The Cowboy Pastor’s Wife by Norma Elliott: Don’t leave the gate open for disrespect |

The Cowboy Pastor’s Wife by Norma Elliott: Don’t leave the gate open for disrespect

The Pastor's Wife suggests trying to "outdo your spouse in showing honor." Photo courtesy Norma Elliott

Knowing he had a particularly busy schedule, I was trying to help my cowboy pastor husband by taking on a few more chores. I was actually going to surprise him but I needed a little more information before I could pull it off. I asked, “Honey, is our bull at the neighbor’s pens?” And after 27 years of marriage he was on to me. “Don’t go pick it up.” What…..? Was I that obvious? Yeah, not to good at surprises.

He had a meeting in town and was speaking at an event this weekend. We have had a few long days lately, but I’m sure you’ve been there. It happens, where you are doing everything at once and shipping some yearlings and cleaning up some pastures was right in the middle of it.

He continued, sarcastically… “Yeah, that’s what I want! Send my wife over to pick up our bull.”

It seems as though convenience had stepped on the toes of respect and almost instantly I understood his point. It wasn’t that I was incapable of running over to the neighbors with a trailer. It was that he wasn’t sending his wife in his place. For some couples this may not even be an issue but something we can all agree on, is the area of respect, in our marriage.

Here’s 3 areas where I struggle and maybe you do too

• I get in a hurry. Just like what happened with the bull, I want to help. By nature I want to nurture, I’m a woman, it’s part of the DNA…but when it comes to my marriage, my husband wants a wife not a mother. He has one of those and he loves her very much! I love her too!

• I fail to ask his opinion and then listen to his response. I hate to admit that sometimes I’m already thinking about the next thing to say, instead of intentionally listening to him. I may even assume he feels the same way I do, when in reality his opinion may be totally opposite.

• In tough times I sometimes forget to ask, “How can I help?” If I feel he’s tense about a situation, sometime I get tense as well. Imagine you’re best cow dog barking at a heifer in the white brush, that would be me, when I’m in panic mode. I resort to barking out orders, thinking it’s the quickest way to clean it up.

Marriage can sometimes look like, “Man, all the cattle are accounted for, it just rained, and everyone calved out.” Other days it may look like, “Who left the gate open?!” But whatever our situation, respect can be the factor that helps us focus on what’s important. Just look at what the Word said when I looked up the word respect.

Romans 12:9-11

“Let love be genuine. Hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”

Can you imagine that, marriages that outdo one another in showing honor? That sounds like less counseling calls, that sounds like a good design for a happy marriage. So with that being said, let’s help each other out….what would be a way to “outdo” each other in showing honor? I always love hearing from you, find me at

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