The Truth about Being a Pastor’s Wife: Sitting Duck Syndrome

Disclaimer: I think that we’re all very aware that I don’t have it all together – that I’m just a gal limping along from one day to the next trying to figure out how to let Jesus be enough in and through me. It has recently been brought to my attention, however, that I may have given you a false sense of perfection within Josh and within our marriage. Let me be clear – he is flawed just as much as your man. Seriously. And our marriage? Today it might resemble a stroll in the Garden of Eden itself but tomorrow it will likely look more like a long crawl in a lonely desert. We do not have it all together. I think he’s incredible in a lot of ways. In the ways that I don’t, well, that’s for me, Josh, and God to work through. I’m not going to lay it out there for all of you because his flaws are not mine to share. I just want you to know that they are there and they are real – just like yours and just like mine. More importantly, he loves Jesus and he is a better man than he was three years ago. We have a better marriage than we did three years ago. Works in progress, people! Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. Hebrews 13:7

Back in 2007 when Josh declared his excitement about working in ministry full time, I declared my UN-excitement for a variety of reasons – the most significant one being that I did not/do not want our marriage, our family, or our life to be one giant sitting duck. Let me explain. People have a tendency to place those who work in full time ministry a notch or two above the rest of us. The expectations are higher, the dependency is greater, and the attention to the details of their lives is more intense. This freaks me out because, hello? Gal limping. Works in progress. Flawed man. And people are supposed to be watching us carefully? Just typing that sentence makes my heart flutter and my stomach swirl.

Sitting Duck Syndrome. When God singles someone out and tells everyone else to “look at the way they live and to let their faithfulness instruct,” Satan does not hold back. He takes aim and shoots to kill. He is ruthless and unfair and has himself a big ole’ time wreaking havoc in the lives of anyone who anyone thinks is a faithful follower of Jesus. So, it freaked me out. It still freaks me out because I get it. He doesn’t play fair. He targets my marriage where it is the weakest. He does it slowly so that I don’t really notice. He targets our family life so that there is a constant feeling of unrest and lack of peace within our home but we aren’t really sure what to give up in order to restore it. He targets my attitude and my fears so that I walk around so preoccupied with my own little world that I fail to live in the world all around me. He gives me front row seats to other ministry families barely surviving through sin or sickness or wayward children. He watches as I panic and hide under a blanket of worry and isolation because I’m trying so hard to protect our family. He’s mean and nasty and he pretty much sucks.

My word for 2013 is Pray. I am not hiding this year. I am getting on my knees and joining the battle. If Satan wants to take a shot at us, fine, but I am not going to stare helplessly down the barrel of his gun. Shield of faith and sword of truth, baby. Do what you will, big fat butt-faced liar, but we are letting our Jesus fight for us, and he wins this war. Boo-yah!

So, this is me celebrating that last little bit of Hebrews 13:7. “…as well as their truthfulness.” Jesus is the only source of any and all good in us – in our family – so we are hanging on to him. That’s the best thing any of us can do – hold on to Jesus and be honest about the struggles and joys of this life. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me be honest with you and for being honest right back!

Keep on keepin’ it down and dirty. Love y’all like crazy!

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