Thursday, January 28, 2010

Marriage and Ministry

Bobby and I will celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary in July. We have been pastoring for 30 years! WOW! How time flies when you are having fun!!! Seriously, time has passed so quickly. Our children are grown, married and now we are grandparents. We have pastored our current church for 11 years. We are definitely in a new season of life.

Marriage in the ministry is a tough assignment and if someone tells you otherwise I am not certain they are being completely honest about the journey or else they are still on their honeymoon!

Bobby and I were married very young. We were high school sweethearts and married a month after I graduated from high school. The following month we left to attend Bible College in another state. Those were extremely challenging years. Not only were we young and immature, but we were trying to adjust to ministry, marriage, college and living in another state away from all our family!

Just because two Christians decide to marry doesn't mean you will be exempt from challenges, stress and heartache. Life happens and Christians are faced with trials just like anyone else. The one significant difference in our lives which is definitely our anchor - we have Jesus.

If I have to identify a "surprise" about our marriage it would have to be the fact that I had absolutely no idea ministry would be so difficult. I wasn't raised in a Christian home. Many times the stress of ministry overwhelmed both of us and it created so much stress in the early years of our marriage. As a young pastor's wife my life was full of insecurites and intimidation which hindered my walk with Christ and my role as a pastor's wife. But as the years passed we have learned to be a support for one another and that is extremely important. Ladies, our husbands, as pastors, deal with many challenging issues and they need someone who will listen to them standy by them and support them. If we are not that person they may find someone else who will. There are women out there who are attracted to our husbands and we need to protect what God has given us.

I am very involved in our ministry and Bobby and I confide in one another. Friday nights are our "date night" and we try very hard to keep that as a sacred time together. Life gets very hectic and you need time to simply enjoy each other's company and reconnect after a busy week of events.

There are many challenges that come along with ministry but through the years those challenges have made our marriage stronger. We have learned to trust God in all circumstances. Praying together and allowing God to guide our next step has certainly been the answer to many situations we have faced.

The one thing I realize after all these years is that I love my husband more today than the day I married him. As we grow older, the wrinkles increase and the hair changes color but my love for Bobby grows even stronger. He is my best friend, an awesome father to our children, an incredible grandfather and the love of my life. I thank God everyday for giving him to me and calling both of us into the ministry! I can't imagine my life any other way.


1 comment:

  1. Debbie: I so appreciate your candor. I too wish I would've known how hard ministry would be when I said "I Do." I still would have married my hus, but at least I'd have been forewarned.

    I appreciate all you are doing to help us pw's stay on track with Jesus and our mates.

    Love you,
    Audience of ONE