Wednesday, January 8, 2014

No experience necessary

I find it equally amusing and frightening that while so many things today require some sort of previous experience, degree, license, or training, the two biggest parts of my life require none; being a mom and marrying a pastor. I could go on and on about how “anyone can be a parent, but it takes someone special to be a mother” yada yada yada. However, this is not that kind of blog, so I’ll address the latter.
My husband is somewhat of an oddity in that he never went to seminary, nor has he ever been pushed to do so by our church. What he does have is a communications degree from Sam Houston State University (Eat ‘em up Kats), where he expertly squeezed four years into seven.
I know there are plenty of churches out there, usually smaller in size, that don't require their pastoral staff to have a degree. When a small church needs a volunteer, or a part time position filled, a degree is not necessarily, well, necessary. If you love the Lord, and you're willing and able, you're in. With larger and/or more established churches, they want their pastors to have degrees, ideally from a seminary, and usually some experience as well.
To be a pastors wife?? No experience necessary.
So what's a girl to do when she finds herself suddenly the wife of a pastor? Not that it happens suddenly. I mean, hopefully you weren't kidnapped and forced into a life of clergical matrimony. I mean suddenly in that, “Oh my goodness, we’re married! Now what?!?” Yes? Ok, moving on….
Here's the thing; as Christians we’re all called to ministry in some capacity.
Ephesians 2:10– For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)
Matthew 28:19– Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (NLT)
If God has blessed you with a pastor husband, chosen you to be his helpmate, then He will equip you.
1 Timothy 1:12– I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me trustworthy, appointing me to His service.
And if you have days where you want to curl up in the fetal position and cry because it's too much, remember 2 Corinthians 12:9 (But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you ,and my power is made perfect in your weakness.” Therefore, i will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.) and find some other women in ministry; I’d go so far as to say pastors' wives whose husbands are in the same area of ministry that yours is. It's a blessing when I'm able to connect with a youth pastor's wife from another church. Ministry wives are great in general, but if their husband does the same type of work yours does (i.e. gone most of the summer, planning youth camp, mission trip, leading a team of youth workers, etc.), all the better.
If there's a pastor at your church who’s been in the game awhile longer than you and your spouse, utilize his wife if she's someone who would be willing. I know, unfortunately, sometimes there's only one full-time pastor on staff, and your husband may be it! Or perhaps the other wives take a back seat and aren't a great resource for you. This makes me sad, but that's for another time; not today. What I’m getting at is, find someone, another woman, who is on this same adventure with her husband, and be friends!
Can i be totally honest?
It's hard to have close, heart connected friends when your husband is on staff, at least in my experience. I won’t bore you with all the reasons why, and chances are, if you’re here reading this, I don’t need to because you just nodded at your computer screen, so you're with me. Whether it's my own trust issues because of past hurt, or people assuming that I have enough friends and probably don't need anymore, sometimes my flesh would just rather stay home or fold in on itself and not make the effort. This is something I struggle with. A lot. But we need friends! We need each other!
Proverbs 11:14– Where there is no guidance, people fall, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety.
Proverbs 27:17– As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10– Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
David had Jonathan. Job had friends that came to him to offer support and sympathy. Even Jesus needed friends; the disciples, Lazarus...you get the picture. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”
All that being said, if you’re a newbie, whether newly married to a pastor, or many years married to a new pastor, I encourage you to seek out a friend who can walk alongside you in that regard. If you’ve been at this awhile, I implore you to invest some time and love into a youngin’, dare I say, fresh meat? Unless of course she went to a secret school on how to be a pastor's wife, and if she did…what the heck?!?
Thanks for stopping by. I welcome comments, questions, feedback, insight, and Starbucks gift cards.
Have a blessed week!!

6 comments:

sara said...

love the idea of this blog Amy!!! Thanks for taking that step of faith and doing it!!!

Charis Emerson said...

YES. To all of this... I feel it, I live it, and I agree... What a blessing it is to be able to serve in ministry along side my husband, but there are definite challenges that others don't experience... I am excited to share with like-minded new friends! Thanks for taking the time to make this important...
:)

Charis Emerson said...

YES. To all of this! I live it, I feel it, and I agree... It is such a blessing to be able to serve alongside my husband, but there are definite challenges that I feel other wives don't experience. It is refreshing to have like-minded ladies to share with... Thanks for taking the time to make this important... I look forward to more interaction! :)

Amy Frans said...

Thank you for the encouraging words! I'm glad you connected. Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Amy Frans said...

Thank you, Sara!!

Kaysie Eddleman said...

Amy, I love this blog! Even though I'm not a pastor's wife I still enjoy reading it and think many of these points apply to just being a Christian in the workplace. I love your writing style, keep up the good work!