In May of 2006, on our second date, Robby told me he was planning on being in full-time ministry. He wanted me to know of his plans right away, in case they were a deal-breaker. Now, if I hadn’t been completely thrilled about our growing relationship and slightly googly-eyed over this handsome guy sitting next to me, I may have run for the hills. Me? Married to a man in ministry? Maybe even a pastor’s wife? God, I think there are plenty of other girls to choose from who would be much better at this job than me, ok? Praise the Lord that these thoughts of mine were fleeting, and I responded to Robby with an, “Oh, that’s awesome!”
Throughout our marriage, God has used my role of “pastor’s wife” to mold and shape me in ways I didn’t know I needed. Here are two of the (many) lessons I’ve learned that I believe can be of value no matter who you’re married to or even if you’re not married at all.
Lesson 1- You don’t have to be perfect, and you need to stop trying to be.
As Robby and I were engaged and our wedding was approaching, I had a picture in my mind of how I would partner alongside my husband and be the best youth pastor’s wife on Earth. I would always say the right things, look the right way, always have the perfect word of advice for a student in need, I’d never have a bad attitude, and I’d never even THINK about gossiping. Overall, my plan was to just be so super holy. Well, I can imagine you’re chuckling a bit to yourself right now (and if you know me well, I can guarantee that you are!). Because perfect execution of these ideals, however noble they may be, is UNATTAINABLE this side of heaven! Besides, who wants a perfect mentor? That is Jesus’ job anyways. The people I look up to and admire do struggle, have flaws, are honest with their shortcomings and wholeheartedly seek Jesus through it all. Being real is so much more valuable than being perfect. My goal now is to be someone who uses her life, struggles and all, to point others to God as they see Him working in me to make me more like his Son.
Lesson 2- Your contentment and joy is a huge blessing to your husband.
It’s not easy being a pastor. No matter how much any man loves his job, there are sure to be some draining days. Many of my days are filled with taking care of our two year old daughter (while growing her baby brother inside me), trying to keep us all fed, and attempting to maintain a “clean enough” home. I, like Robby, could definitely classify many of my days as draining. On the days when I just want to be a grouch because Greta skipped her nap, slapped me in the face, her birthday fish died, and I just have the hardest life EVER, I have found it benefits my entire family immensely when I choose joy. When I align my perspective with Jesus’ and focus on what matters eternally, I’m able to find the blessings in my daily challenges. Skipped nap? I can rejoice because I get more time with my girl! Slap in the face from my daughter? I can thank God for choosing me to guide, shape and discipline this little human. Dead fish? I can seize the opportunity to talk with Greta about how Jesus rose from the dead for us (unlike her fish “Orange” and “Baby”). With my mind on the Lord and his blessings, I am then capable of creating a happy atmosphere at home. An atmosphere that makes Robby excited to come home each day and find refuge with his family.
I am so thankful that God perfectly tailors our life circumstances to shape us into who he wants us to be. His plans are always so much better than mine.