If you are like me then most of the time when you get a talk done you think, "Ahh, it's done... ready to preach." I thought that for a long time. I try to stay at least one week ahead in my message prep and when I get done with a talk on Friday it's like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders because it's finished... Wrong!
Something I have just started doing is to have my wife read my talk and then come up with some personal questions from the message. They might be a question I asked the audience directed back at me, or new questions she came up with from a thought in the talk.
This came about from a problem I'm sure most preachers have. Your spouse finds out more about you when you speak then any other time. After all that is the one time a week you are forced to sit, stop and remember old stories and to articulate your thoughts. Something a lot of men struggle with. This allows us as a couple to experience the message before the masses do on Sundays.
It also will allow you as a communicator to tweak your talk before you give it. It has been run through the lens of another person and can help you see angles and insights you missed in your prep time. Plus who knows you better than your wife? She sometimes knows what you are trying to say, but might have failed to clearly get across.
Give it a try this week and see if God won't use that time to build your marriage and your ministry.
(Now that this is in print I better schedule my time with Cheryl again this week)