Time is honestly flying by! It’s like, March already. Can somebody pinch me please? While I pull myself towards myself – let’s just dive in shall we. I have been wanting to do this kind of post for a very, very, very, VERY long time. I have been playing with the idea like a cat with a ball of wool. It’s been one of those that I haven’t been too sure about and also, will it be well received? Do people really want to know about this kind of thing…. So after much pondering, and running it by a few people I decided to just do it and see what happens. Not to really get a response, but to see if it will begin to help some people.
Ok, I hear you – what idea is it Shaveh?So, I’ve been a ministry wife for some time now and it often seems like a very lonely place to be. Very often it ‘seems’ like it, where in actual fact there are so many of us living this life and going through very similar circumstances. The only thing about this life is that there is no age to it. You can be 19 and newly married to a pastor that you just knew was meant to be you life. Or, you can be 63 and suddenly be transitioning into a life that is consumed with people and loving them all the time.
The one thing that is definitely common in most of these cases that I’m wanting to share with you, is that there is or was always a 2 person team involved. First up – don’t get me wrong, there are lovely people who live this life as singles til their passing day and I’m not belittling that. What I’m wanting to shed some light on – is the behind the scenes thoughts and hearts that tick behind the guy that’s up front and center.
So what I’ve been wanting to do is gather a tossed salad of ladies who are these “behind the scenes women”, and just ask simple questions weekly that might help you understand this kind of life better. Especially as an outsider or if you’re just starting out in this ‘ministry life’ journey – there are things that might resonate with you that could either help you along or maybe even give you the space to share your victories, tragedies, mistakes and trials as well. (leave your email in comment section at the bottom if you’re keen to share your story as well and I’ll mail you)
I’ve decided to keep the identities of these women anonymous, so that they have the absolute freedom to share potentially raw stories with us as well as protect and honour those around them and in the stories as well.
Before you read their amazing responses – I really want you to see something different here. Not everyone is the same. Personalities are beautifully different – so as much as one may give a simpler response compared to the others – I want you to enjoy the beauty of diversity and being who we are – unashamedly.
Ok, so the first question I put out to these lovely women was,
When you thought about your life (before you were married) did you know that you were going to be involved in ministry – in the way that you are?”…..
“If yes, what do you wish you could have told yourself back then that you know now?
If no, was it an adjustment to the idea when the focus changed or did it come naturally?”…
Yes, I did know before we were engaged that we would one day be in full time ministry. Without me knowing, my hubby had wanted me to settle whether I was called to full time ministry or not before we got engaged. Due to the nature of his calling, he felt a mutual calling was important. I was praying and seeking God and shared one evening that I felt God had affirmed a full time ministry call on my life. Without me knowing, his heart leapt when I shared this as he felt he could then plan “The Proposal”.
I am so grateful as I look back that I was sure of my personal call. The journey has had it’s fair share of challenges and I may have felt it was his choice or call to be in ministry and blame him in the tough seasons.
Instead, we have been able to face many a storm, united in our call and standing together. For this I will always be grateful.
I would like to give you a little background of my life as to where I’m coming from. As a young girl, I grew up in a “Godly” home, where my paternal grandfather was a priest in a church similar to the NG (Neder Gerevormeerde) church. We used to live with them (grandparents) up until I was the age of 8 or 9. Then my parents bought a house in Mitchells Plain and thereafter we never attended church at all.
As a young girl growing up, I never ever thought of myself being a minister’s wife, as my dad was never interested in attending church and as children we would often hear how my grandpa would have him locked up in jail for not wanting to attend church. Although my mom was a Sunday school teacher – while living with my grandparents, she never continued going to church when we moved about 30km away from our grandparents.
At the age of 13/14 a school friend of mine invited me to a pentecostal church and it was there that I accepted Jesus Christ for the first time. It was tough as my parents and sister were not believers and now I was the only one serving the Lord. As time went on, I backslid and enjoyed the pleasures of the world as a teenager, by smoking, drinking and just having a good time with friends. At the age of 16, I met my husband who invited me to a Crusade, which was held on a field close to my grandpa’s house and in this time he (grandpa) had committed his life to Christ.
So my hubby was playing the bass guitar in this band, who helped churches with Crusades. At one of the Crusades I once again committed my life to Christ and this time I was serious about it. I used to testify and sing a song and realized that I have a gift to sing and joined up with the band. From there our ministry started, but I never knew that the calling was much higher than singing and playing the bass guitar in a revival band. We got married at a very young age, as I fell pregnant and my hubby’s parents were all about “doing the right thing”.
We remained serving in the band and in later years, the leader of the band would ask my husband to minister the Word of God. He never mumbled or complained. He was always ready to preach and grew a love for teaching God’s Word. I always knew that he had a strong faith in the Lord Jesus when I met him, but I never thought that it would take us on the path that it took us. I think I gradually just “eased” into the position of being a pastor’s wife and being involved in the ministry. Over the years I’ve learnt a lot from my senior Pastor’s wife, who is now retired. So I feel it’s important to have someone who you can relate to and also learn from.
Not at all. I never thought that I would actually be involved with churchy things because of my colourful past. The adjustment was not too hectic, at first. Sharing from my life was easy and letting God use me came naturally to me. The adjustment was finding my place within the church. Am I still me or am I just a ‘man of God’s’ wife? Do I have an identity of my own or am I the automatic bonus when people speak to my husband.
Being in ministry alongside my husband made things easier. Also because we try to be very open about things that bother us. I have no filter when it comes to such things – let’s get it out and deal with it.
I didn’t grow up in ministry like my husband did, therefore he had to educate me on how people see me and how things work. If anyone told me before marriage that I would be so involved I would not have believed them. Though I had to change a lot of my skewed mindsets and perceptions about being in ministry, it was all for the better. Above all I am his wife first, then a mother and then only comes our ministry.
I believe ministry is a calling, not a career choice. Some people are given this calling early and some are not. I was fortunate enough to know early on that I would be working for the Lord; although I could not understand then, all that it would involve. So, yes AND no?
The quicker I would have learned how deep selfishness runs, how thoroughly it can corrupt the mind, and how only renewing the mind by intentionally focusing on what is holy and pure (having the mind of Christ) can free us from the selfish patterns we all as humans tend to fall into, the better off I would have been. It takes purpose of heart to pursue the things of the Lord with purity and love, no matter what one’s hands are set to. It is not natural. The natural man is at enmity with the spirit, (Romans 8:7). Yet through the power of the Spirit we have freedom!!
No, I expected to teach in a classroom.
It wasn’t difficult to adjust to ministry as I was still teaching kids, so it seemed a natural shift. In fact, it was amazing to be mentoring kids in the most important part of life.
ME – Shaveh
You know what? I was one of those that knew from when I was very little that I would be a “ministry guy’s” wife. I say ministry guy because I distinctly remember knowing that it wouldn’t be a pastor….. I laugh at that now because it’s amazing how God plants the seed of your destiny in your heart that grows into a vineyard of endless perspectives. So, yes – I did know.
I know my answer is yes, but the adjustment was insane – so I’m going to answer both yes and no as well. For those that know me – “no filter” tends to follow me everywhere. I was recently introduced like this….. “There’s only one question you’ll never have to ask Shaveh and that’s, ‘what are you thinking?’”. That’s like 2 months ago! And let me tell you that I have a bigger filter now than I had when I was 22. (that’s when I got married) Like WIFE #1 & #4 said, Ministry is a calling. Living this life and walking alongside a guy like mine and dealing with what he does – is not easy….. especially without a filter. I am grateful for Tim’s patience to teach me how to “respond” and not “react”. God’s done His massive fair share of grinding away at my pride and callous nature. It’s been a journey I wouldn’t replace and I’m honestly looking forward to more growth in it as well.
If there’s any questions you want me to ask for future posts – share them in the comments section of the blog below and I’ll get them answered. This is great place to learn from each other and it really helps when you engage with me as well.