Friday, August 19, 2005

Reason #Three: He really is a great pastor!

My husband wears many hats, but he has one mantle (figuratively speaking). Since the tender young age of twelve, he has had the calling of God upon his life to be a "Shepherd of the Flock." I knew that when I met him, because we were at students at the same Bible College. I also had a calling into the ministry since I was young, and told people who inquired what I wanted to be when I grew up that I wanted to be a missionary's wife, an evangelist's wife, or a pastor's wife. So, off I went to Bridal--er, I mean BIBLE--College to "get me a man to marry!" Some might argue that I was just following in the footsteps of my parents, who met at Bible College; that I was just trying to please my dad and carry on the "family business" since he was a pastor and I was the first-born. But I believe there is a special calling for a pastor's wife, and I was even voted "Most Likely to Be the Perfect Pastor's Wife" in college. I still have the paper plate award! (It's framed and hanging on my wall; no, not really!)

There are good pastors, and there are great pastors, and there are pastors who never should have gotten behind a pulpit. My dad was one of the latter; he really struggled to be successful in the ministry and he mostly failed, although he was a caring, loving counselor to the sick and the elderly. But DH (Dear Hubby) is a great pastor! Everybody likes him, from little old ladies to brawny sports players. He is authentic, genuine, real; a man of integrity and humility; sincerely compassionate and incredibly generous. He is just what a grown-up Boy Scout should be: a nice guy!

Being a great pastor takes more than just being a nice guy. He really is a great preacher, too. I'm being very honest when I say that last Sunday morning's sermon (second service) was the best sermon on sex I've ever heard in my life. Get the tape! (Better yet, wait until it is uploaded to the church website.) I have never heard the message against sexual immorality so clearly and strongly presented, right out of the Book of Revelation (using the text to the Church of Pergamum, Rev. 2:11). I told him that, and so did at least 15 people on Monday morning!

Now all that was introductory material for my little sermonette: The third reason I love my husband is that he really is a great pastor. I love him because he loves God so deeply and fully that he has given his entire life to serve Him in full-time ministry. I love him because he loves His people with such fervor that he literally "counts his sheep" when he lays in bed at night, asking me, "Have you seen the Jones' family at church lately?" I love him because he loves the church so much it makes me jealous of all the time and attention he puts into it. Actually, I don't love that part so much, because he is a workaholic and I don't think he has to love his work THAT MUCH! I love the fact that I don't inwardly shudder with mortal embarassment when he stands behind the pulpit (unless he is saying something about me!) or stifle a thousand yawns every time he preaches a sermon. Believe me, I've sat through thousands of sermons, and every time my DH preaches it is different, even when it is the same sermon for both morning services. You can ask the staff if you don't believe me.

Lest you think I am exaggerating or being at all facetious, I will say that it's not easy being married to a pastor. It means that he is not only my husband, he is my pastor. I don't particularly like everything that he has done as my husband, or as my pastor. In fact, during one very difficult season in our lives, if I could have, I would have left my church and gone to another one! [Everybody else blames it on the pastor when they want to leave the church, right? He is either too worldly--"He just doesn't preach THE WORD!" or he is too spiritual--"He preaches over our heads!"; or he's too lazy or too busy; too unfriendly or too friendly!]

I love my husband because he is very good at what he does: As the Senior Pastor (CEO), he is a proficient administrator, very knowledgeable with computers and finances. As a Counselor, he listens with empathy and highly trained skills. (He is always continuing his education: a good teacher is never unteachable.) As a Chaplain, he is available at all hours of the night for emergencies and crises, and has been known to spend all day in the waiting rooms of hospitals to be with family members. As a District Leader, he has taken his pastoring to a higher level, and is now pastor to other pastors.

It's a tremendous blessing to be married to a man I can respect and admire, a man who holds the respect of his congregation, his staff, his colleagues, and his family.

Lord, help me to show him my love and respect; especially when he is plagued by self-doubt and satanic accusations and lies. The last thing he needs is a wife who belittles and barrages him around every corner.

It is better to dwell in a corner of the rooftop, than with a brawling (contentious) woman in a wide house. Proverbs 21:9