Monday, March 28, 2011

Disagreeing with Driscoll gives me Digestive Issues



Earlier this week Mark Driscoll wrote a post on his blog called Loving the Pastor's Wife.  It bothered me.  There.  I said it.  Usually when I'm reading a blog and it bothers me I move along.  I haven't been able to move along with this one.  Maybe it's because the topic is an important one to me.  We all have "our things," right?  Judging by how Driscoll's post kept me awake last night, I'd say this must be one of "my things."

I subscribe to Mark Driscoll's blog.  There is no hidden angst here against Mark Driscoll.  No one has to defend him.  This isn't a personal attack.  All you Driscoll fans can put down your fists.  All you Driscoll haters can be warned...I won't side with you if you turn this into a Driscoll bash. 

Side note:  I just had an imaginary argument with Mark Driscoll.  In my fake argument I started crying after he said nine words to me.  For the record, I would never want to get into an argument with Mark Driscoll.  I experienced intestinal trauma, started sweating profusely, and got all red and blotchy from simply imagining a nine-word, terse exchange with Driscoll.

So that's not what this post is about.  Although I was a staff wife for 13 years at a good sized church, I wasn't a pastor's wife at a mind-blowing mega church.  So maybe I'm trying to foolishly shove Driscoll's thoughts through my own personal paradigm.  My own life's filter.  I'll be the first to admit that doing something like that is always dangerous.  Maybe I'd agree with Driscoll completely if I was a staff wife at a mega church.  Or...on the other hand...maybe his post is being read by lots of people just like me whose husbands serve smaller churches than Mars Hill.  I don't know.

Either way the post bothered me because I'm probably extra sensitive to the idea that some people in the body of Christ should be treated differently than everyone else.  Maybe I'm hyper sensitive to this because I was a staff wife for 13 years.  Maybe this sensitivity comes from now being called a "missionary."  Staff wife.  Missionary.  Two "labels" that may cause other people to try and make me into something I'm not.  Two labels that may cause myself to allow other people to make me into something I'm not.

You can read the article for yourself.  It was tweeted 417 times, so chances are you already did read it.

Did I mention that I liked some of it?  I did.  However, I think one of Driscoll's main points of this post is to point out that a pastor's wife should be a Christian church member like everyone else.  Those are his exact words, actually.  Those words were so important they appear in the article in red, big fancy print.  Then his post seems to give a whole lot of ways to treat the pastor's wife that make her exactly nothing like everyone else.

Being on staff at a church for 13 years I made lots of friends with other staff wives.  A common complaint?  "I'm lonely.  No one wants to be my friend.  I feel so alone.  Everyone sees me as the pastor's wife before they see me as a person.  People seem to have an agenda for getting to know me, or they don't even consider me human enough to try to get to know me."

That's the crux of my "issue" here.  So please don't make my issues about things I don't have issues about.  I know staff wives (I can't speak for pastor's wives....my husband was not a pastor) face lots of complex issues being the wife of someone who is leading a church.  I totally get that.  But it grieves me when I hear staff wives say they are hurting...have no friends...and feel alone.  They don't feel like regular people.   I was that person once.  I did a lot of things poorly as a staff wife.  I'm not claiming to know all the answers.  I just know that I felt alone in a giant church for years, and I know women who feel that way right now.

I just want to throw this idea out there...

If you're following Driscoll's advice, maybe that sign in the parking lot that says, "Reserved for the Pastor's Wife" is one of the reasons why people don't see you as a regular person.  Just sayin'.

I'm no expert.  13 years as a staff wife sounds like a long time, and at the same time a short time.  People in a church can be demanding, needy, and often times rude jerks.  They can expect too much.  They can treat you like you don't exist.  Somewhere along the line I learned a valuable lesson.  How people see me is my own responsibility.  The moment I quit allowing the people in my church to make me into something I was not...ah...freedom.  I felt free.  I tried to blame people in the church for putting stress on me to be something I didn't want to be but the truth was...at least part of the truth was...I allowed people to make me feel that way.  I was insecure.  I was immature.  Part of the problem was me.  Oh wait.  A big part of the problem was me.

It's a hard, constant, fight to be a normal person.  I think working hard to be yourself and to live the life you and your husband desire for your family is a fight worth fighting.  I found that refusing to allow people to shape me...to simply be myself...be honest...and allow God to do the shaping was a place of sweet content and joy.

And guess what?  I had friends.  Good ones.  Close ones.  Crazy, crazy close ones. 

This part is free...

Want a fool proof way to make sure that the single moms in your congregation or women with dead-beat husbands automatically dislike you?

Call yourself a single mom on Sundays like Driscoll suggests in his article.  Any time a woman married to a godly, awesome husband and father calls herself a single mom it is incredibly offensive to a real-life single mom.  For years and years and years I had to get one...two....three....four little boys ready for church by myself.  There were times I resented it.  Not because I should have.  My husband was a great father and helped me tremendously Monday-Saturday.  If he wasn't doing those things, he should not have had his butt up on that church stage.  ONE day.  One day of doing it on my own?  One morning?  I resented it some times, but mostly because I was immature and needed to grow up.  This was not a church issues.  No one needed to write a blog post or read one about how to help fix my problem.  What I needed was for God to sit in my soul and remind me of how blessed I was.

What if getting your kids ready by yourself in the morning is a beautiful, gracious gift God has given pastor's wives and staff wives to identify with some of the most hurting people in their congregation?  Single moms and married women whose husbands will have no part of church.  What if God has given you the sweetest gift to be able to hurt for those women?  What if getting your kids ready for church by yourself means you can walk up to a single mom in your church, hold her close and tell her that you only get your kids ready for church one morning a week by yourself and it about does you in.  Tell her there are mornings you show up to church sweaty, mad, and wanting a divorce.  Tell her there are mornings when you're a mean jerk to your kids because you slept too late on Sunday and were rushing around.  Tell her how much you grieve for her that she has to do your Sunday every single day of her life.  Tell her how much you love her.  How proud you are of her.  How much you admire her.  And then if your husband doesn't sit next to you during the service, invite that woman to sit next to you. 

There are many issues surrounding being a staff wife.  My heart breaks for this one issue.  How can a pastor's wife be a real person when the whole world is bent on making her a non-person?  How can she stay human when it seems like the odds are against her?

It's a constant struggle.  Finding our identity in Christ.  Being honest about our failures.  Being quick to share the ways we fail.  Quick to repent.  Being a regular ol' Christ follower who happens to be married to the man who is leading the church is a beautiful gift worth fighting for if you ask me.

__________________________________________________

Before we moved to Haiti I had a lot of time to think about saying good-bye to our lives as staff members at a church.  I wrote my thoughts out before we left the United States.  I'm going to repost them here today.

Moving to Haiti marks the end of a huge chapter of our lives.  For 13 years we've been involved, in one way or another in leadership at a church.  As with everything else, I've spent time this summer thinking over so many things...saying good-bye to church ministry is one of them.

I was thinking the other day about how different my life would have been over the past several years if something drastic had not happened a few years ago. 


Ya see, a few years ago Aaron and I were both on staff at a very large church.  That church started two new churches and when it did we went with one of the new churches.  Aaron has been leading worship for New Life up until he left for Haiti.


While on staff at that larger church I had bought into this super weird lie (probably no one's fault but my own...not wanting to blame anyone, just saying this stupidity on my part happened while we were at the larger church). The reason may have been that I was young and immature.  Who knows.


The lie went something like this:


You are in leadership, so that makes you very different.  You can't really let people know you or be honest about your failures.  Oh you can be honest about failures publicly, but only AFTER you are no longer dealing with those problems any longer or if those failures make you really seem super holy in some weird passive-aggressive way.  If you have "victory" in an area of struggle...share that, but if not then keep your problems to yourself or only share them with other staff members.


I'm not exactly sure where that came from or more importantly why I believed it, but my word...how dumb. Maybe I am the only person who has ever dealt with this.  Who knows.  I will be the first to admit I can fall into "dysfunction" faster than most people.


No matter where it came from, that train of thought led to lots of unhealthy ways of thinking and behaviors.  It led me to believe that I could not have any close friends, because that didn't look good.  It might make others in the church jealous.  It made me think I was not a real person.  It made me want to take breaks from the people at church because they were a job to me instead of dear friends.  It made me want to go on vacation from the people in our church body because I wanted to get away from our job...our vocation.  The church was a career, not my family.  No one knew the real me.  I thought I had to seek out close friendships among other staff wives or among minister's wives from other churches.


I'm seriously rolling my eyes just remembering this craziness.


Thankfully, through a series of fortunate events, God began to heal me and reteach me.  Total freedom ensued.


I was struck by the Jesus of the Bible...the Jesus that was so loved by his closest disciples that they were willing to die horrible deaths to defend what they had seen and learned from Him.  Jesus redefined family.  He said anyone who does the will of His father was like his mother...his sister...his brother.  His disciples loved him...as a person...a friend...not as a public figure.  They saw him weep.  They saw Him get angry.  They loved being with Him.  They did not live in fear of Jesus.  They were themselves with Jesus, almost to the point of embarrassment. 


Slowly I began to ache for real, genuine relationships where I could be myself.  Where people could see how I was struggling...present tense struggling, not past tense struggled.


People in the church became my family.  We grew in close relationships with others.  Instead of wanting to hide away on our "day off" or turn our phones off, when people from church called, we answered because those people weren't people anymore.  They were our friends.  We didn't want time away from them.  We went on vacations together.  We hung out constantly.  Yes, we still reached out and met new people...and I pray we were just as genuine with them as anyone else.  But most importantly we no longer felt guilty about having close friends who knew us, loved us..all of us...the good, the bad and the downright shameful and embarrassing parts of us.


When I'd catch wind that people were jealous of a relationship I had with someone else, it didn't even bother me anymore.  It still doesn't.  I refused to allow anyone to put me in that yucky, prideful place I had allowed myself to be in years earlier.  That place was gross and unhealthy.  It was also unhealthy for everyone else around me.  No one and no snide remark was going to push me back into that nasty spot where I thought I had to be...the girl with the frozen smile, waving, being friendly, knowing no one and no one really knowing me.


If your pastor's wife has a close friend, please don't be upset that she does.  If your worship leader's wife has a bff, good for her.  They are people too.  Just like you.  They aren't any cooler than anyone else.  I promise.

They are just as needy, just as sinful, just as human as every other woman in your church.  A pastor's wife or a worship leader's wife or an elder's wife or any other staff wife isn't a female Jesus.  She's a person. She's human.  She can't invest in every single person that passes through the church foyer.  It's impossible. It's silly for her to think she can and it's just as silly for people to expect her to do that.

If your pastor's wife looks like she's sitting on a parade float, for the love...grab her, sit her down and tell her you're going to be her friend.  Kidnap her and don't let her go until you convince her that there's nothing really special about her.  Nothing that makes her have to live her life far away from the love of people and close friends. No title is worth that.


I hope you know me well enough to know that I'm not advocating for cliques or holy huddles.  Jesus despised exclusive groups that practiced favoritism.  However, I do think staff wives can go too far and be so afraid of cliques that they have no true friends...no real connections with others.  They can be alone in a giant sea of people.  Leadership becomes synonymous with isolation.  Somehow Jesus pulled off leadership and still had close community.


All that to say....


We've learned in over 13 years of ministry and 14 years of marriage that relationships are most important.  Although it hurts desperately, I am most thankful for the way God has literally woven our souls together with so many precious people in our lives.  We feel the sting as we're saying good-bye, but only because we've already invested deeply into these relationships.  A few years ago, we could have left this town and people would have been a little sad...but all they would be grieving would be the loss of our position.  Not the loss of us as people.  People they know.  People they love.  People who have known and loved them.  Praise God for His rich mercy for teaching us how to love and how to be loved.  Real.  Honest.  Genuine. Love.


If the Lord ever puts us back into church ministry, I will never ever go back to being the lady on the float.  No way.  People want to be her, but people don't love her and from way up there on that decorated float, it's awfully hard for her to love other people.

23 comments:

Erin Kay said...

Girl, you are gifted with words. I am moved. And I mean moved to do something. Not just emotionally, "touched." Thanks.

Hi. I'm Alanna. said...

"Somewhere along the line I learned a valuable lesson. How people see me is my own responsibility. It's a hard, constant, fight to be a normal person. I think working hard to be yourself and to live the life you and your husband desire for your family is a fight worth fighting. I found that refusing to allow people to shape me...to simply be myself...be honest...and allow God to do the shaping was a place of sweet content and joy."

Great words, Heather. Worth reading several times over. God has continuously used you to speak messages that don't often get spoken. I have no idea what Mark Driscoll wrote. I won't go read it. I'm not in his hate club or fan club. I'm in the reading other people club. You're an other people that has a lot to say and you speak messages that other people's hearts are dying for the world to hear. Makes me think of that song, "Does Anybody Hear Her?"

You do. Jesus does. And I'm glad those of us reading here today do too. Really good message. So thankful for your sweet heart.

Rebecca said...

Ya know, it can also be very lonely for moms that do have a man at home but isn't a believer. He can be a great dad but not interested in spiritual things. While that is not my lot in life now, I do recall being in a church and seeing wives and husbands together with the kids. The complete family. You observe husbands that have their own bibles and actually open it up and maybe hold it so the wife can read while juggling a little one on her lap. Some actually carry brief cases and you know that is not just a bench warmer. That's a serious student of THE WORD and he goes to small group. WOW! You hear stories in your own group from some of these dads about how they were teaching their child a biblical principal and you dream...you dream about what that must be like. It's hard for a woman to be a spiritual leader with no help. Even if you immerse yourself in women's study groups and in choir and have lunch in tea rooms, every time you are at church alone with the kids feels like you're the Walmart basket with the wobbly wheel. A woman who has a husband sitting by her side in church while another's might be at home choosing to cut the grass is curious to single moms and moms going alone. We study you and wonder if your experience, your life might rub off on us. We want to see you fulfilled and satisfied cause you are living our dream. We want to be on your circle. But now, however late, I'm living my own dream. Praise God! Thanks for waking me up to the fact that some sweet ladies don't have what I now have. I need to see them, notice them and love on them. As my pastor always says, "When you go about your business in the hallways of the church, notice those passing you and find someone to give a look, a touch and a word."

Jessi said...

Loved your response. I read Mark's blog. I completely agree with you. I am so thankful that my church is not like Mark's church. What an unhealthy body of Christ. I know there are some doozies even in the church but that should be few and far between. He made it sound like people in the church are some kind of monsters when it comes to the pastor's wife. Maybe some are. I guess I am just blessed to be in a church where I see the true love of Christ where everyone is treated with love and our pastors' wives are amazing women whom I have the pleasure of being close friends with. But no where will I put them on a pedestal. None of us needs that kind of pressure. I sure don't want it. Thank you for speaking up for this.

Susan, wife of 1, mother of 4 said...

Only you could post so beautifully and honestly about this, Heather. Very well written. Thanks for the eye opener. It could apply to anyone too, not just the pastor's wife. Anyone who feels that she dosen't fit in somewhere could learn from you post, including me. Thanks so much!

Lara said...

Amen, sister. Your take on the single mom thing struck me as especially true. For a period of time, my husband worked out of town for months at a time. He did not earn a hug amount of money doing so and it was a challenging time for us. I was constantly having my girlfriends who were militay pilot's wives say, "It's like you're a military wife!" Umm, except they have support groups, Childcare drop-off centers, and their husbands are paid a ginormous amount of extra money when they're away. Not that I disrespect the work they are doing, but it was just NOT the same and hearing them act like it was just made me more frustrated.

mandi said...

Hmmm...this is interesting. I wish we could speak face to face about this. I'll prolly email you so my business isn't all over the place here!

Let's just say that I agree with you. That if, as a pastor's wife, we don't let others expectations dictate who we should be. I have some funny experiences with that though. In a church we served in a woman tried to give me all of these leftover loaves of white bread after a youth function. That I had planned. Anyway, I told her that we wouldn't eat it, so maybe we could see if anyone else would like it. She got so angry with me! She told me that she would think that "as a pastor's wife" that I would be happy to have some free bread. HAHAHA!!! I just told her that "as a pastor's wife" I enjoy eating whole wheat bread. Oh man. That was weird!

And yeah, there are more painful stories about how we have been treated, how our family has been portrayed, but that's just people's junk. You can't own that.

4taiwan said...

I loved your post. Yes, I do agree that I (a pastor/missionary wife)have the greatest responsibility in how I react to how others treat me.
Being on the mission field is so hard. I am married to a national (wouldn't change that for the world!!love my man!), but then I tend to be treated as a "national pastor's wife". In the Asian culture, that means I am responsible for E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.... it was only recently as we started our ministry to unwed moms that my husband jumped in and told the ladies at church they can and should help out.
It is a lonely position. I am so thankful though that God has placed me with wonderful ladies at our center here, Christian ladies that we can cry together, pray together, laugh together. My first years on the field were lonely and lots of tears....but God in His goodness has given me great friends.

All that to say.....yes, all around the world pastor's wives are treated differently (and pastors kids too). PW have a high rate of depression! is it a wonder?

Stacey said...

A great big AMEN! I'm not a staff wife or a pastor's wife but I am church staff and God has truly just knocked the pedestals out from under me. He has leveled all the crutches. Just like Paul said, "I seek to know nothing among you except the Lord Jesus Christ!"

Just this morning, I was driving to the church and I had this one thought. "If you want to know if the foundation is even, don't put the level on a man's shoulders."

texasmcvays said...

First, I know who he is but I think this is the first thing he's written that I've read. That said I both disagreed & agreed with parts of the post. I disagree with all of his suggestions (parking space, gifts or even better gift cards, special seating...) as it would seem to create seperation simply seem to prevent her from being preceived as a normal member of the body of Christ. I also found the gift card thing kind of odd. But I agree some folks want to be friends with the pastors wives because they are pastor wives, I know folks get offended when they don't get invited to peoples events & birthdays (even when their kids are like 10 years older the birthday child). I didn't really understand why they were upset until reading this post. I found the comparison to being like a single Mom unacceptable, I am amazed by Mama's like K.B. I agree with his comments about his wifes future work in ministry & that it can be lonely. Sending our love to Crispy Rice and the rest of Hendrickville! Praying for Christs abundant mercy for your family especially with the current political climate in Haiti!

Jess Lehman said...

His words seem more rooted in American ideology than Jesus ideology.

Megan @ Faith Like Mustard said...

Long time lurker, de-lurking. ;)

I've been a minister's wife for 14 years (7 as a pastor's wife) and I think Driscoll's words were in poor taste. Some of it can be true (everyone has crazy ministry stories), but mostly I feel honored to have "instant family" as a minister's wife and have only experienced great love/support in the churches we have served. I definitely won't disagree that it's sometimes lonely--it can especially be harder to make friends among the unchurched (Fear the preacher's wife! LOL!)--but I think that happens within a lot of professions, not just for ministry wives.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I dig you.

(Have I said that before??)

I just like the way you think. And love.

Randoms in transit.

bye.

ChildTalk said...

You write so well. And more, your insights are so very on. They resonate deeply.

Melodi said...

Amen.

Melodi

Marla Taviano said...

You're awesome. I'll start with that.

And I've appreciated lots of things Mark Driscoll has said/written over the years.

BUT. I've grown pretty disenchanted with him lately. I don't read his blog regularly, but when I do, I get a sense that he's 99.9% sure that everything he says is black-and-white gospel truth. I just sense a total lack of humility. His arrogance turns my stomach.

Did you see the interview with him and Francis Chan last year? He just seemed shocked and appalled that Chan would give up an awesome preaching gig and loads of money to go do what? Obscurely take the gospel to unreached parts of Asia? Why on EARTH??

I feel really, really sorry for his wife. I think his attempts to make people like her have surely backfired. I just hope and pray she's grounded enough to withstand it.

Ugh.

Settled said...

Over that past months, I have been challenged by your insights and the sharings of your day to day. I too am in new surroundings but they resemble nothing like yours except for the heat. :) I am continually reminded through your words and your life that we aren't here on this earth for our selfish gain and comfort but to share the hope of Jesus, extend His heart to those in need and live with the hope of life with Him eternally. I found this post was again insightful to my own shortcomings as a christian. I, like Mark often miss the real reason why we are on this earth. It isn't to live a life of privalage with a special parking space or arrive on time to hear a husband's sermon but instead it is the dealings of peoples hearts, their lives and how we minister to each other. I disagree with Mark and feel he is giving Pastor's Wives a false sense of encouragement and missionial living perspective. Parking spaces, special seating at church, or the sense that by getting the kids ready by herself on Sunday morning she knows the life of a single mom. This will only separate these woman more, perhaps falsely build a sense of comfort and care and ultimately cause them to miss the joy and beauty of being a woman available to serve where she is with whomever enters her Sunday morning. Sadly, it may separate Pastor's wives from the beauty of being a normal person used by God in great ways.

Thank you! I am reminded of my own shortcomings in this area. I am often so deceived by wanting a comfortable, uninterrupted life over a life available to what God has planned that I miss the opportunity to share and be part of God's work.

Thank you!

Deb said...

I was going to comment, but everyone else already said it for me, and better too.

Thanks for sharing your life with me. I pray for you often; and maybe someday I can come meet you and help out for a little while. I'd really like to do that.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

I was a pastor's wife for 16 months ... just about the hardest 16 months of our 28 years of marriage.

The expectations of our small congregation were OVER THE TOP ... there was just NO WAY that I could be the woman that they expected me to be.

They didn't care that I was the homeschooling mother of a dozen children. No. They wanted me to fit their mold of "The Perfect Pastor's Wife". I didn't.

After 16 months of pastoring this church, we almost lost our marriage of 28 years. So hard. So scary.

My husband resigned his position just after Christmas. He's now been unemployed for 3 months.

While there was so much of the pastorate that he absolutely LOVED, we are scared to even consider looking for another church pastorate. We just don't fit "the mold" of who the church wanted us to be.

Thanks for sharing.

Laurel :)

Sandy said...

We are currently living and serving overseas and not in a pastorate. But I have spent many years as a pastor's wife and I felt "Yes, but" to both your post and Mark Driscoll's post. Very few pastor's wives that I know desire a parking space. Sunday mornings alone can be quite a challenge and the comparison to be a single mom is ridiculous. Also, I don't think I've ever cooked breakfast for my husband in more than twenty years of marriage.
I am secure enough in my identity in Christ that I don't allow people to define me. I've never felt that us/them mentality that some in pastoral ministry feel. I've had good friends in the church.
But life for the family of a pastor can be painful as expectations are put on us and we get beaten up. It's hard to watch your husband spend 30 hours preparing a sermon and then receiving e-mails with point-by-point criticism.
We invested our lives in a young woman who was an single mom. We watched her baby so she could work on her dissertation. We took middle of the night hysterical phone calls, long visits in our home, couples counseling - you name it. Yet, in an congregational meeting she stood up and said that she felt my husband was a poor match for the church. As a wife, I had to sit there and take that silently.
We have chosen to work in churches that paid low salaries and I have always worked. One summer evening, I was yelled at in front of the church by an elder's wife that I wasn't doing enough for a new mom in the church. At the time, I was teaching all day and had taken on an extra teaching job two evenings a week. I was also in charge of Vacation Bible School. It was a stunning moment.
We've also had wonderful treatment by many people- generous gifts and wonderful affirmation. We love ministry- the good and the bad.
All that to say, yes but. Most pastor's wives don't expect special treatment but please, treat us like fellow human beings. That is not too much to expect.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I will feel any rest until I comment on this. I didn't know anything about Mark Driscoll and never read anything by him, and only God knows the motives of his heart in writing it (which is evidently a protective love for his wife), but I found it to be in absolute bad taste and potentially hurtful to many people (particularly the women he targeted in his church as well as single women). It is best that I don't elaborate because I have nothing nice to say about it--I thought it was beyond horrible that a pastor would write something like that in such a careless way. The tone was not Christlike. I went to church by myself most of the time with 3 children, and now go to church by myself. The challenges and pain of that could not be any less than the challenges and pain of a pastor's wife. (The pain part comes mostly from observing the marrieds and particularly ones that have Christian husbands..it hurts sometimes to feel alone.) Some days I needed ministering to, but because I was in a position of service, God supplied me with what I needed to complete the responsibilities He had set before me. He is able to do that for any person in the position/callings He has put us. He will also take care of our personal needs. But our life is to be poured out as His was, and sometimes it leaves us empty but we can quickly be filled again with Him. He will send sometimes send people to minister to or pray for us as we lift our eyes and hurts and pains to Him. He is faithful. To call those people "selfish" who needed to talk with me or ask for prayer on "what-were-NOT-meant to be MY" Sunday mornings at church is abhorable! You did not hear Jesus or the disciples complaining about "all the people" needing them. He poured out His life then went alone to be with God to stay filled with Him. It's a privilege to even be a person someone would seek out knowing we have something of Him to give. Personally I was not one that wanted to "bother" the pastor's wife...and mainly because I knew there were others who needed her or the pastor more than I did. A parking place? Maybe he can give his space to his wife? I went to a large church, and had quite a long walk with my three. Sometimes God would put on someone's heart to lift a hand when they saw me carrying two, and one holding my hand, but more often not. I did not develop a resentful heart because I was just glad to have been born again and drawn to the wonderful church that I was, and be in such an amazing church family. Sometimes I could start feeling sorry for myself, but that's the road to resentment.
Mark, in this blog entry, seemed to have developed a spirit of resentment. Unless his wife has developed that too, I imagine she is extremely embarrassed by all of this. In the case that some real problems had developed in the church concerning his wife that were harmful to her, there would have been a more tactful way to address this, and probably in a prayerful, loving and kind way within the church congregation.

Anonymous said...

As I read, I was connecting with your thoughts regarding a leader/leader's spouse having close friendships. As a pastor's wife (albeit of smaller/more rural churches) I have definitely pondered the bff/friendship issue deeply. Some of the conclusions I've come to have more to do with trust than with getting close/not getting close to someone. I see you have Rage Against the Minivan in your fave blogs and I appreciated her entry a few days ago talking about addictive family systems and I think that same issue applies to the church. She listed a number of "reminders" when one is overcoming co-dependency (of which I think the church suffers from immensely). The deeper question for me is, "What is really transpiring in these friendships?" On a deep level, is it a trusting genuine friendship or is it a form of co-dependent neediness? I've had to approach many people with the "I'll tell you my problems after I'm over them" because I just didn't feel safe with them. My true friends, whom I am eternally grateful for, are those I can share myself with in the here and now and are servantlike with me and for me and I hope I am the same for them. But there is a time and a place for discerning the trust level and adjusting yourself accordingly.

Haven said...

nice post.thank you.........