I had been a pastor’s wife for about three years before I discovered there aren’t two types of pastors’ wives (as I’d assumed), but three:
• Type A is the PW with her own specific call to ministry. I assumed she soared — anyone with their own “God-mantle” surely didn’t battle the same doubts and fears that I did.
• Type B married a man with a specific call to the ministry. In this category are actually two sub-categories: those who are thrilled to share their husband’s call and those who feel that their husband’s call is just that — their husband’s – and spend their life busily drawing the boundaries between his call and their life.
• Type C, however, are pastors’ wives who didn’t marry a pastor at all. They married an electrician or an accountant, maybe a bus driver. However, sometime after the marriage their husband admitted to or received a call to the ministry and their life changed drastically.
I have great empathy for what they must go through. It is one thing to get on the road of life and aim your car for a specific destination. The road may be bumpy, but there’s security in knowing where you’re going. To suddenly be driving to one destination and have the driver wheel onto an exit and head in exactly the opposite direction must be catastrophic to the emotions. Jill Briscoe, in “Renewal on the Run” has encouragement for those who fit Type C. She uses Peter’s wife as the example. This is a woman who married a fisherman. It was a lifestyle she knew, it had a stable income and was socially accepted. However, God had another agenda for Peter’s life and took him down another road.
What this boils down to is it does not matter if you have a personal call, you’re sharing a call or whether you were drafted mid-season, for in whatever situation you find yourself you can rest in the knowledge that God foresaw it, even foreordained it, and with His help you can succeed.
Are you a peacekeeper or a peacemaker? You may believe they’re the same, but they are not.
Peacekeepers believe in peace at any price. Peacekeepers are parents who won’t admit the myriad of symptoms their teen exhibits mean he is doing drugs. Peacekeepers are wives who excuse their husband’s brutality as stress from his job. Peacekeepers, sometimes, are pastors’ wives who assert that their church people always love each other and never have any problems. Peacemakers, however, admit conflict happens and openly confront the problem to bring about a resolution. Peacemakers know a period of discomfort is the price of healthy, honest relationships.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). So why, if the Bible says that peacemakers will be called children of God, isn’t that what people call me? Is it because my version of peacemaking has been to find the quickest, least troublesome solution? Do I believe maintaining status quo is more important than admitting there’s something wrong and dealing with the problem? Could it be because when I finally get around to peacemaking the situation has reached such a fever pitch that the parties are in a full-scale war and aren’t interested in reconciliation? Maybe it is because I concentrate more on people’s opinions than in following what Jesus tells me to do.
One of the most difficult responsibilities of leadership is correcting sheep gone astray. It is so much easier to give warm fuzzies. Yet gentle correction is as necessary in God’s family as in our own. When you have to confront a wrong, remember to be obedient to God’s principles. Facing tough situations by adhering to God’s Word will keep you from taking sides. Make sure you speak the truth in love. Something more easily done when you’ve spent time in prayer preparing for the encounter. Finally, address problems while they’re small. It is easier to deal with one small blaze than a whole forest fire. Be committed to peacemaking, not peacekeeping.
[Reprinted by permission from Brynwood Publishing.]
I come from a family of avid readers. Long ago, we discovered that we didn’t need to waste time looking up an unfamiliar word in a dictionary. No siree. We knew it could be figured out by the way it was used in a sentence. Unfortunately, when we’d have occasion to speak this new word, we just assumed we knew its correct pronunciation. Not always. Like the time my brother announced at dinner that he didn’t like a particular acquaintance because his holier-than-thou attitude made him seem “pee-us.” There was a moment of stunned silence before we all jumped in to explain that the word is pronounced, “‘Pie-us,’ David, ‘pie-us’.”
I was in college before I knew that a false appearance wasn’t a “fuh-kade” but a “fuh-sod.” Sometimes I discovered that I preferred my own pronunciation to the correct one. For instance, it was disappointing to find the synonym for complete disorder — chaos — was pronounced “kay-oss” because I thought my version of “chay-ose” sounded more chaotic (if you know what I mean).
By now, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. I’m talking about tangled speech. The Psalmist says “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word fitly spoken.” Try as I may, my speech inevitably resembles peach pits in tarnished brass.
My verbal offences, while sometimes humorous in retrospect, often give others an untrue impression of me. While I’m quick to apologize when I’m aware of transgressing, I know I don’t catch them all. Therefore, I’m qualified to state that most people do not intend to be insulting. Comments you take as intrusive almost certainly are simply one person’s way of showing interest. This year, give your church members a break and learn to laugh at what appear as roughly spoken, snoopy, or rude comments. Being accepting of others foibles will reap you wholehearted love from those around you. There’s nothing nicer for your people than knowing you’ll accept them graciously, and that they don’t need to measure and examine each word before it is uttered.
[Reprinted by Permission from Brynwood Publishing]