I recently read Rob Parsons’ book, Getting Your Kids through Church without them Ending up Hating God. At one point, talking about over-busyness, he gives a poem sent to him anonymously by someone who only identified them-self as a pastor’s wife. It was very striking – here it is:
I want my husband to smile again.
I want to be able to talk to him after dinner.
I want our family to go out on Saturdays for a walk or shopping trip.
I want to be me – not ‘the minister’s wife’.
I want to sit in church, listen to the notices, and decide what I would like to go to.
I want my husband to come home at night and relax instead of just recharging the batteries and disappearing out again.
I want to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries always, not just when there are no church meetings.
I want to be able to tell the self-centred and self-righteous folk that they are.
I want him to come in at night and talk to us instead of slumping silently, reliving the awkward visit or difficult meeting he’s been at.
I want people to stop telling me how wonderful it must be to be the minister’s wife and then complain they’ve not had a visit for months.
I want people who regularly miss meetings because they’ve ‘had a busy day’ to let us miss occasional meetings because we’ve ‘had a busy day’.
I want him to come with me sometimes see our child swim or play football.
I want him to be my husband instead of their minister.
And I want not to be guilty about these things.
Parsons suggests that at the root of many of these issues is over busyness. We need to slow down, spend more time with family, which, in turn, will make us better pastors. The book is a quick and easy read and has much useful practical help. In a future post I’ll list his five dangers which threaten our kids. Buy two – you’ll want to pass them on.