November 17, 2014

Pray for the Pastor's Wife: Patience

"Move with the Movers," was a popular concept with the leaders of my campus Christian group. Essentially, we were urged to concentrate our efforts on the students who embraced the ministry vision of our parachurch group and were willing to take it to the ends of the earth. Right away. The leaders implied that we were wasting time with those who balked.

In contrast to my idealistic college friends, Christians in my home church seemed dull and lethargic. They weren't staying up until 2 AM to witness to their neighbors. Church members were not spontaneously taking road trips to Christian events.

I had a shallow understanding of a deep Christianity that is tested by trial, and, I am ashamed to admit, I felt those local people were losers.

Oh, the impatience of youth!

Those of us who serve God in a local church need to realize that fellow believers are worth our love, time and patience. These precious Christians are the apple of God's eye. They are bought with a price. He hides them in the shadow of His wings. They are not losers.

Yes, sometimes they disagree with us or flaunt sinful behavior or share deep pains that we can hardly bear. But, if we are going to have an eternal impact on people in the church, we need to ask God for patience with them as they are sanctified. "See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient." James 5:7b, 8a

As God supplies patience, we start to see people as He does and not as those who get in our way on the path to "success." We can thank God for allowing us to witness progress in godliness that others make. This movement, however slow, is part of a pilgrimage that glorifies God.

As Eugene Peterson points out in his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, all Christians need patience for the journey. Sisters, let's pray for it and wait for precious fruit.

Other postings in the series:


November 4, 2014

Pray for the Pastor's Wife: Peace

As I talk to--and hear from--pastors' wives in various places, I notice the uncertainties that plague them. Will the support come in this month? Where will we live when my husband's interim position ends? What decision about my future will the pulpit-search committee make at tonight's meeting? Who will show up next Sunday? Who won't?

In changeable earthly circumstances peace is elusive. Tomorrow's session meeting might radically change the life of a pastor's wife, and there's often little she can do about it. Pray for the pastor's wife that her peace would come not from an outwardly settled  situation but from an unchanging God. "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you" (Is. 26:3).

And the peace that she has in the fellowship of her kind God will overflow in peace toward others. Pray for your pastor's wife to not simply have peace, but also to make peace.

As far as it depends on her, she is called to live at peace with all men (Rom. 12:18): her husband, her children, her church, and her neighbors. Daily, she needs prayer that she might die to herself and put the interests of others ahead of her own.

Like any other mom, a pastor's wife with children will have 247 opportunities each day to assist her children in living at peace. So, too, she often can be an instrument of peace between people in her church, fostering a spirit of unity rather than divisions, speaking a kind word where there is tension, and welcoming others unconditionally into her home and life.

"Blessed are the peacemakers" said Jesus (Matt. 5:9).  Pray for the pastor's wife. 

Other postings in the series:

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