Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Thoughts on Then, Now, and Whatever Lies Ahead

As a naïve and hopelessly romantic teenager, I was head over heels about a boy. This particular boy did care for me, valued me as a friend, but never took our friendship further. Although I knew deep down that we would never date, he set the standard for many years. At the time, it drove me absolutely batty that no other boys could measure up. If there was a potential dating relationship in the works, he was always there to challenge and bring to mind an obvious immaturity or other concern with my juvenile crush. I'm telling you, he made me want to spit nails at times...the very one I would never date was the one continually raising the bar. One day in my early college years, we were eating lunch somewhere and he started asking questions about the kind of man I wanted to marry someday (the nerve, right?). With my blood pressure rapidly increasing, I mentioned that I had hopes of someday marrying a man who is called into vocational ministry. He responded almost defensively, asking why the person would have to be called to ministry, and I simply replied that he did not necessarily have to fit into a some mold. I just knew my heart, and knew that it would be a sweet blessing and gift from the Lord if He was to unite my heart with someone who shared the same deep convictions I had for ministry. The remainder of the conversation was quite awkward, and I remember that day being a significant turning point when I began cutting the emotional strings that had been tied to this boy for so long. While thankful for the significant imprint he made on my life, I knew it was time to move forward.
Now, many years after that lunch conversation, I am pondering the very humbling reality that my husband and I are just a few short months away from completing our seminary degrees and moving on to whatever lies ahead. I did always dream of marrying someone with a deep passion for ministry, and never in a million years would I have imagined the Lord going above and beyond as He has done. The man whom I am blessed to call my husband has an intoxicating love for the Lord and His people, and that yearning to shepherd His flock is always present. So what happens when that which you have only ever dreamed of is suddenly coming into view? I know myself well enough to know that I could easily go into panic mode thinking of all the implications that come with being a pastor's wife in a local church. Thinking of "life in a fishbowl" is enough to make me lose sleep at night if I'm not trusting in the One who has called us to such a life as this. If I am not confident in where my true identity is found, then I will lack such confidence when faced with inevitable trials and criticism. If I am not trusting in Him and the ways in which He has so specifically and undeservedly gifted both my husband and I, then I will be prone to doubt and questioning His plan. With all of this in mind, I eagerly (though very timidly on some days) brace myself for whatever He has in store for the months ahead.
Even now, as we are so close to wrapping up this season and wondering what comes next, I am mindful of those things which are of utmost importance when it comes to being a pastor's wife. These things should apply to any wife seeking to live in an honoring and understanding way with her husband, but they are especially crucial when one thinks of the whole "fishbowl" scenario. What are these things to which I am referring?

1) Watch out for him. You know him better than anyone and have his best interests in mind. If he is overworking himself, lovingly bring it to his attention. Try to find ways to lighten the load. Occasionally, there are seasons where there is no way around the busyness at church. During those times...be the place where he can relax.
2) Give your husband helpful and honest feedback. Take it seriously... Take time to think through your opinions carefully to be sure they are wise and accurate.
3) Stand with him when times are tough. Even when you disagree with him, respect him, both publicly and privately. Pray that God will give him wisdom in making decisions. Do not forget the seriousness of his calling. He is bringing the gospel to the church each week.

Much thanks to the newly-discovered True Woman blog for posting these helpful items for consideration. I am very much aware of the very great responsibility and privilege that comes with my husband's calling, and I want to be encouraging him in whatever ways I can even now. Little did that immature teenager a decade ago know what the Lord had in store, and I can look back and see how He was preparing my heart then for how I am to love and serve my husband today.


Adrian said...

Such a cute pastor's wife, too! Congrats on being near the end... and the beginning!

PandaMom said...

Fish bowl, schmish bowl! (is that a word?) ; )

You are going to be a fabulous pastor's wife and you know you always have me and my big ol' bag of fish food handy. Some tastes yuckie, some tastes yummy, but all of it brings us pastor's wives closer to the Big Fish's heart.

Now wasn't that just too cute?
(I know you're smiling and saying, "G(r)eek".

You Little O Wife said...

"So what happens when that which you have only ever dreamed of is suddenly coming into view?" Wow. Love this...will steal it one day. Also, GREAT picture! You are so cute together. :)

Ashley said...

Love this post! :)

Ashley said...

Just had to come back and re-read this post ...