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)!


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