The Safeguard

The Safeguard

By Susie Hawkins

I had noticed her looking at him, laughing a little too loud, practically swooning over the brilliance of his sermons and cleverness of his insights. But she was my good friend, and I didn’t consider it flirting, especially since my husband paid no attention to her whatsoever. She was just vivacious and outgoing.

My Bible study leader in our church (I’ll call her Ruth), was a trusted mentor and friend to me. She was the age of my own mom and had unusual spiritual maturity and discernment. So, I wasn’t surprised when she spoke very directly to me one day about my friend’s behavior. She had noticed and picked up on it instantly. I remember sitting at Ruth’s kitchen table with her eyes staring into mine, saying “Susie, you have to help your husband. You are his “safeguard” – your very presence can diffuse situations like this. Your relationship with him is God’s provision of protecting him from temptation. Don’t be foolish and ignore this, you need to bring it to his attention, talk with him about it and decide how you will handle it.”

I thought about Ruth’s comments all day and have replayed that conversation in my mind hundreds of times since then. How wise and discerning she was and I am forever grateful for her directness and exhortation to a young and sometimes naïve pastor’s wife.

The word “safeguard” is defined as something that serves as a protection, defense or that ensures safety (www.dictionary.com). Ruth was right on target, as usual. Husbands and wives are each other’s “safeguards” against the temptations of the enemy. Make no mistake about it – Satan is the prowling lion seeking to destroy testimonies and lives, especially of those in ministry.

Paul supports this concept in 1 Cor. 7: 1-6. Our bodies exclusively belong to one another, and our physical relationship is designed to bring us fulfillment within the boundaries of marriage. Guarding that is our charge, so that Satan will not have an opportunity to tempt us (vs. 7). I took Ruth’s warning as a wakeup call to be more intentional in being my husbands “safeguard”.

That evening my husband came home from the office, with a large box of homemade cookies, delivered by my friend to the church office that morning. (He had mentioned in his sermon on Sunday how much he loved chocolate chip cookies). Well, something happened to me when I saw that box. I was suddenly livid! I ripped the top off and said, “You want cookies? I’ll give you cookies!!” I proceeded to smash every cookie in that box with my fist until the entire box was tiny crumbs. My husband was staring at me and when I finally stopped, we burst into hysterical laughter. I’m not sure if what I saw in his eyes was relief or fear! But it quickly led to a very honest talk about this situation and how we would handle these things in the future. I was ready to send her a note saying, “Hey, my kids and I loved the cookies! Oh and by the way, YOU AIN’T WOMAN ENOUGH TO TAKE MY MAN!” But I calmed down – and learned an invaluable lesson that day. I must be intentional in guarding and investing in my marriage. I am my husband’s safeguard against the schemes of the enemy, he is mine, and we will do everything within our power and God’s to protect our relationship and our testimony.

I did learn one other thing – maybe I need to bake chocolate cookies a little more often?


Flourish is an equipping community for ministry wives. Their website Flourish.me has been developed by ministry wives to address the unique context of ministry.

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11 thoughts on “The Safeguard”

  1. Thanks Susie for sharing the importance of the relationship we should strive for in our marriage with such great humor. I was totally blessed by your blog.
    Ladies what do you think about Susie’s blog?

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this. It is hard at times being a pastor’s wife and having to deal with so many issues and women throwing themselves as your husband. So now I know we have to “safeguard” each other.

  3. praying wife of a Pastor

    Thanks for sharing this. As a Pastors wife, I to think that we are our husbands safeguard. We have to pray for discernment. Thanks again

  4. WOW I am not a Pastors wife but my husband and I are both in the ministry. A couple weeks ago we had a snow storm in the DMV area. My husband was kind enough to helped the neighbor across the street from us to remove the snow since her husband lives in NJ. She had offered him $25 for helping and he declined it but the next day she had baked some cookies and give him a plate of them, my daughter jokingly somewhat told me you better watch her after. I was just look at it as him being kind and never give it a second thought but after reading this article I will be more aware that I have to safeguard my marriage and my husband.
    Thank you so much Susie for sharing.

  5. Seasoned Pastor's Wife

    Susie, you are right on target concerning this, as a pastor’s wife that has been in ministey for 30yrs. We absolutely do need “safeguards” for our husband. We have pastor’s and wives that have fallen because of this and the enemy has tried to destroy or has destroyed the family. How do you deal with past relationships that continue to stock your husband and you see and hear them speak at conferences and even hear them lead worship, would you confront this person or leave in God’s hands. You would think after so many year’s this would stop but, I realize that we are fighting a spiritual battle. Thank you once again Susie for this great blog.

  6. Awesome insight and thanks for sharing with such candidness. I recently encountered a similar incident and I privately struggled with it internally since the person was a close friend. That’s not a comfortable place to be because you may expect this behavior from random people, but not a close friend. I first spoke to God about it because it was a very delicate situation and this person is a member of our local fellowship; so definitely had to handle with care. I then spoke to my husband concerning my observations and discomfort. Lastly, I wasn’t led to address the matter with my friend because I did not want to cause an offense. It was more important for me to ensure that my husband and I were on the same page than to address her because I understood that it wasn’t her, but a hidden force that was willing to use her to cause dissension in my marriage. I thank you for your post and I pray that we all remain diligent in our endeavor to safeguard our husbands and their ongoing ability to witness effectively.

  7. I know you ‘re waiting for someone to say your reaction was appalling and not Christian like. I am not going to do that. I will say this, a marriage means that two are one. It’s like that cord that people like to refer to; single they have limited strength when the cords are together they become one with double strength. The word says be anger and sin not. I thought to be angry was a sin. The sin is sinning while your angry. Be aware of your own relationship. I believe that prayer changes things. Pray makes a woman who is after your husband stay away from him. Makes a self righteous leader humble. Gives all concern the realisation that the scripture that says all things work for the good to them who love GOD and are the called according to his purpose is alive.

  8. Chosen to Serve with Her Husba

    Thanks for this. This experience is very encouraging for me. This is our 2nd year in the capacity of pastor and I dont know how to deal with those lustful spirit or even those who disregard you. But your experience has encouraged me to remember that I am not alone. These experiences are new. I am beginning to recognize that there is something about the anointing. Sometimes I feel so incompetent and unqualified for the call. I dont know where exactly I fit in the ministry with my husband. But I am learning that I need to be a praying woman to make it and to really be my husband’s safeguard and not his enemy. I know that I must also be a protection for my children

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