when his ministry cramps your style... (part1)

>> November 16, 2008

Hi, I'm Sarah. As a pastor's wife in my late 20s, I've often heard other minister's wives in my generation express regret or even antagonism toward their husband's career.

"It’s his job, not mine! His congregation, not mine. His calling, not mine."

It's natural to struggle against our own hearts. Some of us don’t want to be called. We’d like to let all the divine calling be for our husbands.

Admittedly, being a pastor’s wife (PW) has its unique challenges and joys. It’s not like being the wife of the banker or doctor or even the plumber. People watch us, measuring our performance against their own (often unreasonable) expectations. And let's be totally honest, the life of a PW can occasionally be downright inconvenient, getting in the way of our plans, our dreams, our visions of how marriage and family life would be.

In this generation we’re often trapped between culture and our biblical calling. Society says we can have it all – the career, the kids, the home – but never urges us to ask God what He calls us to be.

Before we can begin to acknowledge, accept and even embrace our role and calling as PWs, we must first find our identity in biblical womanhood.

And it’s not easy. In fact, it's counter-cultural. American society (exported worldwide) urges women to be self-serving, self-involved and self-absorbed. We just call it independence, ambition and confidence. It’s a daily struggle to reject contemporary culture and surrender first to God.

Proverbs 31 describes the biblical woman as someone who isn’t afraid to work with her hands, and who loves serving people. This woman is strong, loves beauty, and stays organized. She’s someone who blends kindness and capability so well that her husband’s reputation is built up because of how she acts. Everything she does enhances the lives of those around her.

Heavily influenced by the feminist movement, American culture tells us to protect ourselves. Be independent. Focus on our own needs first. Look out for ourselves, because if you don't take care of yourself, who will? But Scripture says we are created to serve each other. Live for the well-being of others, and the church. Set aside our wants for the good of other people. And submit ourselves to the authority and leadership of the man God placed at the head of our households. Ouch!

As biblical women we choose to live differently than other women around us. Different attitudes. Different priorities. Different expectations of ourselves and others. It’s about sorting through our culture, and taking only the best and most biblical. It's about holding tight to what is good.
(read part 2)

How has your thinking about what it means to be a woman been influenced by feminist ideas?

1 comments:

FreeMommie November 18, 2008 at 5:34 PM  

My ideas on womanhood have been heavily influenced by feminism. It's funny how you can be a raging feminist and not even know it. I was always taught to look out for myself and make sure everything got done. I was never taught to never depend on anyone else, much less a man. It made for a difficult situation when "a man" became my husband whom God created for me to depend on. Upon coming to Christ and adopting new ideals, I've struggled with resisting my take control and "I could be doing so much better" attitude. Initially, I looked at my husband and marriage as doomed and a heavy burden. I didn't understand that I was the one making it more difficult then it was created to be. Feminism is deadly and has been destroying our families for decades. If there's anything I want to guard my daughter's heart from, it's definitely feminism.

Great post! I'm not a PW, but I can definitely relate to much of what you guys discuss here!

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