Fifteen years ago today I stood at the front of Grace Community Baptist Church in Monticello, Indiana, as my future father-in-law walked my bride up the aisle. Little did we know at that time the twists and turns our life together would take. She was a teacher; I was a computer network technician. About two years later, however, I began to feel the pull into the pastorate. Although we did not know where this new path would lead us, she supported me in it wholeheartedly.
I would like to say that every day in the ministry has been a blessing and that we have reveled in the glory of serving God full time. The truth, as all in the ministry know, is far from that. The enemy has fought every step of the way. No mountaintop experiences have been achieved without a difficult climb.
For me—I’m ok with that. I feel the calling from God to do this. I am the one with the title. When things go well, I often get the credit. When things go bad, I take the blame. I can accept that because I have the authority to make decisions that lead to the outcome.
My wife, however, has to go along for the ride. While she can offer advice, she cannot make the final decision. Yet she is forced to live with the consequences. When I make unpopular decisions, she innocently must endure the wrath of those who do not agree.
The role of the pastor’s wife is a very difficult one. She often lives in a house that is not her own, she feels the pressure of raising a perfect family, and has to listen to her husband preach each week when she knows his faults and hypocrisies. She does not get to enjoy the luxury of staying home on a Sunday evening just because she’s tired or wants a little family time.
When we walked the aisle fifteen years ago, we did not know this was in our future. God did, however, and He put us together. He knew that we could make more of a difference together than we could have independently. Although we did not know how we would have to live out the “richer or poorer” and “in sickness and in health” parts of our vows, God knew it and has given us the strength to make it through.
So, Lori, I want to say that I love you and I am so thankful that you have stayed with me and supported me through these years. Happy anniversary!