Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Truth About Being A Church Planter's Wife

Did you know that we are a church planting family? It's not something I talk a lot about. Probably because it feels normal to me. We go to church and are involved in church related activities just like we were before we planted. Those things are the same, but the journey....oh the journey is much, much different.

Years and years ago, after my husband had expressed interest in someday becoming a pastor, our pastor sat me down and asked me how I would feel about my husband becoming a pastor in the future...about being a pastor's wife. I told him the honest truth. I didn't want my husband to be a pastor. I didn't want to sacrifice our time with him so that he could do things for other people. I didn't want him to be getting calls at 10 p.m. to go counsel someone. I didn't want to have to give up our weekends so that he could prepare and teach sermons. I didn't want him to travel often for pastor's conferences, out of state seminars, missions trips, and more. It was ugly, but it was the truth. That was my heart. Yes, it was selfish, but that was how I felt. It wasn't in my plan for our family. It didn't jive with the happy little dream I had always imagined for us. 

Somewhere along the way, my husband was told that he would probably not be on the road to becoming a pastor because his wife wasn't on board. It would be too hard on our marriage. On our family. That is when I realized that I was being selfish and ridiculous. How could I stand in the way of what God was calling my husband to do?! How could I say "I don't want you to..." because it wasn't what was most comfortable for me? How could I ever stand myself, knowing that my husband didn't get to fulfill this wonderful gift that God has given him to encourage and counsel other people and teach them God's Word, all because I didn't want him to? This is when God changed my heart. I knew I had to get on board. I knew I had to give him my full support so that he could do ministry. So I have. And while my heart is no longer that of "I don't want you to [xyz]", the new honest truth is that having a husband in ministry is not easy. Maybe it is easier for some wives than it is for me, but for me, easy would not be a word I have to describe being a church planter's wife. 

My husband is incredible. He is the kindest man I have ever known. To everyone he meets. He has a gift of encouragement. He has a passion for marriage and parenting that he shares with many. He is a great teacher, who prepares and gives wonderful sermons that help me and many others to grow. He is an amazing father. Amazing doesn't begin to describe how he is with our girls, actually. He would do anything for our family. Anything. He takes amazing care of us, he works hard, he provides for us in every way, and he does it all with poise. He is humble, hilarious and handsome. He's the total package, you might say. So I knew going into church planting, that he would do everything he could do to balance it to the best of his ability. And he has. The hard things about being a church planter's wife aren't because of anything he is or isn't doing. It's because of me. It's because of my heart and my weaknesses. But the truth is that it can be lonely. There are a lot of things that call him away. Meetings, counseling appointments, sermon preparation, church planning, event planning and execution, conferences, men's events, and probably more things. This is on top of regular church attendance on Sundays, for Life groups, small groups, and other church related activities. Our life is our church, and I truly truly love that. That is part of church planting, and I'm ok with that part. It would feel weird to not be so involved in our church and so committed to this Body. So the loneliness doesn't come from a lack of involvement, or a lack of friendships, or a lack of social events. It comes from me desiring more. More than my husband can or should give, probably. Quality time is my love language. I feel disconnected, lonely, sad, etc. when we aren't spending time together. So on those weeks where he is gone 3/5 nights and then teaching on Sunday, well, those weeks are hard for me. I feel unloved (again, not because of him). And I feel lonely. Hey, what can I say...I really like the guy and want to spend every waking hour with him! 

So what's hard here, is that I have to sacrifice. And my flesh doesn't want to. Satan plants these lies in my head so that I have these emotions of loneliness, sadness, feeling unloved, etc. My husband is doing good work here, guys. Great work. For God's kingdom. What could be more important?! Lives are being changed, people are being saved. And the Devil hates that. He hates that my man is working for the Lord. I'm an easy target! It doesn't take much for me to believe these lies and then he wins. So I have to have my armor on. I have to be ready and remember what amazing work my husband is doing. And my "sacrifices" aren't really sacrifices at all. Not in comparison to eternity. 
The other truth is that it is amazing. Watching my husband grow in his leadership, watching him become confident in his teaching and counseling, seeing him grow in his relationship with the Lord and understanding of the Bible-nothing really compares to that. I am so proud of him and who he has become in Christ. I had the somewhat unique privilege of knowing him for a short time before he was a believer. So I have truly watched him grow from day one. I saw who he was and who he has become. I have watched his mind and soul transform, and what a blessing that has been.

 Other things that are incredible is that I get to stretch out of my comfort zones. I am a person who LOVES comfort zones. I don't like evangelizing. I don't like trying new things. I just want to live in my little bubble and have that be that. But church planting, and specifically being one of the leader's wives, has forced me out of that bubble. I can't live there. I have to support what my husband is doing here and God has grown me so much through it. Our kids will learn about sacrificing from a young age. They will learn to be bold in their faith and in inviting people to church and telling people about Jesus. I am excited for that and I don't know if those would be things I would encourage if we hadn't planted this church and been forced to learn these things ourselves. So I am thankful. The truth abut being a church planter's wife is that it's hard and happy. Lonely yet amazing. Uncomfortable but edifying. And really, really good. 
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1 comment:

  1. A pastors wife has one of the hardest jobs in my opinion..they are often overlooked and unappreciated...and an easy target for Satan as you mentioned. I can see from your post how much you love God and your husband! Your girls have wonderful examples through you and your husband on how to show this world Jesus and His love!

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