Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Transparency: Who Do You Release To?

Transparency: Who Do You Release To?

Life is filled with ups, downs, tosses and turns. Normally we get through life pretty steadily by ourselves with the help of the Lord! There are however, other times when along with God, we need another listening ear or shoulder to cry on. Many of us in the position of being a Pastor/Minister’s Wife (P/M W) find that a listening ear or shoulder to cry on may not be well within reach. A P/M W is a leader who is looked upon with reverence and respect. While P/M W’s are human and we go through many difficulties in life, we have to be careful who we release to. The average layperson can’t handle or relate to some of the issues we go through, especially if those issues are pertaining to the personal life of the Pastor’s family. In order to maintain a certain level of respect between spiritual leaders and lay members it’s often best to keep specific personal life details to a minimum. So that often leaves a P/M W in search of the right person to release to in times of crisis, trials, and errors. The chosen person should be Godly, discreet, wise, and mature. Finding a person with these characteristics will insure that what is released will remain concealed from others to prevent slander and gossip, is dealt with in a Godly manner to make sure his presence is available to lead one to reputable answers, and is handled with wise and mature counsel to present a safe and trustworthy place to come back to again. So, who do P/M W’s release to? Here are a few options to consider:

God: Who else knows us better than the one who fearfully and wonderfully made us! God has a listening ear and he’s waiting for us to cast our cares upon him, for he cares! Our intimate thoughts and concerns will be in trusted care, never to be used against us but used to help us. Releasing to God insures a guaranteed successful solution to any problem or issue. God’s love, grace, and mercy towards us is always the welcomed calm and peace to any storm that seeks to rage in our lives. Finally, God is readily available to us. We can access him day or night, 365 days of the year!

Pastor/Husband: Next to God, our Pastor/Husbands’ should be the most important person in our lives. Meaning we should be able to tell them our dreams, aspirations, and desires as well as reveal to them our mistakes and failures. As God intertwines are hearts as one there may be times when our Pastor/Husband will sense the need for us to vent or release before we can even approach them. We can trust that our Pastor/Husband have our best interest at heart and will do all they can to protect that interest. 

Another P/M Wife: As P/M Wives we are in unique positions and we encounter unique situations. Another P/M wife can relate to the highs and lows of being married to a minister of the gospel. Forming a sisterhood of support, prayer, and encouragement will open the door of opportunity needed to connect with someone else who can share insight and mentorship. More than likely we've experienced or will experience some of the same things that will make for great teachable moments. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Competing With The Church & Other Stuff!

Competing With the Church and Other Stuff!

Services, revivals, conferences, business meeting, counseling sessions, hospital visits, etc. are all appointments that appear on the calendar of our Pastor/Minister husbands (P/M H). There may be another calendar full of appointments for his personal/non-ministry related items as well. While you try to support your P/M H in all his endeavors and even accompany him on a majority of those engagements, sometimes we wonder where we fit in! There have been times I’ve even joked with my husband about being “penciled” in on his calendar. Competing with your P/M H’s schedule is a common issue related to being married to a man of the cloth and if this issue isn’t addressed I’m afraid it can cause some major problems at home. Wives who find themselves competing with the church and other stuff may become resentful and jealous towards the church and their husbands. The church and other stuff your P/M H occupies his time with, although important, may just be getting in the way of him spending quality time with you- his wife. Pastor and Pastor’s Wife Elder Debra B. Morton, wife of Bishop Paul S. Morton, authored a book entitled Help, Lord, My Husband Has Two Wives. I can’t seem to find this book in print now, but I sure would love to get my hands on it. As I can recall, the book is about the resentment Pastor Morton found herself developing for the church because it was taking her husband away from her so often. It was as if he was balancing his time between two wives: her and the church, with the church getting the most of his time.
So, what do you do when you find yourself in competition with the church and other stuff taking your husband away from spending quality time with you? Here are some helpful steps:

  1. Pray: While we should always and diligently pray for our husbands, we should pray specific prayers for areas in their lives where they may be weak. So we might pray for God to help our husbands find a balance between church and family. We can also pray for ourselves that God will keep us from becoming resentful and help us with any isolation we may feel. While it’s easy for us to try to take matters in our own hands, issues like this are best resolved when God leads us and guides us on what to do. Remember the Bible reminds us to be anxious for nothing but give ourselves over to pray about everything (Philippians 4:6)!
  2. Be Understanding: Most of the time it is not the intentions of our husbands to get so caught up in their callings and duties that they forget about their family. It’s just that they’re so passionate about what God has for them to do. We as wives have to be understanding of the great responsibilities our husbands have to encompass even if it means sacrificing quality time together. If we proceed to nag and complain about the time our husbands spend away from home, we may hinder them from operating at their full potential and our nagging and complaining may also keep them from wanting to come home. The Bible describes that it is better for a husband to dwell in the corner of a housetop than with a nagging wife in a big house (Proverbs 21:9)!
  3. Discuss & Set Boundaries: While this step should be visited upon your husband’s acceptance of his calling and/or beginning of marriage, it often isn’t or should be reviewed more frequently. Take the time to discuss with your husband boundaries he can set so his schedule doesn’t interfere with quality family time. You may want to discuss office days and hours and vacation times your husband can set and stick to as best as possible. You may want to set boundaries regarding discussions of work at home. While it may be tempting for your husband to bring his work home, it may just be best to leave his work on the job! Finally be open for changes to occur as your husband has a unique position that requires him to be available around the clock. Remember the Bible reminds us to not get weary in doing well for in due season we will reap if we faint not (Galatians 6:9)!
  4.      Be Proactive: Don’t sit around mopping about the time less spent together: take action and find ways to spend quality time with your husband! Do you accompany your husband to conferences or other out-of-town ministry engagements? Well, use that down time when he’s not preparing of course, to plan something special. Better yet, stay an extra day after and enjoy the city/town you’re in together! Since his weekends are pretty full, why not plan a weekday outing? Or do like I plan to do and wisk him off for a weekend getaway. I’m sure another willing minister will stand proxy for your husband those few days. While you may have to plan unconventional moments around your husband’s schedule, it can be done! Remember the Bible talks about husbands and wives not depriving each other of intimate times except in times of prayer and fasting, after which, they should come back together quickly to diffuse any plots of the enemy (1 Corinthians 7:5)!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More Posts Coming...

Praise the Lord Ladies <insert praise here>! 
I know it has been a loooooooooooooooong time since I've posted to this blog and I do apologize for  the neglect! In addition to life being busy, God has been busy with me. He's been shaping, molding, purging, cutting back and cutting off in and through me. And the journey is not complete. He is making me into what he wants me to be! While a lot of this transformation doesn't feel good, believe me, it's all good because when I come out, I'll be so much stronger, wiser, better (come on Marvin Sapp)!! In the midst of this extreme makeover I've been directed to deactivate some activities and to reactivate some activities. I had to deactivate my Facebook account, deactivate my beauty blog, deactivate my mind, and deactivate my heart! I have to reactivate my Word life, my prayer life, and my devotional life to God so he can continue to do a good work in me. He has a great task for me to do and it's going to take my total devotion to him in order to accomplish the goal. So, I'm going to let you in on this journey with me and prayerfully it will help you also. As we're all on a journey to greatness...so stay tuned!!

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