Cute Shoes Online Discussion ~ Week Three (For Real This Time)
What can I say, you girls are fabulous!
It is impossible for me to express to you how much I want to reach through this screen and – as we say in the South – hug your necks! One of the key parts of identifying yourselves at the beginning of your comments is getting a really rounded impression of your personality in both life and ministry. The fact that most of you are challenged in the area of biblical sobriety endears me to you even more. Truly we were all separated at birth on that point!
I laughed out loud when Patricia shared about her ‘hanky covering’ for her skirt and the wiping off of her lipstick by a church mother. Forget sobriety, I’m afraid diabolical would have taken over my reaction on that one. Patricia, you are one precious woman for being so gracious for so long!
Amy – I particularly loved your sharing your hubby’s thrill at figuring out he could coordinate and execute a youth event on his own. You gave him room to prove he was worthy of respect which, interestingly enough, leads right into the topic of this week’s discussion: MINISTRY MARRIAGE!
There are many reasons I wrote this book but one of the main ones was to provide a proactive tool for all of us to be stronger, more confident women who are capable of shouldering the many pitfalls of ministry. Hear this: God called your man with your strengths in mind. He knew we could do this thing, now it’s time for us to know it, too! This is important because if we are falling apart at home, then that hubby of ours is going to have an awfully hard time focusing on the Kingdom Work for which he has been set apart.
With that in mind, let’s talk about the health of our marital relationships.
1. Give a brief State of Your Union. What word best characterizes the health of your marriage?
2. How have ministry-related pitfalls (*see pp.73-82 for common culprits) contributed to the strength and/or weakness of your relationship?
3. If you marriage is strong, please give a word of encouragement/advice to those who may be struggling. If yours is strained, please ask questions we can perhaps answer or feel free to share how this community can pray for you in this season.
4. What part of this chapter resonated with you most? A quote? An idea? A scripture?
Okay, girls, you know the drill! Sign in with name, area of ministry, age, and state. And if you are just joining us, it’s never too late to jump in on the discussions! Chime in at any time! If you still don’t have a copy of the book, there is a link in my sidebar with retail/online purchase locations.
Thank you again for sharing in this experience. It’s priceless!
Sara- Sr. Pastor’s Wife-33-Missouri
My husband and I are truly BFF’s. We’ve been married for five years now and have two little boys, ages 1 and 1/2 and 3 and 1/2. He is my confidant, my cheerleader, my voice of reason, and my “go-to guy”. No relationship is perfect, but at the end of the day, I know God put us together for a reason. I don’t know about “soul-mates”, but I do know that Chris is my “God-mate”.
Chris tries really hard not to let the church take over our lives. Sometimes that is easier said than done. I don’t mind the phone calls, but I do mind when he’s gone a lot in the evenings, especially if he’s home later than I expected. Having two toddlers, I need some help when it comes to getting them down to bed. Sometimes I feel resentful that I’m at home doing the “single mother thing” while he’s at church. I get angry with him for not being there when I think he should be, although rationally, I know it’s part of the job. And, he tries.
One of the great things about our relationship is that we talk openly about things. So, when all of my pent-up righteous anger comes boiling over, we talk. And God and I talk. And I know, in the end, he’s exactly where he needs to be.
We’ve been at our most recent appointment for three years now, and it has been a difficult road. However, the best thing to come out of the trials we’ve faced is that our relationship has grown stronger. We’ve basically only had each other to lean on, so we’ve really grown as a couple, as well as a family. One of the keys in our relationship has always been openness and honesty, even if it hurts. We “tell it like it is” to one another and hold one another accountable for our actions and our intentions. And it’s because I know that he loves me that I’m okay with his honesty, and vice versa. Do we argue? Yes. Do we hurt each other’s feelings? Yes. But we talk about it, and then we move on.
I’ve also had to work at letting go of the little things. In my experience, that’s where the devil really gets in and tries to destroy a relationship. And, quite honestly, I’ve had to work on my own selfish nature. Ministry is bigger than me, so I need to support and help Chris with it, not be a hindrance.
We are approaching 20 yrs of marriage and have lived it out in the pastorate and in missions. A challenge I’ve faced is having someone to share with when WE are the ones struggling through normal marital challenges. If we are always the ones counseling and ministering, it can be hard to find a place of encouragement. This has caused me to cherish times with other ministry wives, to be bonded tightly to my hubby, and to learn to run first to Jesus.
Sometimes being “partners” so much in ministry means that we have to be careful to cultivate our romance and intimacy. I’ve had to learn to check the church details at the door and to choose my timing when we need to “talk ministry.” But we’ve also found it sweet to labor together and serve as one.
I was reading today in 2 Cor. and was reminded that God allows us to struggle and be comforted by Him, so that we can comfort others as they struggle. Marriage seems like the perfect example of where this is so true!
Marilyn~ Pasto’s Wife~43~Washington (State)
1) The word that I came up to describe the state of my marriage to Rick is “strengthening”. Not that it wasn’t strong, but becoming empty nesters recently has led us to sort of rekindle that strength and grow even closer together, now that the kids are off to college. I have always considered Rick my best friend, my confidante,and…well….not enough space to continue the list :). There have definitely been times in our marriage that we have struggled with our relationship, but the bottom line is that we just can’t STAND to be mad at each other!! We don’t have this thing down perfectly, and never will, but we are definitely in a time of our lives where we are able to be reminded of what we love about each other, and we are continuing to build on those things each day!
2) I would have to say of all of the pitfalls listed, financial pressures have affected our marriage the most. But I also have to say that although finances have ALWAYS been a HUGE struggle for us, it has probably strengthened our marriage more than hurt it. Don’t get me wrong. We have had our share of blow-ups over money, but it has also caused us to be more open with each other and talk and pray things through a lot more closely than I believe we might if we had no financial worries at all. PLUS, it has been a blessing in disguise for our kids as it has taught them to be extra thanful for the “extras” and learn to live without the “wants” sometimes. LOL! It has also allowed for them to be the recipients of some pretty nice sized Grants and Scholarships for college because their Daddy is “a poor preacher”!!! He doesn’t usually let them forget that!! :)
3) I am not sure I have any really profound words of encouragement for anyone struggling in their marriage. Communication is SO HUGE…and even more so in the Ministry. Also, from day one, even before we knew the Lord, Rick and I both agreed that quitting on this thing (our marriage) would NEVER be an option. I can’t tell you how reassuring that has been during the tougher times, and it always allows me a deep peace when I know he is totally ticked off at me, that he will NEVER leave me!! ;) Did I mention that I am not always the easiest person to live with???!!!
4) I liked where you said (on page 76) that “God is not interested in appearances. He wants consistency and transparency.” This resonated with me because it has been something that Rick and I have always tried to saturate our ministry with. “Being real” with people has allowed us so many opportunities to share Christ’s love and to reach out to those in our community. One of my favorite sayings is “People don’t care how much you know until the know how much you care.”
Julie-Sr. Pastors wife-39(we really need to get through this book before my birthday or I will have to stop putting my age!!)-Arkansas-Go Hogs!
One word that describes my marriage? Strong, Fun, Loving.
We are so in love with each other. Not the mushy, can’t get our hands off each other love, but a mature, loving love.
We have gone through a really tough year in the ministry and it has brought us closer than ever before and we’ve been married 16 years. We’ve had 4 children, experienced highs and lows, but this year with all the turmoil, sadness, tears and confusion we have grown closer together. I think we have seen the vulnerability of each other more during this time than ever before. I hate all that we’ve been through, but am so glad to say my marriage is strong. We had no one to share what was happening with but each other. In order to be productive adults, and good parents, we couldn’t allow ourselves to deal with the problems alone, we had to share. This was terribly hard for my husband. I had to wait for him to express himself and when he did I tried to be tender, caring and truthful.
I believe that our marriage is what it is because we express our love to each other. Stephen buys me clothes, I take his clothes to the cleaners. Both of our love languages have been spoken and received. It really is a wonderful thing!
Another thing that helps is sex. I know girls, but it really can be good. It brings us closer together in an intimate way. I’m no longer just a confidante, friend, or cook, but now I’m his partner, his lover, his most intimate ally.
The part that resonated with me the most? I was just glad to know that I wasn’t the only PW that was having to get her 4 kids ready for church and be on time while her husband was in “meetings”!! Go PW’S!!!!!
.-= Julie´s last blog ..March Madness =-.
In a word, mellowing. It will be 19 years in August. We’ve come a long way. We agreed to marry 16 days after our first date. (We knew of each other by way of family–his brother had married my best friend–and through church circles, but truly hadn’t known each other before then.) We were married about 8 months later. My, those were heady times!
Turns out we didn’t know each other at all.
Not in the sense of who we were day in, day out, minute by minute, in front of others and behind closed doors. But what we did know was that we found each other attractive, we each had big dreams, and shared a love for God and family–not to mention mafia movies–and those things were enough. (Although ours was not one, I’ve come to understand how arranged marriages can work.)
We’ve had challenges in our marriage — his entry (and thus, mine) into ministry, his decision to pursue entrepreneurial activities that didn’t always yield financial gain, the stillbirth of our only daughter (we have three beautiful sons), my assuming a caretaker role for my disabled mother, our less than smooth relocation away from family and friends, from which we are still recovering in some ways. But we’ve had lots and lots of happy times and we’re better for the storms.
We’ve learned to bend, to give for all that we each take. We have areas where we could be stronger. Some days we handle them better than others. But the thing that has held us together and will sustain us is our commitment to one another, to our covenant.
That’s the thing that I talk with couples about, prior to them getting married or when they seek out counseling. Their level of commitment. Because I find that the commitment is the starting point for working through issues. It takes certain options off the table and forces you to creatively come up with others.
The biggest ministry challenge has been transparency. There’s a tendency to hide behind the ministry mask before others and even within the relationship. There were times I had to say, “I need you to be my husband, not my pastor, right now.” Hard to say, hard to do, but necessary. There were times when he had to confront me to consider how my thoughts or deeds failed to support him, even if they weren’t sins or bad things, just things that didn’t meet his needs at that time.
We laugh more now than we ever did and we’re comfortable with each other.
And Julie’s right, sex matters, especially if it’s good.
.-= PatriciaW´s last blog ..Featured Book: Be Authentic by Warren W. Wiersbe =-.
Donna – 31 – Pastors Wife Australia
I am really thankful to God that, coming up to 10 years, our marriage is blossoming. This year, we are working on becoming BFF by trying to focus more on the things we have in common. I am learning to enjoy sport more and he is learning to have a bit more fun.
For us in our 3rd year of ministry the challenges have served to strengthen us, but as in most of Gods work, it required lots of forming, shaping and firing before we even start to get a glimpse of what the Potter actually has in mind. I attribute any strengthening of our marriage to God, through the prayers of faithful individuals who pray for us daily. Only through His enabling would I be conscious and capable of laying down my own desires for emotional and financial security. But then, that is His way, when I lay down need to fulfil these things in my own strength, it is in those times that He blesses us abundantly more than we could ever have hoped or imagined (maybe not with riches, but with the richness that comes in serving our awesome God alongside a man who has the same heart).
Its only by Gods grace that I can say we are strong today, but if I had to give any advice it would firstly be to pray for your husband and your marriage and gather faithful saints around you (near or far) who will do the same. And secondly to be personally submitted to Christ daily. Oh how often I have been a burden to my husband by complaining and arguing when that was the very opportunity for me to be a support and an encouragement. And when I get my strength, security and value from my Savior, then I can love and serve my husband and help him to be able to serve God and our family the way it was meant to be.
Its not from this chapter, but I think you used the quote recently from Narnia when Mrs Beaver is speaking about Aslan-” Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” Serving God isnt always easy, not always enjoyable, not without hurts and frustration, but He is always good, and I wouldnt swap it for the world!
.-= Donna´s last blog ..Foosball =-.
1) The two words that come to mind are “servanthood” and “companionship.” When Rob and I were dating, a dear friend and mentor shared with me how marriage is serving one another. We admit we were strong willed and selfish our first few years of marriage. God broke us down especially during a very trying year (fourth year of marriage) when Rob was doing an internship in a very challenging inner city community. I continue to look out for his needs versus just my own. I have SO MUCH FUN with my husband whether it is watching TV after the kids go to bed, a romantic night out, or cooking together (he LOVES to cook…another added bonus).
2) I, too, relate to what Sara is saying about being alone at night putting all three kids (ages 4, 2, and 4 months) to bed. It can be very crazy and I am exhausted most nights. Not only that, my husband has five weddings this summer. It’s hard for me to be excited for these couples because I begin to see it as “losing a weekend.” It’s very hard for me to go all these events because we can’t really afford to pay a babysitter everytime. Honestly I would rather stay home and take my kids to the park than go to a wedding of someone I don’t know very well. In these situations, sometimes I do feel like I share him with the church.
3) I would say to a lot of ministry couples to have clear boundaries. Make sure you’re spending quality time on your husband’s day off. Make sure you’re getting out too. My husband is out a lot of evenings, but I get out to the gym at least two evenings a week. We make our schedules work together. He has cancelled or moved meetings around for my sake and I’ve made sacrifices for him.
4) I love how submission is defined as give and take! My husband preached a sermon on this. If you’re warm and inviting when your man comes home, respectful, take an interest in, have sex with him (I agree Julie), you’ll have a much happier man! You will be rewarded to. I once heard someone say, “Would you want to come home to you?” I really try to not be on edge complaning about all the craziness of my day when Rob walks in the door.
.-= Amy´s last blog ..Running blog =-.
Becky, 41, Pastor’s wife, Virginia
1). My first response was going to be “sizzlin”, but my 17 year old said “that’s awkward”. Seriously, my husband is my best friend. We are very close. I praise The Lord for our relationship and do not take it for granted. I truly give Him all the glory for this answer.
2). I think I identify the most with the ‘dreaded phone’ common culprit. Our church office is in our home so the the phone always ringing . If not the church line, the house phone, then the cell phone. Some will call each line until we answer. I struggle in this area more than my husband does as I can not disconnect like he can. However, with that said, the fact that the office IS in our house is not all bad. I love the fact that my husband and I are able to “work together” (I’m the church secretary) and see each other through out the day.
3. A wise, godly friend once told me when my children were little that I needed to take time out for my husband to just enjoy him. She stressed the importance of date nights and that I always needed to put him above my children (in order of priorities: God, Husband, children). She told me that the time invested in my marriage and husband would well worth it when the kids grew-up and left home. She said she had neglected her relationship with her husband and always put her children and their needs before her husband and when the kids grew up and left home she was left at home with a man that was a stranger. I took her advice to heart. My youngest is almost ready to graduate HS and my husband and I have a great relationship. We are close and enjoy each other’s company. We still try to have date night as often as we can—even if it is just a cup of coffee outside on the deck—just the two of us talking about “non church related issues”. The other advice I really like is that I am the Pastor’s Wife—not the Church’s wife!! (not sure where I heard this statement)
4) The section about financial challenges made me feel not so “isolated”. I didn’t realize other Pastor’s and their wives struggle too. I guess I am guilty of thinking others in the ministry “have it all together” including their finances. I know- I know–shame on me for thinking that. (but I’m being honest here). I also LOVED the comment about not counting on blogging to make your house payment. For some reason that made me laugh really hard.
Love you Lisa! Praying for you and your family. Thank you!
Cheryl- Sr. Pastor, 38 Ga.
1. I would say that our marriage is strong. We are entering into our 5th year of marriage and we have lots of struggles that alot of minstry families don’t have to face. We are a blended family, we have dealt and are currently dealing with custody/child support issues on top of everything else. Because of these struggles, God has truly bonded us together as one. And even though life is hard sometimes, my husband and I love to laugh together and that makes a HUGE difference!
2. Ok, I have a story. One Sunday morning, I remember being upset with Steven about something(something trivial, I’m sure!) I almost brought it up but the Holy Spirit CLEARLY warned me not to and told me instead to affirm and encourage my husband. So thankfully, I was obedient and did.
After the worship service, I was talking with some people and Steven was a few feet away, talking with some others. I heard one of our very cute and very godly, college girls give Steven a compliment on his new haircut. (She wasn’t being flirtatious at all.) But when I heard her, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “aren’t you glad now that you encouraged your husband. He knows that you are his biggest supporter.” What if I had chosen to be ugly and disrespectful that morning, and then another woman was complimentary to my husband? WOW! Ok, Lord, lesson learned!
3. If your marriage is strained or not what you want it to be, the only part that you can change is YOUR part. Ladies, we have to remember that God wants us to be the wives that HE has called us to be. Respect your husband unconditionally and trust God to do the rest.
4. In reading some of the comments, It has helped me realize what a good job my husband has done in setting boundaries. He doesn’t counsel a woman by himself and he doesn’t feel tied to his phone like so many other pastor’s do. He’s very up front with the congregation that his priorities are God, wife, kids, church. And he always tells them, “If I have my priorities in any other order and I end up losing my marriage/and family, would you still want me as your pastor?” I’m forever grateful to Pastor Johnny Hunt, who has invested in my husband and taught him so much about being in the minstry!
.-= cheryl´s last blog ..Because I want to remember….. =-.
Necoe, 34, OK, former PW
1. I would say the state of our union is enduring, and I don’t mean that in a neg. way at all. The longer we are married (it will be 15 years this Aug.) the closer we become, and the closer we become the more of each other we see. With that, though, is also the more I fall in love with him, and the more I depend on him. You know someone is a best friend when they love you despite you. We have been through so much, and many difficult times, but Christ has given me a man that I need and love. Along those lines, we have also laughed, and that is a huge key. Especially in those difficult times of family, ministry, and life.
2. All of our pitfalls from being in the ministry have also been coupled with being in seminary. I think putting a guard on all areas in your life help. There were many weekends that I would be alone with the kids, but I allowed the Lord to have that and He used it as a ministry to other women whose husbands weren’t around. (At least mine was doing ministry, right?) Also when it came to counseling other women, Alan’s office was in the house, but I couldn’t always sit there to listen (kids, food, laundry, etc.) but we would have his doors open, and I would come in and out through out the session. I think the hardest will be finances, but it doesn’t have to be. I think it’s important to not give into “having” thing you can’t afford. Again the Lord use this as a way to encourage other people around us, because let’s face it, lots of people want to make more money than they do. We can be an example by making a budget and sticking to it, even if it means duct taping your van together.
3. I would say that Alan and I have a strong marriage, although not perfect. There is no perfect marriage. Find the flow that works for you. Don’t eve assume that you have hinted enough about what you want, just tell him. In fact tell him and retell him until he thinks it was his idea to do what you wanted him to do. Make time for each other, but also take time for yourself. No one wants to be around a self-pitied mommy.
4.The thing that resonated most with me was the section on moral breakdown. While we were serving in the ministry our area missionary (are they still called that?) had resigned because the secretary found pornography on his computer in the office. That really shocked us. After wards we installed an accountability/filter program on our computer. I think this is good for all families, even to protect your children. It’s very easy to stumble on these sights that prey on peoples minds. Along those lines, I think it’s important to find someone that can hold you accountable. This doesn’t mean you confess your sins to them, but someone you can talk about what God is doing in your life and vice versa. Chances are if you are looking for a friendship outside your ministry there is another wife looking for the same thing.
.-= Necoe´s last blog ..My decorating projects =-.
Donna-44-senior pastor’s wife in Georgia
1–The state of our marriage differs daily. After 24 years, you would think it would have settled into a calm state of being, but that is just not so. I am really glad that so many of us on this board have such happy marriages, but I don’t want anyone struggling to feel they are the only ones who have that challenge. My husband and I are completely committed to one another. We genuinely love and respect one another. But we also have a lot of basic differences, and we are both stubborn. It can be really hard.
2–A ministry pitfall that we have struggled with is that we are methodists, and that means we move when God and the bishop say move. Before Dave was called into the ministry, we owned a house in a suburb with good schools. Then the call came and we had to move to a lower income, rural area with none of the benefits of living near a university town and not so great schools. We have three children, so this was very hard on us. Our teenage daughter went through a very rebellious time over this but has now, thankfully, come back to Christ.
3– Marriage can be sweet and wonderful. But it can be difficult, too. One piece of advice is to make sure you have one or two friends who truly love you. Your husband can love you deeply and passionately, but he can’t be a girlfriend. That does not mean to have a friend who will engage in husband bashing with you–not at all! A Godly girlfriend will love you but keep you accountable and pray with you and for you.
I’m stepping in to play this week. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to participate in the past two weeks! Anyway!
Crystal- 28- not currently in a ministry position- AL
1. My husband and I have been married for 5 1/2 years. We are in the stage of our lives when we are consumed with our children (3.5 and 1.5 yr old boys). We do spend one on one time with one another regularly, or at least we try. Like others have stated, we are completely committed to one another but I would never let on that everything is always rosey, all the time. I think this past season in our lives has brought us closer to one another.
2. Well, like I just mentioned this past ‘season’ in our life has definitely brought us closer. It has caused me to see my husband in a different light. He has ALWAYS, ALWAYS done his very best concerning his work, his family, ect. But after such a difficult time/situation it caused me to appreciate him so much more because of how hard he worked to support us after the fact. I know that I took for granted how faithful to me and our family he was. When that was attacked, it just made him shine more in my eyes. Also, because of the difficulty we’ve been through we’ve truly worked together more as a team, leaning on God and supporting one another. It’s such a blessing to have that support and encouragement when there isn’t a clear picture of the future!
3. I tend to overlook my own failures and focus on his. I have really been focusing on this, MY own issues (whatever you want to call them) in our marriage. I often expect forgiveness to an offense but want to harp and linger on his offense! Give grace!! That’s my motto (or at least I’m trying to make that my motto)! Also something very important to a man: respect! Focus on the good stuff. Pray about the bad! A great book on this subject is Love and Respect by Dr Emmerson Eggerichs
4. I loved the whole chapter but I enjoyed the Mutual Empowerment/Balance the Give and Take part. I love the book by Piper that you mentioned! Good stuff!
I’d love to comment more but my kids are shutting each other in the cabinets. Ahhhhh!
.-= Crystal´s last blog ..PreK ~ March =-.
It was great to meet you in person today! The girls think I’m special now that I know a famous person!
.-= jenny´s last blog ..The Couch =-.
Patty, 44, Sr. Pastor, SC
1. One word to describe our marriage would have to be communicative. We talk about everything! We always have. I think the reason for that is because when we got married, we didn’t really know each other that well. We met on Feb. 13, got engaged on Mar. 31, and married on Aug. 4. Almost 20 years later, we are so much better today than 20 years ago. I really do LOVE that man. He is a precious and wonderful blessing in my life.
2. A pitfall for us? Laundry! LOL Honestly, financial difficulties are horrible. We have always struggled financially, and it gets so frustrating to think that you aren’t going to ever get it together. Our problem is that we, in our desire to follow the Lord, sometimes jump ahead of His timing and cause ourselves distress. We’ve done this countless times shooting ourselves in the financial foot over and over. To me, it is embarrassing that we don’t it have it all together in this area. God has used this to teach me so much about submission, and now I don’t even look at the checkbook. Steve handles everything on that end, and we are slowly pulling ourselves out of the miry muck.
3. My biggest word of advice is to talk, talk, talk. Also, to pray that God would shine through your union to be a light to others who may be struggling. In our little church, we have three young couples who have recently split up. It’s so heartbreaking to me to see them throw their vows away and frustrating that they won’t put the time into making things better because it’s easier to give up.
.-= Patty´s last blog ..orientation =-.
I’m jumping into the discussion a little late. I just got the book last week, and have thoroughly enjoyed all 3 chapters so far.
1. The word that best describes our marriage is “growing”. We will be married for 5 years this May. While our relationship isn’t perfect, I’m happy to say it isn’t stagnant either. My hubby makes sure we take regular evaluations of our marriage, and what areas we are struggling/succeeding in. He is my best friend, and he is always able to make me smile.
2. Although, we are not experiencing it in our current ministry, I think one of the biggest pitfalls for us was the feeling that my husband belonged to the church and not to me! We had only been married for a year when he became the assistant pastor at a church in VA. The people had high expectations for him to visit regularly which often sacrificed any time we would have at home in the evenings. We led church visitation on Thursdays and Saturdays and the pastor never gave my hubby a day off. It was a very lonely time for me.
3. I’m still rather new to ministry (3 years total), but I have noticed that it is possible to be close to one another, but still be missing the romance. We talk all the time and confide in one another about everything, but we still need to make a point to have alone time. It’s not always the easiest with a busy little toddler boy running around, but I have learned that those romantic dates (even without going anywhere) are priceless!!
4. It was actually the story at the beginning of the chapter that stood out to me the most. I can totally relate to the stresses on Sunday morning, and I think I need to take the pledge for Sundays!! It’s so true that it is that day that he needs more encouragement than any other day!!!
.-= Rachel´s last blog ..The New Middle Road….. =-.
Kay – Senior Pastor’s Wife – Arizona – 46 years old
First, let me say I’m totally enjoying all of this – reading the book and reading the comments from you ladies. I LOVE visiting with other Pastor’s Wives! You all are my heroes because i know your battles.
1. Right now I’d describe my marriage as SOLID and PARTNERSHIP. Not very glamorous descriptions or very sexy either. But my husband and I are very similar in temperament and have just always operated more as partners than lovers. We have to really work on the gushy stuff. I do love him like crazy, but truthfully I respect him even more. We are in the teenage years with our kids and life is a little crazy right now. You can pray for us if you’d like. I wouldn’t be offended at all. We really do need a little rebuilding at this point. But we are definitely committed to each other.
2. Our two biggest ministry pitfalls have been finances and moving. We ALWAYS struggle a little financially. Not that we’re not making ends meet, but it’s just always hard. And it’s always a topic of conversation. My husband so badly wants to provide for his family, and he does, but it’s been difficult, if I can be honest here, watching all of our siblings and friends from high school and college soar past us financially even though they have much less education and responsibility in their jobs. They all were buying their 3rd or 4th houses and getting larger more elaborate ones when we were still in a parsonage or buying our first one. Has anyone else struggled with envy because of ministry finances, or just me? Oh well!
Our other pitfall that has affected us a lot is moving, because when we move, we really move! I’m from Georgia and I’ve ended up in Arizona via Texas. My parents were NOT happy with these moves and that made things difficult too. They’re ok now, but I’m about to hit the years where they can’t travel as much and eventually have health issues. It scares me to be so far from them at this time of life. My husband is supportive of me visiting them as needed, but still it’s hard. Once again, I’m envious of people who have family around. We’ve never had family around for birthdays or holidays etc. Of course this has just forced us to reach out and bring others in for these special events. So that’s a good thing.
3. As I said earlier, I invite you to pray for our marriage. It’s not bad at all, just a little weathered maybe. Advice? Stay committed and realize that yes it is hard, but it’s supposed to be at times. These days I’m trying to be more sensitive to my husband’s needs and less wrapped up in my own.
4. Loved this chapter. I do believe that I can be my husband’s biggest bonus or his biggest hindrance. I’ve seen both, haven’t you all? I really am a “stand by your man” kind of gal. I haven’t minded the sacrifices of being in ministry – the phone calls, the lost weekends, the hospital visits, the meetings, etc. – because I keep the overarching purpose in mind. It is so much bigger than me and my marriage. What we do together, what my husband does as the leader of our church, has such eternal significance. It is such an honor to be in the ministry.
PS – I hope I don’t sound terrible in these comments! I’m just really tired this afternoon as I write this. but I am loving the book and the discussion.
.-= Kay´s last blog ..And Then You Pay the Piper! =-.
Peggy – Senior Pastor’s Wife – 57 years old
1. State of the Union – Kay “stole” my word (hahahaha!). It’s “Partnership”. We have the same profile on Myers-Briggs and are much alike. We begin each day studying together and just talking and praying. We go the gym together. We enjoy mostly the same activities. I help in researching his sermons and he corrects all my Bible studies and sermons, since Portuguese is my second language. We consider ourselves partners in ministry, in family, and in life.
2. None of the pitfalls mentioned are a big issue for us, but our challenge in ministry has been in the area of expectations, since our ministry has been in different countries (I have had to adjust to Brazilian culture while in Brazil and he to Canadian culture while in Canada.). I have in my mind what a pastor and wife ought to do and be, but his role models and expectations are quite different. .So we have had to learn together and hammer out what’s really important and what’s not. But this difficulty has been an asset as well, as it functions as a good excuse for any mistakes we make along the way.
3. I think I repeat what others have said, but there is no substitute to having time together. My husband is very disciplined about that. He does not go into the office (EVER) in the mornings. So we have time to study and pray together. So then I don’t mind about him being out afternoons and evenings. He is very strict about taking vacation and days off, since he believes that if he wears out, if our marriage suffers, he will have nothing to left for his congregation. We have both noticed that we both get super grumpy when we take on too many outside engagements that crowd into our together time.
4. I loved this chapter. The phrase that just grabbed me was the quote from Dr. Chapman: “Pastors and their wives not only have a responsibility to minister, but also a duty to exemplify the way Christ commands marriages to be”. This just absolutely drove me to my knees.
.-= Peggy Fonseca´s last blog ..HELP! I’ve Procrastinated again. =-.
April, College Minister’s Wife, 38, Louisiana
1. Our marriage is growing. We’ve been married 17 years and still have so much to learn. We love each other but are often so caught up with our respective responsibilities that we don’t have the time to nurture our marriage like we would like to do. God is leading us into an unknown season right now, and we sometimes feel those growing pains in our relationship.
2. The dreaded phone/text/IM/Facebook has caused some tension in our family. In fact, we set some boundaries this weekend that I think will help him be present when he is home. College students are always connected, so he has to set limits on his time or they will take over! (Add to this the phone calls from the employees of our business, and the phone rings all the time!)
3. The best marriage advice I could give would be to TALK, TALK, TALK!! When we have a problem we talk about it as soon as we can. Even if we don’t resolve everything right away, just knowing where the other person is coming from and how they feel is important.
4. The section about the dreaded phone spurred me to address this with my husband. We agreed to boundaries on the phone/text/FB messages that seemed reasonable to us both. I look forward to spending more time with him when he’s home!
.-= April´s last blog ..Hope for the Future =-.