Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Married to the Ministry

I saw a title just now, Married to the Ministry.  I am praying for those words of wisdom that describe my blog right now.

I am married to this guy...

and this one...

and this one...
 Ah, yeah ... this is that preacher fellow, the minister.  He wears many "hats", as do I.  He works hard, plays hard, preaches hard...strives to be there for his church members. 

 When one is "married" to the ministry, what does that mean?
  • Ministry comes before me...therefore, I am not important?
  • Ministry belongs to my spouse...not to me?
  • Ministry takes all our time...I'd rather be doing something else?
  • Ministry causes disappointments...it hurts?
  • Ministry puts me in a proverbial fishbowl...I have no privacy?
I'm not sure exactly what the problem is, but "Married to the Ministry" has a negative feeling to me.

When God called Jay into ministry...He called me as well.  No, we are not co-pastors - this makes me
smile...almost laugh out loud.  Sometimes I feel like a co-pastor.  Ministry can be very lonely, especially
for the minister.  I belong to Jesus, just like Jay does.  I have a calling, just like Jay does.  God knew
what He was doing when He called US to ministry.  We are in it - together.

Finding one's place in ministry is not always easy.  Sometimes there are preconceived notions of what
the minister's wife is and what she does or does not do.  Years ago, our pastor's wife told me, "My
job is to take care of the preacher."  That's a good starting point for the minister's wife.

We must set boundaries...limits.  We must set aside family time.  Ultimately it's like everything in life -
we have to have balance.  I believe if I do what Jesus asks me to do, there is enough time to do it.
When I am out of balance...the things I'm passionate about can take over...and other things suffer.
When I take on things Jesus hasn't asked me to do...my time gets out of whack.  When I surrender
to the opinions of others, I can be doing lots of things I am not supposed to be doing.   That is not
the fault of "ministry" - that is my fault.

Conversely, ministers must also set boundaries and limits.  Ministers need time off, family time...even
sabbaticals.  Carrying the load of others' lives and problems is particularly exhausting.  There is
tremendous responsibility in leading and teaching others the Word of God.  Some ministers are simply
work-a-holics and they would be if they were CEO's or engineers or mechanics.  That again is not
the fault of ministry.

So, just for the record, this preacher's wife is Married to the Minister.



Shanda said...

Well said. You are married to the ministry and answer to God and your husband alone.

kelliegene said...

Well said!

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

Every good man has a great wife behind him and you are:) good post

Alex and Jill said...

Love this. :)