As I type this very first offering for the new CWO Column, ‘The Preacher’s Wife’, I can’t help but laugh at God’s sense of humor. You see, I never in all my life planned on being a preacher’s wife so my presuming to write articles on the subject absolutely cracks me up.
You should know my big plans in high school included going to college and then moving to New York City. I was going to have an adorable apartment and be a hip, urban sophisticate. There were two things I was not going to do: get married or have children.
It makes sense how God would dare not suffer a girl so intent on having her own way. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Those steps God had already determined for me led straight to a handsome guy in the parking lot of my workplace. He said ‘hello’ and little did I know in that moment that the plans I had for my life would be forever changed.
Luke McKay was no preacher when I met him and I was certainly no preacher’s wife. We eventually married, but due to many ungodly decisions and actions, found ourselves filing for divorce just two short years after the ceremony. I moved out and it appeared the Story of Us was soon to end.
That’s when God showed up. Actually, He was there all along but we refused to see Him. Luke began calling me to say he had been praying of all things, and that perhaps we should rethink what we were doing. “Are you nuts?!” I would say right before I hung the phone up in his ear.
However, those prayers began their work, because within days I missed that boy so badly I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t know what to think about all his God talk, but I did know I wanted my husband back. And besides, I figured the Jesus stuff would blow over soon enough.
Was I ever wrong!
Part of our reconciliation was the agreement that we would go to church. I still harbored a ‘whatever’ attitude towards the religion thing, but through what can only be described as a MIRACULOUS work of the Holy Spirit, Luke and I were both born again. And it didn’t stop there.
I watched Luke carefully and what I saw was a man literally transformed before my eyes. I don’t know what I expected, but His zeal for the Word and desire to serve God seemed to surpass the usual and customary. So really, though it seemed incredulous, it should have been no surprise the day Luke came to see me at work to ‘tell me something really important’.
“God wants you to be a preacher, doesn’t He?”
I’ll never forget Luke’s face at that moment. The fear melted into relief when he realized that through my astonishment I couldn’t be more proud.
So why did I tell you all of this? Because you need to know that if God can redeem two scoundrels like Luke and I, and use us to His glory, then He can certainly use you too. You need to know that though a life in ministry is wrought with difficulty, it is also pervaded with joy. You also need to know that though statistics tell you that ministry will chew you up and spit you out, given the right tools, you’ll not only survive but you’ll thrive in this life that I personally wouldn’t trade for anything in this ‘ole world.
Through this column I plan on giving you practical, biblical application to questions you have about your husband’s calling and your place in it. I would also love to introduce you to dozens of my closest blog friends, whose husbands also serve in all areas of ministry. I believe the largest percentage of our discouragements can be solved through community and I pray you will find those safe friendships here.
I invite you to submit questions to this column by contacting me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Obviously I won’t be able to answer them all each month, but I will certainly try to address common themes. By sharing what I’ve learned as the wife of a minister, I hope to save you from the pitfalls I’ve experienced. To spare you a few years, to guard you from a few heartaches, and to let you know you are not alone. To convince you that your unique gifts and personality can translate into one fantastic pastor’s wife whether or not you are an outgoing hostess, your flower beds are weeded, or you and the kids are on time for Sunday School.
I pray with all my heart that you know how excited I am about this column, and the deep affection I have for those of you who are married to the ministry!
©2008, Lisa McKay