Have Friends with Some Boundaries: Ah, the friend debate. Being a pastoral couple can be very lonely sometimes. We came to the conclusion that we, like Christ himself, needed friends. But friends in church must be chosen carefully. Some friends do like to broadcast the friendship. One female friend boasted to a group at church to be my husband’s best friend. I remember squirming in my seat wondering, “And when did I step out of that role?” I had another friend who kept our relationship so quiet that no one in the church even knew about we were friends. Those friends are gems. They don’t expect you to talk to them after church or at church functions. They know and understand it is better for you to talk to those you don’t know or who look like they could use a listening ear. They are the type of friend who will be a good prayer partner. When a prayer partner friend of mine joined our church we continued praying together, but I no longer shared requests about marital or church issues. Boundaries.
Don’t Critique the Church in the Presence of your Kids: I don’t remember where I read or heard this, but it was something my husband and I practiced from the beginning. A good friend of mine who is a PK had a dad who was overly committed to the church. She knew way too much about the church’s problems. She had determined she would never, ever marry a pastor. And she didn’t. My husband and I don’t have any family members who are pastors, so we had no idea of what a ministry family is supposed to look like. We did know that we wanted our kids to love, not resent the Church. So, we tried our best to commend and not critique the Church in the presence of our kids. We saved our critique for the bedroom. Romantic, I know.
Support your Spouse: I had to learn how to share my husband. Often. I had to learn how to graciously accept interruptions. Sometimes there were emergency phone calls that came at dinner or odd hours. Sometimes we were headed out of town on my husband’s day off and he would get a phone call that would cause us to turn around and head back. I had to learn not to grumble and complain when these things happened and support him by being gracious (an art not perfected). I also supported him by being there when he needed a shoulder to cry on, a brain to pick, or a hand to hold. He was so strong for so many and he needed a safe place to crumble and cry, hope and hurt.
Amy shares her last confessions and lessons on December 10th! Join us as she wraps things up.