There is no seminary course or Scripture reading plan that prepared me for being a pastor’s wife. Sure, there were tools that I was given and questions to think through. There were communication pointers and some wise words from those that went before me and somehow survived, but they didn’t really expound on how ugly the wrestle with temptation to shrink back would be. Or how maybe on the rough days even the temptation would be to just quit.
I have the privilege (and I do mean privilege) of being a young pastor’s wife and knowing a good number of others who are walking and wading through this same path. If you are in the trenches right now, my heart sinks for you. I’ve been there, fighting for Christ’s Bride, as well my family and faith. And it’s in those weary days, weeks, months that tensions rise, marital fights break out, and your passion to fight for something you love so much dwindles and fades into self-preservation mode.
And with so many of you on my mind, I want to plead, beg, push you on, and remind you of a couple things. I wish I could sit across the table with a pumpkin spice latte and have you spill out all that is in your heart and soul. So, grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and lean in and listen.
Jesus. If there is ever an example of one feeling what you feel,ministering to the hard headed, being cast off by the ungrateful, being tired and having to press on, it was Him. In ministry, I’m often reminded of the lepers. 10 were healed and only one came back thankful. That’s probably how it’s gonna be. He is a leader that has walked the beaten path of frustration, heartache, and weariness. He is steady. He loves unconditional. He gives freely. He listens without wanting something back. He is the very response you yearn for in your people. He and only He will be this for us.
Cling to the faithful. Satan’s biggest scheme is to attack my thoughts and shoot lies that say, “You are in this alone, nothing is secure, you’re fighting a battle that will never be won.” He also throws a heap of hopelessness on the fact that no matter where we go or who we minister to it’s the same broken tune. The truth is, that’s not reality and it is very much a lie. You aren’t alone in this. You aren’t unlovable. And what you are fighting for is absolutely worth it no matter how jacked up it may be. There are those within your church that faithfully and lovingly care for you. They are there each week. They may even be easy to gloss over because they aren’t the ones causing a rift or saying too much. They serve faithfully. They really do you love you, and you need to remind yourself (and your husband) of this. Furthermore, you have others beside you in the trenches. I love Paul’s word’s in Philippians where he says that “We stand firm, side by side, for the sake of the Gospel.” You aren’t in this battle alone so don’t try to go lone ranger. Don’t bottle it up inside. Pray, Share, Wrestle with others who are faithfully fighting for and beside you.
Keep Going. Here is where I wish I could look you straight in the eye and put my hand on your shoulder and tell you, “Keep going.” Please keep going. I know you are tired. I know you have wounds that are deep and filled with pain. In your weakness turn to Him, in your heartache minister through compassion and empathy, in your worry of not knowing the next step trust Him. Oh, sweet sister, trust Him. He loves you and knows your needs, He cares for your husband even more than you. He is teaching you to be dependent and trust Him and to say that He is a Good Father. He’s not done with you!
I am praying for you this morning for courage and renewal, for quiet times of God whispering to you to keep going and that He has this. I’m praying for your marriages to dig deep and lean into one another. I’m praying for tender moments with your kids that help remind you of the faith and simplicity of life. I’m praying, fervently praying for your mind to be guarded and Satan to hush. You aren’t done yet.
Don’t clinch your fists. Don’t throw in the towel. Don’t shut off the world. That would be another huge loss for us all. Dig in your heels, pray an honest prayer, Trust and just keep going.
Jacki King is a mom and wife. She is a proud graduate of Criswell College and regularly speaks at woman’s events and conferences.
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