This post is for the (in)Couraged Flock- a group of ministry wives that I have the privilege of encouraging and co-leading with my friend Amy. However, anyone is welcome to share their thoughts in the comments!
There may be some women who grew up wanting to be the wife of a man in ministry. I was not one of them!
As a pastor's kid, I had seen firsthand the joys and the struggles of being a ministry family and although I loved God and wanted to serve him with my life, I did not want to be a pastor's wife.
But God had different plans. And as I have accepted and even embraced this calling that He has placed on my life, I have been able to rest in His perfect plan. Not that I rest perfectly. Even after 15 years, I still struggle at times and ask the "why?" questions. But I am learning.
Being the wife of a man in ministry can often feel like living under a microscope. Expectations abound. Criticism is given freely. Misunderstandings and assumptions can be a way of life.
But being a wife of a man in ministry can also be absolutely fulfilling. Encouragement abounds. Compassion is given freely. Mercy and authenticity can become a way of life.
Perhaps being a wife of a man in ministry comes easily for you. It IS what you always wanted to do. You are gifted in the areas that are traditionally expected of a ministry wife. You are confident in your understanding of the Bible. You love working with children. You are caring and compassionate. You make wonderful meals and happily deliver them to those in need. You play the piano!
But maybe it doesn't come easily for you. And you often think this is NOT what I signed up for! Maybe you feel insignificant or unappreciated. Maybe you feel inadequate. Maybe you are afraid that others will see how unprepared you are for this task that you have been given.
Maybe you flip flop between these two or you fall somewhere in between. But being the wife of a man in ministry is not about how you feel on any given day. And it is not about how your congregation or the people that you minister to treat you or feel about you.
Being the wife of a man in ministry is not about you. It is about God and what He wants to do in and through you.
Understanding this has changed everything for me. Instead of trying to figure out what the expectations are, I have sought to discover who my God is. What does HE say about me? How does HE want to use me?
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." ~ Galatians 1:10
This verse has become one of my favorites- and one that I often use to test my motives and my actions. If I am doing what I do simply to make other people happy, I am not a servant of Christ. If I am living my life according to the whims and opinions of others, I will only find emptiness.
So, practically how do we do this? How do we keep the critical voices from overpowering the truth of the still small voice?
Please share your thoughts in the comments and for the (in)Couraged Flock group- discussion is now open on our facebook page!