Survey: Knowing When to Say No

Hello, girls! I hope this Monday morning is as beautiful where you are as it is here in my town. As I type I am in my favorite porch swing listening to the tunes from my wind chimes. It is a balmy 75 degrees and a breeze is blowing just enough to keep my bangs out of my eyes while I work. Have you ever heard the Fernando Ortega song, This Good Day? Well, girlfriends, it is one and I intend on rejoicing in it!

So, as is the routine when I’m preparing for Chapter Next in the Married to the Ministry Book – it’s question time! I hope if you didn’t have the opportunity to chime in on the ‘Effects of Ministry Life on Marriage’ Survey that you’ll visit that link in my sidebar. There wasn’t a great deal of feedback on that one in comparison to the other topics so if you somehow think the questions weren’t relevant or if you have more to add, the post remains open.

Today’s topic deals with boundaries, or more specifically, knowing when to say no. When Luke and I were first called to service in the church, I don’t think I comprehended it was within my rights to say no to any request made of me – whether it was keeping nursery or directing VBS or hosting a holiday gathering in our home. I just assumed if I were the pastor’s wife and the church wanted me to take something on that it was my responsibility as Luke’s wife to get it done.

It was literally years before I began to get a true grasp on Romans 12 and what it means to have an individual gift that could be manifested however God led and I chose. Luke has also made it clear to me and our churches that my physical health and happiness come first and he doesn’t want me taking on one single project if it means I’ll be burdened instead of blessed by doing it.

That doesn’t mean I’ve always listened to him. There have been seasons of extreme burnout and downright depression. Times when studying Scripture has become a chore instead of a pipeline into the presence of Almighty God. Periods when I just wanted to stay home because I dreaded all the work that had to be done when I got to the church house. Am I talking to anyone out there?

Enough about me….Let’s talk about your experience.

For Ministry Wives:

*Do you ever find yourself taking on way too many responsibilities? Do you have any thoughts on why you do it to yourself?

*Has your emotional and spiritual health ever suffered because of lack of boundaries?

*Do you have a sense of a personal ministry calling? How do you manage what you believe God would have you do as an individual in contrast with your calling to support your husband in his ministry?

*Give me some examples of new ministries you’ve begun within your churches that have been ‘your babies’ so to speak.

For Lay People:

* Do your ministry wives ever seem tired? Do you feel they are trying to take on too much?

* Are there areas of ministry you’ve been interested in serving but you feel there is no opportunity because the MW always jumps to fill the spot?

* Do your MW’s possess personal gifts that have enhanced your pastor’s?

As always, these are just a few questions to get you started. Feel free to elaborate to your heart’s content.

Thank you again for sharing your wisdom with me!