Over my thirty odd years as a ministry wife I’ve rattled a few pots and pans on a Saturday night. The goal: preparing for Sunday company after church. It’s run the gamut: new folks, old folks, large groups, small groups, planned out, impromptu, etc., etc.
While the chore has been the same, my attitude has not always been. Technically speaking, I was always serving the Lord in extending hospitality, but I was not always “Making a joyful noise unto the Lord” or “Serving the Lord with gladness”. (Psalm 100)
Early on I found myself being resentful. I resented my pastor husband for asking me to do this again. I resented the others in our church that weren’t pulling their fair share of the hospitality load. I resented “the church” because they didn’t appreciate how hard we worked. I resented the drain on our finances that came as a result of so much entertaining. I probably even resented the pots and pans because they didn’t clean themselves!
Over the years the Lord has been kind to give me an “attitude adjustment”. My “aha” moment came when I understood that when I am discontented and resentful, it is no one but the Lord that I am railing against. In His sovereignty He ordained that I would serve Him as a pastor’s wife and hospitality was part and parcel of that role. My grousing was against no one else but Him. “Against you and you only have I sinned.” (Psalm 51) I was being stingy with my time, selfish with my gifts, and feeling sorry for myself as I let myself feel overworked and underappreciated. I was playing the Martha role well!
I was missing the joy of serving the Lord and others out of a grateful heart! What a kind thing the Lord has done to completely change all that around. Now I really enjoy this role that He has given to me. I honestly look forward to serving the Lord as I serve others through hospitality. I pray for our guests before they come. While I am cleaning, setting up, and preparing the food, I often try to think how this opportunity of fellowship and food might be a special blessing to the particular people that we have invited. I try to think of extra ways that I can be part of meeting their special needs. I actually get excited about them coming. No longer am I resentful and discontented and murmuring under my breath.
My pots are still rattling on our Saturday night rendezvous. However, if they could talk, they might speak about the difference the Lord has made in my life.
About the author: A pastor's wife for 32 of her 40 years as a wife, Marg Maguire, is also certified as a Biblical counselor with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, formerly NANC). One of her biggest joys is helping women apply the truths of the Bible to their lives. She has been a women’s retreat speaker, Bible study leader, and has taught a basic Biblical counseling course to women when they were last in Uganda two years ago. She lives with her husband, Jerry, in Concord, Massachusetts, where they serve Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA). For fun Marg enjoys scrapbooking and making cards. Their daughter and son-in-law live in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area.