Honestly, I never felt called or led by God to be a pastor’s wife. Both of my sisters married pastors, and before I went to college my parents sweetly told me never to feel pressured to follow their path – the most important thing was to follow God’s leading for my life.
Most of the time when I was growing up I believed God was leading me to be a missionary overseas. I would pepper visiting missionaries with questions. I even got to the point where I practically told God, “I AM going to be a missionary, no matter what You think” (yikes). Finally, He got me to a point where I said, “YOUR will be done” (whew).
Zooming ahead … my husband and I both graduated from Bible college. Yet, we are not in full-time Christian service.
- Did we waste money and time on our Bible college education?
- Was it all for nothing?
- Are we disobeying God?
- Do we please God less because we are “electrical engineer” and “stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom” instead of “Rev.” and “Mrs. Pastor”?
It couldn’t be further from the truth! God in His wisdom led us to Bible college, and then He led us to be Full-Time Christians. In our church and in our community God opens up opportunities all the time to share His good gifts with others. We are far from perfect about following up on all of His opportunities, but with His strength He is using us and we are constantly in awe of His provision!
God doesn’t call each of His children into the same field. Where would we be if all believers were pastors and pastors wives? Where would the body of Christ – the foot, the eyes, the knees be, to fulfill the callings of the local church in our communities (I Corinthians 12)? He wisely places us in the position He knows will benefit from the talents He’s given us most effectively.
When Tim was attending Bible college, seeking God’s will for his life, his pastor took him aside privately and told him that he was confident that God wasn’t leading him to be a pastor. Was Tim willing and open to be one? Yes! But, God used his pastor, who knew his personality and heart well, to give him loving, specific counsel. Following Bible college, Tim pursued his (God given) interests in math, radio systems and computers, attending community college and then a state university. The education he learned there, especially learning how to work through the tests of faith and how to face the bombardment against God’s Word, has been priceless. I can’t tell you how many times God has opened doors for Tim (who pushed on the door of missions by taking a college Missionary Apprentice Program to France) in his engineering field to answer difficult questions about life, death, God, creation, family, etc. Tim’s Greek and doctrinal training from Bible college days helps in his teaching/music ministry at church, as well as on a daily basis enriching his personal Bible study and walk with God. God didn’t call him to be a pastor, but God is using him every day!
Before we were married, I taught for three years in a Christian school. Many of my students were from Ukraine, as well and Pakistan and India. One of my Indian students and her brother came to know Christ in our Christian school. A few years later their mom trusted Christ and has shared the gospel with family and friends around the world – many who are coming to know Christ personally! Praise the Lord!
A couple years ago we hosted a Muslim exchange student from the Philippines, and a Christian young lady from Ghana. Talk about a mission field! We are part of a church that is blessed with many students from all over the world attending a state university. God has brought the world to us. We are missionaries in our mid-western city – God’s place for us.
Our backgrounds come together to greatly help us in our most important mission field of all: our sons.
Most every day the boys and I pray for Daddy as he goes to his mission field at work, and for God to help us be a light for Jesus in our mission field: our neighborhood, and people we come into contact with at doctors offices, grocery stores, restaurants, parks, etc. Just today my oldest son wanted to give a gospel tract to some friends of ours who were visiting. Our mission field is very real!
Pastors and their wives, missionaries, missionary wives … these dear men and women have a sacred calling from God that is different from all else. As shepherds leading us, as they follow the Good Shepherd, they have unique responsibilities, challenges, sacrifices, and rewards. We must be committed to loving them (in word and deed!), praying for them, and supporting them. But, if God didn’t call us to those ministries, we would be sinning against Him by disobeying His lead in our lives. God’s will is the best place to be.
Perhaps, some time in the future, Tim and I might become missionaries. We’ve talked about the possibility that after his retirement from his engineering mission field, God may call us to serve in areas of Bible translation (he’s continued using his Greek and enjoys learning Hebrew in his spare time), teaching, technical help, music, etc. on foreign and domestic mission fields. Until then, we will walk with God daily on the mission field of His calling. He knows best, and we are confident He will lead us every step of the way!
Summary: We each need to seek God’s individual leading, through His Word and the guidance of godly counselors. He will, in time, impress us through His Spirit in the way we must go. No fear of missing the boat! Walk with Him today, every day, and He will faithfully guide to the next step. Churches need godly pastors and their wives, as well as godly laymen and laywomen.
What about you? Are you a Full Time Christian, where God has called you to be? God will provide all the strength and resources we need to fulfill His calling. Best of all, He promises to be with us every step of the way!