Written By: Pastor Kerrington Sweeney
Now this is not just for the wives of pastors, because like us…we have a little bit of different scenario. If you are a spouse or a future spouse to a person in ministry, or you are in ministry yourself…this post is for you.
Being a woman serving in part-time ministry and my future husband working towards a pastoral position working with youth, it keeps us very busy. Between my own pastoral ministry duties at my church, then youth volunteering, leading worship at different churches when asked, preaching ever so often, and then leading the entire young adults ministry at his church…our plates are pretty full…all. the. time.
People often have made comments in the past to us, because well honestly, how many female children’s pastors are dating while being in this potion of ministry. At first I took those rude comments and placed them so deep in my heart…but now, I have learnt over months time to properly disregard of them quickly. Because we have enough to worry about.
With these leadership positions we have been given and placed in, we have learnt sacrifice very early on into our relationship. Exactly 10 days after we started dating. It was then, on our very first date out, that I got the phone call for the position at my church.
The word Sacrifice has many meanings but, this definition stood out to me the most,
“a move intended to allow the opponent to win a pawn or piece, for strategic or tactical reasons”
This truly blessed my heart immensely. A move, intended to allow the opponent to win. Wow. This is so true. He had to move aside so early on into our relationship, in order for me to win…for a strategic and tactical reason lead by the Holy Spirit. We both had to move our hearts into a position allowing us both to win in this situation. Now may I remind you that following September before I was given this position, my plans were to officially attend his home church and get my membership. I was wanting to begin making that “our” church together. I was ready to start that area of my life with him. A new chapter. But then, God had other plans.
Something I have learnt ever so often in life growing up and even more so now in ministry, is that the plans you have always change. Word of advice for the day…DON’T MAKE PLANS. Now I’m not telling you to attempt to delete your calendar app altogether on your iPhone 6. (cause you literally can’t..I dare you, go try!) But don’t set to much in your calendars…allow space for the Holy Spirit to intervene and give you some strategic plans.
Now back to sacrifice, there has been many a times where I want to tell him something or make sure he is okay and he’s off like the races doing something for someone, or He’s already up on the platform about to lead worship or preach. There are times of lonely on this side of the fence in ministry.
When I want to visit but, he has stuff going on for church that needs to be done setting up for an event or important meetings to attend to. Men and women in ministry, like I know how he felt and how I personally felt…don’t feel like you’re the second in life. You should feel like you’re the “first” in his/her life because, he/she is so willing and so passionate about the work of The Lord that really, you’re winning in this too.
Your spouse or future spouse is selflessly serving God on a daily basis. How blessed are we truly? Now don’t you start thinking that ministry is all rainbows and butterflies because of this…honestly, its not. It’s hard. It’s tear filled. It’s an emotional place to be.
We knew what we were getting into saying “Yes” to God. We knew the possibilities, we knew the stats, we knew that this could potentially ruin and fracture the foundational moments in the beginning stages of our relationship. Yet, we said yes. The calling of ministry God had placed upon us, we then turned around and placed it at His feet. Giving Him our all. Sacrificing our own needs and wants, for the better of others.
When the days are rough…I remember this. That He has created me to boldly approach His throne and pursue His presence. The giants, the never ending expectations, the oppressing constant pressures, the corrupted voices of the enemy, and the twisted words and labels are NOT our portion. No longer, do we have to be enslaved.
Wherever you are, whatever position or title you hold. Give it to God. The days when you feel lonely, press into His rich presence. He’s there with you…never forsaking you.
He’s your shield, your comforter, your strong tower.
The next time you see the spouse or future spouse of a pastor. Pray for them. Pray that God gives them strength and endurance in the moments of exhaustion. Encourage them by asking if they need any help. Bless them with wherever you may see a need in their life…remember you don’t know what they are walking through personally when they are in the pews themselves.
Until Next Time,