Tame the Tongue: This one seems almost too obvious to mention, but it is a challenge for so many of us. I have found myself going back and apologizing on more than one occasion when I felt I have said too much. Gossip is a slippery slope that can start out innocently enough and then, before you know it, you’ve slid all the way down. Damage done. How can I expect the congregation to trust and respect me if I can’t tame the tongue? A friend of mine who needed fellowship and growth once went to an informal ladies gathering at the home of a pastor’s wife. My friend confided to me later that she left the get together early because it was one huge gossip fest, led by the pastor’s spouse about key leaders in the church. Sadly, that pastor’s wife lost the respect and trust of a congregant that night. When the pastor’s spouse gossips, it hurts the church and the pastor. Not a good idea. Be trustworthy.
Protect Your Personal Time: Our busiest season surfaced when my husband was a lead pastor in a growing church. He was a young, ambitious, and very busy pastor, logging lots of hours. I was a busy young mom caring for three children ages 3 and under. I missed my husband. Even when he was home, it was sometimes hard for him to emotionally disengage from things going on at church and we all felt it. I don’t know how long it took for me to get to this point, but for a few weeks I entertained thoughts of packing up the kids and heading to my mom’s house two hours away. I was not wanting separation; it was more a cry of desperation. I began to doubt myself. Was I being selfish in feeling neglected and being all, “Woe is me” and “Here is your wake-up call, buddy”!? Or was there seriously something wrong? I didn’t know what to do but I knew I couldn’t go on doing what we were doing. I curled up in bed and bawled. That’s where I was when my husband came home from leading an evening board meeting. Something had to change.
And it did. These are the steps we took to protect and fight for our family time (after all, who else is going to fight for it?).
1. My husband would take his day off. Living close to the church made it too easy to run in for something on a day off and come back four hours later.
2. Friday, my husband’s day off, became an invaluable Sabbath for us, especially when the church started a Saturday night service and weekends became even busier.
3. Also, all vacation days would be used and…
4. There would be no more than three evening church meetings per week (unless there was an emergency).
5. Finally, we committed to go on a date every two weeks.
Stay tuned as Amy continues to share with us some of the valuable lessons she’s learned along the way as a pastor’s wife . Her next blog will be on November 28th!