Is It So Wrong to Want Rewards?
In December, a dear woman in our church handed me a tin of Christmas treats she'd made for our family, and as I received them, I felt tears immediately welling up in my eyes.
She didn't know and couldn't have known, but I had been in need of encouragement--even something as simple as a tin of cookies, something that expressed I'd been thought of and that I was appreciated
I'd actually been fighting against this desire for weeks, fighting against it because I felt it had crossed a line into craving approval and validation. Craving reward. Maybe even a little self-glory. The craving was strong in its temptation; my faith felt fragile and weak.
Is it so wrong to want reward? Sometimes I just want to know from God that what I'm doing for Him matters. Sometimes I want to see the fruit of my labor and get to rejoice at how the Lord is moving in and around me. But then sometimes a desire for reward is more sinister. I feel in my bones the lure of applause, money, worldly success, comfort, ease, and self-glory. All temporary, all things that might provide immediate gratification.
So in regard to encouragement, which is it: right or wrong?
my husband. How do you navigate this journey? It is awkward and sometimes I don't know whether to reach out to the wife or just let it go. It is a lot to go through as a family when you realize people that you labored with will no longer be there. And then the congregation questions us as to where these people have gone or why they have left."
I want to address this question in a way that will be beneficial for everyone in the church, whether you are a pastor's wife or a person leaving or considering leaving your church...
The Reality of Comparison
Do you have any "if only's" in your thought life? Are they holding you back, keeping you from moving forward? Beth Holmes shares with us the follies of comparison and ways to overcome our tendencies to compare.
“If only our church had a full-time children’s minister …"
“If only our women’s ministry could find its footing …”
“If only our people would volunteer more …”
The expression “if only” is a great temptation in ministry. If only everything and everyone would line up, then we could do what another church is doing. If only we could convince our people to do the right steps, then we could be like another church...read more
.Beth Holmes is a minister's wife and mom living in Owensboro, Kentucky, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2014. After spending a year learning to be brave through cancer treatments, God is teaching her again how to celebrate in 2016. Join her journey at bethholmes.wordpress.com. This blog was posted on June 15, 2017 at Flourish.
The phrase, “Don’t let the disappointment in a few keep you from loving the many,” comes from a chapter in my book, 10 Things Every Minister’s Wife Needs to Know. In recent days, I’ve gone through a season of disappointment, and I’ve had to remind myself of my own words. And unfortunately, I am pretty sure I will find myself there again in the future. You may say, well, that’s just ministry life. But it’s not. It’s everyone’s life, regardless of the occupation of your husband.
As minister’s wives, we can be tempted to withdraw or retreat, become bitter, give up or be resentful of hurts. But when we do that, we end up lonely and isolated, and we miss the blessings of the “many” God has called us to serve and serve with. We sometimes determine in our hearts we will never allow ourselves to be put in that position again—we determine not to be vulnerable or transparent ever again. We tell ourselves it’s not worth the effort or the hurt. Unfortunately, that gets us nowhere in the eyes of others, or most importantly, with the Lord.
So how are we to respond when we feel that keen disappointment in others? In my recent season, I deliberately decided to respond exactly opposite of how I felt on the inside. Rather than choosing to withdraw (my natural inclination) and retreat, I chose to take advantage of an opportunity to honor and commend others.
Rather than focusing on my personal disappointment,..read more
Jeana Floyd is the author of An Uninvited Guest: One Woman’s Journey from Cancer to Hope and 10 Things Every Minister's Wife Needs to Know. She and her husband, Ronnie W. Floyd, have been married for 39 years. They have two sons and seven grandchildren. Jeana celebrated 26 years as a cancer survivor on January 15, 2016. She has ministered to countless cancer patients and their families these past 26 years. More from this author
When we first started out in pastoral ministry, it seemed most of our decisions were made in reaction to whatever situation we were in. For the most part, that decision-making style served us pretty well. As time went on and we dived deeper into ministry, we found that life ran smoother if we did some proactive thinking and planning, asking ourselves questions like, "What would we do if...? How will our actions affect our children and our home?"
Amy Rager, a church-planter, writes about how she and her husband came to the same conclusions as we did. She gives us some tips on WWWD - What We Will Do - before the situation arises.
A little before midnight, there was a knock at our door. An officer apologized for waking us and asked my husband if he was Justin Smith’s pastor.
‘Pastor’ was probably a bit of a stretch. We met Justin and his wife around a month before at our church plant’s block party. They had attended worship gatherings sporadically. Nevertheless, Barry confirmed he was Justin’s pastor. The officer said there had been a domestic dispute. Justin had been arrested for physically assaulting Karly. He nodded towards the cruiser as he said, "We’re releasing him, but he can’t go home to his wife. You’re the only contact he has in the city. Can we put him in your care for the night?"
Barry and I looked at each other.
How could we tell an officer, "No, he’ll have to go back to holding for the night?" What would it do to his budding faith to watch—from the back of a police car—Christians turn him away? But what about our four sleeping children upstairs? Would we endanger them or expose them to ugly scenes by accepting this ministry opportunity? And how in the world could we make this decision within a matter of seconds? Read more here
Where do you go to learn about being a minister's wife?
It is our desire here at Refresh to see that each woman has a positive experience in partnership with their husband in ministry.
Bloom wants to provide guidance, support, connection, and encouragement to wives new to ministry through a connection with a seasoned and trained minister's wife using a Connect group created specifically for you. We'll use books to guide us in our conversations about the challenges, issues, benefits, and rewards of being a minister's wife.
We believe when women are strengthen, our families and churches are strengthened, and the ministry of the gospel is strengthened.
Interested in joining a Bloom Group?
Let us hear from you. Next group starting April 2018.