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Pastors' Wives--The Call

For the first 13 years of his ministry, Ryan was a Youth Minister, and thankfully it was a natural fit for me to work alongside him. However, these past 8 years he has been a Senior Preaching Minister, and that has caused tremendous changes in my own role. I've often felt that same sense of wondering these past few years that I hear many other pastor’s wives feel: “How am I called to ministry?” or “Am I even called to ministry at all?"

Admittedly, there have also been times when I have used the "God called YOU to ministry, not me" argument with Ryan when I've been hurt by the Church. Although as soon as I dive into Scripture again, I'm instantly convicted.

If this is a question that you too have had, let me say first and foremost to you sister, YOU ARE CALLED. If your husband has sincerely and honestly answered The Lord's call to ministry, and you know that God certainly called you to marry that man, then like it or not, you have been called to be a minister's wife. Does that make all the struggles easy now? Of course not!

Now, what that call looks like is different for each and every one of us PW's. The problem is that we sometimes think we are supposed to fit into a cute little PW box with a big bow on top. And if we don't fit, then something must be wrong with us. We love to quote that whole "don't put God in a box" thing. Well, guess what? He hasn't put you in a box either!

I'm sure each of us has probably had a minister's wife at some point in our lives who we looked up to and respected. Maybe she had wonderful hospitality and could whip up a four-course meal for company on a whim. You, unfortunately, cannot boil water without scalding the surrounding burner.

We look at that minister's wife and think, "wow, she is quite an eye. I wish I was an eye. I'm just a foot. What good is a foot? Feet get dirty and they aren't very pretty. Sometimes they even smell bad." Get the idea?

I have to admit that there have been times when I’ve heard someone in the church talking about the wife of one of our former pastors in a kind, reminiscent way. And as I hear their warm, loving description, I think, “Oh gosh, no one is going to remember me like that! I am SO different from her!” But then I read Paul’s comforting words, “But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” (1 Corinthians 12:18 NIV) Spend some time in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and allow God to encourage your own soul in this.

When I stopped allowing myself or anyone else in the Church to dictate what type of pastor's wife I should be, where I should serve, what activities I should be a part of, and instead sat at the feet of the Master and sought HIS guidance in this area, I finally found peace with my place in ministry.

The really cool thing is that as we continue to grow spiritually in our personal walk with the Lord, He provides new opportunities to minister to others in and out of the Church. As long as we haven't put ourselves in that dratted box, our eyes can be open to see this. Just remember, HE is the one who made you with all of your skills, talents, personality, compassion, etc. and HE is the one who has a Call for you.


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