Have you ever wondered what God expects of you?
You know what your church denomination, your church elders, some of your church people and even your husband expect of you. They have at times told you exactly what they expect.
I sat with God on one particular ‘I’m over it all’ day. I started our conversation with, ‘I don’t think I want to be a pastor’s wife anymore’. I chose my words carefully because I knew that if I acted on this thought I would basically be walking away from the calling of God I knew was on my life.
No lightning bolt from heaven struck me dead. Only a question. ‘Why do you think you don’t want to be a pastor’s wife anymore?’
Have you ever told God your honest thoughts and feelings about ministry life during those roller coaster or tear soaked seasons?
God had asked me the question so I answered. Out poured all my pain, concluding with, ‘the way is too hard and the cost is too great’. God’s response. Silence.
Where do you go to find God’s expectation of a pastor’s wife? Must be the Bible, right. She absolutely must be there in Scripture. Included would also be a complete full description of her required character, responsibilities, and a detailed job description. After all everyone knows the pastor’s wife plays a vital role in the life of the church. She had to be found in Scripture somewhere. So to the Scriptures I went.
I was looking for the pastor’s wife but truthfully, I was looking for myself. To find myself in the pages of my Bible so I would know who I was and what I was meant to be doing. I found myself drowning under the weight of both real and perceived expectation. Expectation I placed upon myself, the expectation I thought my husband had of me and expectation I thought God had of me. I was convinced the pastor’s wife was right up there alongside Wonder Woman. If not Wonder Woman then definitely she was the 6th member of the 5-fold ministry gifts to the church. Eph 4:11 The apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher and pastor’s wife.
To my amazement I couldn’t find her on any of the pages of my Bible. She isn’t there.
4 Expectations of God and the Reasons I Didn’t Resign.
1. Everyone and everything falls into place behind your God
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment’. Matt 22:37,38.
As you put God first. As everyone and everything else falls into place behind God, your perspective changes. You begin to see with fresh eyes the overload you have allowed to engulf you.
God didn’t have you born into His family so He could overload and exhaust you working for Him. He had you born into His family so He could have a relationship of love with you. All things were created through Him and for Him. Col 1:16. First and foremost, you were created for Him, to bring Him enjoyment. Relationship with God precedes service for God.
In John’s letter to the Ephesian church God says, ‘…you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake. Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love’. Rev 2:3,4
God’s expectation is for you to firstly love Him.
2. Love people
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matt 22:39. Loving people is an automatic overflow of loving God. You may not always like certain people but it is possible to tap into God’s love for them and express that love to them.
God’s 2nd expectation for you is to love people.
3. Have integral character
The pastor’s wife is not mentioned in Scripture, but there is one verse for a deacon’s wife. Their (deacons’) wives are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 1 Tim 3:11.
Fundamentally she is to be a woman with integral character.
God’s 3rd expectation for you is to be a woman of integral character.
4. Activate and operate the gifts God has given you
The 4th Scripture that lifted off the page of my Bible was 1 Cor 12 where Paul gives explicit instruction to use the gifts God has personally given to you according to His good pleasure.
These gifts may differ to those activities you are currently engaged in or which have become your responsibility for any number of reasons. Discover or rediscover the gifts given by God to you, then activate them or realign your service with them.
Your gifts will raise your enthusiasm, motivate and energize you.
God’s 4th expectation of you is to use the gifts He has personally given to you.
When you put these 4 expectations together in a nut shell it means you are to love God first and foremost, then love your neighbour, be a woman of integral character and activate the gifts He has given you.
When I discovered these truths a freeing feeling of relief flooded through my soul and the great burden of my imagined expectations lifted off my shoulders. I found myself making a statement of confidence, ‘I can do this. These 4 expectations God is asking of me are doable. I can love Him, love people, be a woman of character and use my gifts’. And so can you.