What’s healthy is 64 ounces of water a day. What’s healthy is exercising several days a week. What’s healthy is dark chocolate! What’s healthy is rest. What’s not healthy is knowing everything that’s going on at church!
If you’ve been in ministry for longer than a week…
a. you know there are things you wished you hadn’t heard.
b. a grudge begins to swell because of what you’ve learned about “so and so.”
c. you feel like you’re the last to know.
d. you feel in the dark about insider information.
e. you’ve experienced all of the above!
A pastor’s wife deserves to love her church. In one regard, she deserves to be like others who enter the doors each Sunday – open to what God wants to teach her, willing to serve, and coming with a heart ready to worship. Yet, she’s not like just anyone who enters on Sunday. She happens to sleep with the pastor!
How you and I interact with others, including those on staff, is dependent, whether we like it or not, on what we know and believe about them.
So are you healthy or unhealthy when it comes to what you know about your church and her people?
Your spouse doesn’t need to complain to you about another staff person. The two of them will interact and be at peace tomorrow while you and the other staff person’s spouse might still hold a grudge.
As girls, we love a good story. Yet, as any other girl, we treat stories like soap operas and creepily want them to go on and on and on with melodrama. However, knowing everything at church can cloud our own thoughts of people and experiences.
While you’re married to the pastor, it’s your community of faith also. Knowing everything is like picturing talk bubbles over every person’s head filled with all their secrets. It’s detrimental to your worship experience, and theirs.
Obviously, if you are present and involved in ministries and services of the church, you will have knowledge of others and carry their burdens. Yet, you and I should not make it our priority to know more than we should. This takes you and your husband setting up perimeters and being pro-active in maintaining these perimeters.
Here are a few perimeters we’ve set up as husband and wife in ministry:
- I need to help my husband think about and talk about things not related to church. This can only happen if we recognize and create a divide between home and church. He spends a majority of his day, and sometimes his evenings, strategizing, counseling, studying, planning, praying, and thinking about church. I can be a healthy tool to give his mind rest from a weary, yet wonderful workday.
- I have my husband’s ear more than anyone else, but he can’t implement all of my ideas or the ideas that others tell me to tell him!
- Discuss my own boundaries and weaknesses with each other. It does me no good to know what others tithe or what was written in confidence on communication cards. Sometimes my husband needs to tell me something for accountability sake. Other times, it’s best for me not to know.
- We live out the reality that we married each other for love, companionship, and the desire to enjoy life side by side. He didn’t marry me to be his secretary and I didn’t marry him to tell him how to run ministry.
- Home life and church life work best when they are approached separately rather than considered the same.This gives breathability to our marriage and ministry.
- We are called to love and care for the people of our church, but we aren’t superheroes. Ultimately, the knowledge we have of others and the church must be given over to God in prayer. He knows the details whether we know them or not.
Let us learn from each other. What are some boundaries you have in place that keep you mentally and spiritually healthy in regards to what you know about your church?
Published March 13, 2015