Some would not envy my life as a pastor's wife. Relationships, counseling, working weekends, spiritual warfare, expectations from others, expectations from yourself, expectations upon your children, around-the-clock ministry, receptivity to your husband's preaching: these all come to anyone's mind when I say that I'm married to a preacher. My husband, however, is not weighed down by any of these notions. He's concerned, yes, for the needs of his family and for the church, but is consumed with only one burden: the humbling responsibility of the pulpit and his personal love affair with Christ. Today is Sunday, and I was glad to be at church this morning. I often wonder as I settle in to the worship service, what other pastor's wives think about when they listen to their husbands preach the Word. Are they distracted by what they actually know of their spouses when not in the public eye? Or are they encouraged to study in greater depth because of the life their husbands lead. This morning, my mind was taken to a tucked-away memory of the first time I noticed my husband Troy at a Christian collegiate ministry function. The group was playing a typical ice-breaker game, which in college, is code for "an opportunity to find my future spouse." I'm sure I noticed his rugged handsomeness, but what made me look again was Troy's response to a question about "what you would never do." While others answered amusingly with phobias that would prevent them from skydiving or eating insects, Troy's response was this: "I pray I would never deny the name of Christ under persecution." So much for light-hearted fraternizing and flirtation. Nevertheless, we were married in two years time. I smiled as I thought of all that had changed in the last nine years, and all that had not--namely, Troy's dedication to Christ. My husband is not perfect, not even close--but I have never sat under his preaching with mistrust or a compromised conscience.
The Lord graciously affirmed my love and confirmed my admiration for my husband as he began to preach today. Troy opened up his time in the Word with a quote from the great 19th century servant George Mueller in response to Psalm 19:
The precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart . . .
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is thy servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man may be nourished.... I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it.
George Mueller of
What a privilege it is to know the man behind the pulpit...what a greater privilege it is to trust in the God who makes the heart of that man knowable.