. It makes her feel special—especially when it comes from you.

The way her world looks is often how her heart feels.

All her world. The house, for example, you think it doesn’t matter, but to her it reflects her—not you. She’s also conscious of what others think of her appearance. She carries this burden heavier than she wants to sometimes. Don’t diminish this to her. Understand it.

In a future post, I’ll share the companion post for wives to understand.


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about