The Woman Behind the Man

I have been getting more and more into the blog world since I’m not stuck to a computer for work reasons any longer. I have been finding great encouragement from one blog in particular called Clutch. It’s geared toward pastor’s wives, missionary wives, basically the women who’s husbands are in ministry in some way. It’s a good blog–challenging, encouraging, and informative. As with any resource I take it as just that, a resource. I in no way agree with every single thing said, but rather use it as a resource and take parts. (I do this with parenting books, cook books, basically any resource other than Scripture.) This blog has really made me think about a lot of things from my seat in the sanctuary to what I should be doing to minister in church myself. They have a lot of guest bloggers, and I really enjoy reading what other women have to say about being the woman behind the man, so to speak. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in different struggles, and it’s nice to see others take a humorous look at things like I do! 🙂

In any case, I have been thinking about my husband’s calling and how it affects our family. I have mentioned a lot that David does a great job at balancing church with family. It takes work, but it’s work we feel is important. Churches come and go, but our family will always be here and well, isn’t that worth preserving? I have been thinking about the sad situations where pastors leave ministry because of family reasons, usually centering around issues the wife may have. Now, let me just stay right now I am NOT talking about a woman with real, unsurmountable issues, mental, emotional, etc. which require her husband to take a step back to help his wife get through these things. I could very easily be that wife if I were not getting counseling right now. No, I’m talking about the wife who’s issues are centered around selfishness. Selfishness that soon overpowers her and creates heart ache for her husband and ultimately prevents him from doing his job, from filling his call to ministry.

The man who is called to be in ministry has been specially called, I do believe. Yes, all Christians are “ministers” in some regard, but I truly believe that the man (or woman) who is called to shepherd, lead and guide God’s people has a special and hard calling on his life and heaven forbid we, as wives, get in the way of that! There have been plenty of times when I have wished we could have a “real” weekend like everyone else. There have been plenty of times when I have wanted to make Christmas or Easter plans without having to work around church services. There have been plenty of times when I’ve been totally annoyed when the phone rings during family time and we’re interrupted by whatever the person is calling about. However, I know this is what my husband has been called to do and quite frankly, for me to react selfishly is, well, wrong. I knew full well that he wanted to be a pastor when I married him. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I knew I was called to marry David and God would help me figure the rest out. I am called to be the woman behind the man. I am called to be a woman who supports her husband, to be his biggest fan, to be his cheerleader. I’m called to love him and encourage him, and I would hope I would do that regardless of his line of work.

I have come to see just how much influence I, as the wife, can have on my husband–for good and bad. There have been several times during our marriage I have had to apologize for not being a better support, for not being a better helpmeet. I am ashamed to say that, but it’s true. Look at the wives/women in Scripture who had influence on their husband/man–Sarah, Rachel, Leah, Rebekah, Delilah. It didn’t turn out so well for them. Rather than being a submissive woman they tended to manipulate their husbands in directions that met their own needs rather then letting their husbands do what was best. I do not want to be that wife. I do not want to be the puppeteer. I do not want to be the controlling factor to my husband. It’s not how God set things up and like it or not, I need to remember that!

During our time of unemployment I saw first hand just how much my husband felt his calling. No, I never doubted it before that time, but I saw just how strong it was on him. For a while I simply wanted him to get a job, any job, but over time I saw this was not going to be good for him. He was called to do more then a “regular” job. He has been called to lead God’s people in a different way. I changed my tune and did all I could to encourage him to not forget the calling God had placed on him and to not give up looking for a church to serve. When things were at their bleakest I knew God had a church for us, because I knew God had called David to be a pastor. I saw just how miserable my husband would be if he were not in the pulpit on a weekly basis. Why? Because it’s what God had called him to do. And, when we’re not doing what God has called us to do we can be pretty miserable.

And so, with those rambling thoughts, I am proud to be the woman behind this man. I’m proud to be a pastor’s wife because I know this pastor is doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing and therefore my life is right where it needs to be. Does this make things easy? Heavens no! But, it gives me a foundation and a focal point. It helps me during those times of annoyance or family-time interruption to remember that this is what God has called David to, and ultimately our family, and I need to be behind my man, keep my mouth shut and pray for him to make good decisions for the church and our family. I need to not let my selfishness get in the way of his calling. I need to remember God has placed a special mark on my husband and as his wife I need to do everything I can to preserve him and his reputation. I need to be a woman whom he can be proud of at the end of the day because he knows I was behind him 100%.

And, now that I have said all of this you just know I’ll be tested! 🙂 

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