December 8, 2014

Pray for the Pastor's Wife: Faithfulness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is. . .faithfulness” Gal. 5:22

For the past few weeks, my email inbox has been stuffed with requests for help. “Can you please come on Friday to help with the school play?” “Would you send a casserole for the faculty breakfast?” “Could you send money for the teacher gift?” “Will you be a field trip chaperone?”

Can you? Could you? Will you? Would you?

Some of these requests I decline. . .or intentionally ignore. . .or neglect in my inbox so long they no longer apply. But some of them I accept. And next Thursday, the room mother expects me to show up ready to drive for a field trip, and on Friday morning I’d better be at the school to take down the set from the class play.

I said I’d do it. I must be faithful.

Matthew Henry defines “faithfulness” in Galatians 5:22 as “fidelity, justice, and honesty, in what we profess and promise to others.” What we say, we should do. This is what David had in view in Psalm 15 when he describes the godly person as the one who “swears to his own hurt and does not change.” (v.4)

In ministry life, too, a pastor’s wife must be faithful. If she says she will attend, bring, sing, speak, invite, visit, greet, call, text, help, remember; if she says she will organize or facilitate or teach; if she says she will pray, she must. Even to her own hurt.

Because God himself is the faithful one.

When Moses asks him to show himself, God answers by declaring his own name: “The Lord, the Lord. . .abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Ex. 34:6) And at the end of Isaiah’s familiar passage promising a Messiah whose “reign shall have no end,” we read these words of guarantee: “the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Is. 9:7) What God says he will do. 

Every assigned casserole delivered, every requested email sent, every promised prayer offered stands as a tiny reflection of our faithful God. And by it we teach others about him. Our own faithfulness is a small flame from the great blaze of his zeal, and serves humbly to illuminate the path for others—tiny flickering luminaries lining a path leading to the eternally faithful source of all warmth and light.

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