Husband’s Position- My husband is an associate pastor at Hillcrest Baptist Church in El Paso, Texas.
How long have you been married? 10 years in June
How many children/grandchildren do you have? How old are they? We have three blessings: Clayton (13); Quinton (8); and Hudson (1). The Lord chose to build our family in a unique way – our older two are family members of ours that we are raising. I thought it might be a good idea to point that out since, if you do the math, we shouldn’t have a 13-year-old yet J
1. Where/How did you meet your husband? We met our freshman year (2000) at Heartland Baptist Bible College.
2. When did you get saved? I was saved on November 1, 1998.
3. Can you share your testimony? I would love to! The Lord has been so good to me! I was raised in a single-parent, Christian home and I am SO thankful that my mom had us in church (Eastside Baptist Church in Sioux Falls, SD) from an early age. I had been told that I had made a profession of faith when I was young. While I was in high school, I really started struggling with assurance of my salvation as I just did not remember anything about my so-called profession. After going back and forth for quite a while, I just decided I was going to take care of it right then so that I had no more doubting. I was 16 when I accepted Christ and am so grateful to now have that sweet assurance. (Side note: after coming to the Lord, a sweet lady in our church tracked down the information regarding the profession I had made as a young child – I was barely three. That would explain why I hardly remembered it!)
4. How long have you been in the ministry? Combined total of almost six years (this is our second ministry – we took a break in between ministries for my husband to finish his schooling).
5. How did you know the Lord wanted you in the ministry? Was it hard for you to submit to that or did you know 100% sure right away that this is what God wanted for your life? You know, I really did know from early on – before I even met my husband. When I left for Bible college, I just had a feeling that I wouldn’t be moving back home as I felt the Lord had something else for me. I don’t remember a specific call from the Lord, but more an assurance (especially while I was in Bible college) that being in the ministry is what He had for me. I did not have a difficult time submitting to it at all. I think this is because of the influence my home pastor and his family had on me. I saw what a blessing it was (for me personally) to have someone follow the Lord and be in the ministry and I have always been grateful for the opportunity to try and be a blessing in the same way to someone else.
6. How old were you when you your husband first held a position of leadership? I was 20 when he first became the youth pastor at his home church (Bible Baptist Church, Ennis, Texas).
7. And if you were young, did you have a hard time adjusting because of your age? Did you feel “ready” to be in that position? Did you feel you had a harder time being respected or taken seriously because of your age? YES, NO, and somewhat J The first six months we were working with the youth, we had a group of kids that were barely younger than me and some of them had actually been in the youth group WITH my husband… pretty awkward J Anyway, they were real sweet about it and the next “crop” of teens were much younger and we were able to have them through most of their high school years. I feel like I was my own worst enemy as far as making myself feel inadequate because I was so young. No one else made me feel that way, just me. The adults at our church were wonderful and not disrespectful in any way so that was a huge blessing. One of the many times in my life that I just had to remember that if the Lord called me to it, then I didn’t need to worry what anyone else (including me) thought about it.
8. Once you had children did you find you did less in the ministry and was that hard for you? This is a little bit of a tough question to answer since we were given all three of our children at once and two of them were already older. Obviously, not the “normal” situation. Also, when we went from having no kids (for eight years) to having all three, we were in Bible college – not really in an official “position” of ministry at the time. But, for the sake of the question, if I had to compare our first ministry (pre-kids) with our current ministry, I would say that there is quite a difference. But, in my opinion, a wonderful difference. I wanted to be a mama for so long that I don’t really resent anything that my children might “keep” me from doing. I hope that makes sense.
9. What are some ways you included and involved your children in the ministry?
a. Baby…Of course, Hudson spends most of his time in the nursery J But I try really hard to “share” him with folks at the church. I hope that doesn’t sound weird. In other words, if he is acting shy, I still encourage him/help him to shake other people’s hands and sometimes even go to people. Now, if he has had an especially rough day or isn’t feeling good, that’s another story. I obviously want to try to find a balance between doing my best job as a mama but also not enabling him to be a stinker just because he feels like being one J Again, I hope that makes sense. (I’ve already said that haven’t I?)
b. Toddler… Am just now getting to that point with Hudson (see above), but wasn’t able to experience that stage with my older boys.
c. School age/teens… I LOVE LOVE LOVE having older boys! I am constantly telling my friends (who have several small children) that I have it SO much easier than them because my older two are SUCH a big help! I love that they love serving and I hope to continue to instill that in them by my words and my example. They LOVE it when we have people over to the house and they are both pretty social with going around church and greeting everybody/shaking their hands. Just yesterday, Clayton reminded me that we need to “reinvite” our neighbors to church since they didn’t come the last time we invited them. He was even willing to go over there himself J My husband and I try really hard to make them aware of other’s needs (both here in our home and in church) and not to be thinking of themselves. All that being said, again, we hope to find a good balance between family time and ministry time, but a lot of times, they are combined. We love serving as a family!
10. Do you ever worry that your children would resent the ministry and what are some ways you tried to make it fun for them? As I mentioned before, we really make sure to involve them in everything that we are able to so that they just see it as a way of life – not as something they HAVE to do. Also, I’ve been encouraged lately (actually from reading other “Ministry Monday” posts) to verbally talk about what a blessing it is to be in the ministry. My husband and I also make it a point to not say anything negative or discouraging about certain things – especially in front of the boys.
11. What would be the best thing you would tell a mom who is raising her children in the ministry? I think the best piece of parenting advice I ever heard was from a man in our church in Oklahoma City when we were in Bible college. It’s not specifically for ministry moms, but is applicable even more so I would imagine. “Our job is not to raise good kids, but to raise Godly adults.” I try to keep that perspective when dealing with all areas of our children’s lives; whether it be here at home in treating their brothers, at church when serving/ministering to others, and even when disciplining. I don’t know if there is such a things as a “perfect balance” but I’m trying to reach it if there is J Trying to spend that one-on-one time with them so that they never feel robbed of my time, but also involving them in as much ministry as possible so that, hopefully, they will cultivate a love for serving God as well.
12. Are you naturally a submissive person or do you sometimes have a hard time easily following your husband? Ah!! Everytime I read this question on other wives’ questionnaires, I’m just looking for someone to say “IS there such a thing as a naturally submissive person?!” ha! Definitely my carnal flesh is not submissive. This is something that the Lord has been molding and shaping me into even more so in the last couple of years. I do feel like I’ve gotten better at submitting but what I have to guard against is a bad attitude while doing so. Obviously, a bad attitude completely negates any “submission” that I might be proud of.
13. What do you do to encourage your husband when he is discouraged with the work? I have to be careful with this because I have such a tendency to want to encourage anyone and everyone and sometimes what I want to say may not always be Spirit-led. Usually, I will listen to him for quite a while without saying anything and then just say things when I know the Lord wants me to. Also, just lately I feel like I’ve started to understand how important it is for my husband to WANT to come home to a nice house, dinner on the table that he likes, as a sort of encouragement in itself, so I’ve really been working in this area as well.
14. How do deal with any criticism toward your husband from others? Thankfully, I don’t know that we have really experienced much (if any) of this. I know there are some people who from time to time don’t agree with something that my husband has done but they haven’t come to me to say so, they just mostly tell him to his face J At that point, I just try to be a listening board and offer words of encouragement if the Lord so leads.
15. How do you deal with personal criticisms? I try to remember Proverbs 29:1 “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” I remind myself that there is so much to learn from others and not to be prideful and not accept suggestions, etc. from others. Most of the time if people criticize something I’ve done, it’s usually something that I’ve done under my authority’s umbrella of protection so to speak. So, I just pass the buck J No, that sounds harsh. I’ll just usually (and kindly) refer them to my authority.
16. Do you set aside date nights/days with your husband? We do from time to time, but not on a regularly scheduled basis. My favorite evenings are when the kids are in bed and he and I can just hang out for a while.
17. What is the biggest thing you have learned about being married to a man in the ministry? In a sentence: to have the proper view of ministry itself. To not view it as drudgery or a chore, or even as my husband’s “job” that once he gets home he can escape from. As most ladies who are reading this know, it’s not a typical job. When you’re “off”, you’re not really off, and I’m okay with that. I married a man who was called to preach and that was my choice. It wouldn’t be right for me to view his job as an inconvenience, but rather I try to jump in with both feet and help him where I can.
18. What are some ways you protect your husband from “those” women in the church? We haven’t dealt with this while ministering to adults (thankfully!), but while he was a youth pastor, we had to put some boundaries in place as far as no “frontal” hugging from teenage girls, never being alone in a vehicle with any of the teenage girls, etc.
19. Do you and your husband have devotion or prayer time together daily? We do not. We have our own personal devotions of course and will share with each other from time to time how the Lord has been speaking to us.
20. Do you have a hard time sharing your burdens with your husband in fear that it will discourage him? Sometimes. If it’s something that I ultimately know is pretty minor, I will share it with him because he can usually talk some sense into me J If it’s something major, I try to pray about it first – should I bring this up to him? And if so, when? (I’ve learned that timing is everything when bringing up important things to my husband. Sunday morning before he is going teach? Probably not a good idea J)
21. What do you do to encourage yourself in the Lord? Lock myself in my room (while the baby is sleeping and my older two are doing school) for 10-15 minutes and get in the Word. Best medicine for any discouraged soul.
22. What is your favorite Scripture? I have two: Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” And I Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted about that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
23. Do you have a favorite song? I love “God’s Been God”!
24. What is your biggest struggle in the ministry? Hands down, comparing myself to others. Unfortunately, this is something that I have struggled with through the years. Before I was in the ministry, it was comparing myself to so-and-so. And now? Being in the ministry? If left to myself, not much has changed. This is where I again have to remind myself that God doesn’t move in everyone’s lives in the exact same way, and it’s “okay” if something in my life isn’t the same as someone else’s if He hasn’t led me in that way.
25. Do you ever find that you are not able to have close lady friends in your church? Now, I haven’t ever been the head pastor’s wife and I would almost imagine that in that position, one might need to be even more guarded against that. However, I would say that in my own life, I’ve found that there are people that you are naturally going to grow closer to just because they may be more involved in similar ministries and you see more of them, etc. I try not to single people out to speak with/visit with while I’m at church. If I’m talking to someone and another lady approaches us, I try and join her in on our conversation so that she doesn’t feel left out. I should note that I feel so blessed with the church staff God has allowed us to be a part of. We are all fairly young (20’s and 30’s), roughly in the same stage of life as each other and of course, have quite a bit in common. We LOVE spending time with each other and I have become good friends with the other staff ladies. (Super fun side note: my pastor’s wife was actually my childhood best friend and her dad was my pastor while I was growing up. Most people here at church are so surprised to find out how long we have known each other J)
26. When you are discouraged, do you feel like you can “show” that feeling to ladies in the church? Or, do you feel like you always have to portray the “perfect” happy Pastor’s wife? Absolutely (to the first question J). I feel very strongly that when someone is “real” that makes all the difference as far as ministering goes. Now, there are boundaries. Obviously, I’m not going to call so-and-so up and tell her all the things about my husband that frustrate me. My point is, my husband and believe that effective ministry is built on relationships, and real relationships cannot grow without some level of transparency. Again, there are clear boundaries here, but I feel like it’s important to not make yourself seem “perfect”; like you are on some sort of higher level, when that isn’t the case at all.
27. Have you ever made a big mistake or offended someone, and if yes, how did you go about restoring that relationship? Well, I guess it’s good that nothing HUGE immediately comes to mind – ha! I will say that I have a tendency to over-apologize (I guess that’s a good thing?) if I do feel like I’ve offended someone. Most of the time, if I find myself in such a situation, the person I’m talking to doesn’t have the slightest clue what I am apologizing for, so that’s always humbling J
28. Do you have other lady ministry friends that you go to for counsel and “venting” purposes? Counsel? Definitely. Venting? I try to keep that between me and the Lord and sometimes my husband of course. As I mentioned earlier, I am so thankful for the church staff that we are a part of and I feel very comfortable going to any of these ladies to talk to them. I’m also thankful for technology where I am able to keep in touch with a lot of my friends from Bible college who are serving in various ministries and they are always an encouragement to me.
29. Other than praying, what is the most encouraging thing ladies in the church can do for you? For me, I love it when people love my family. To hear an encouraging word about my husband’s message or my children’s behavior is such a blessing to me.
30. What is your favorite way to serve the Lord in your church? A big part of my husband’s job is that he oversees all of the Sunday School classes. It’s important to him that he builds relationships with the Sunday School teachers; he doesn’t want to have “Sunday morning only” type relationships. That being said, we have people over to the house a lot just to try and be a blessing to them and to get to know them better. I would say that is my favorite part of serving the Lord and being a blessing to my husband.
31. Do you currently have special Ladies Bible Study, meetings, or fellowships? Yes, we do. I am not solely responsible for any one thing, but my pastor’s wife does an amazing job! We have a Friday night/Saturday morning ladies’ conference in the spring, a mother/daughter banquet, as well as monthly ladies’ meetings which are always such a blessing.
32. What ways do you encourage your ladies to get involved in the work of the church? Last year, my pastor’s wife split the ladies ministry up into several groups (one of which I am in “charge of” if you want to say). I try to build relationships with the ladies that are in my group. I don’t want to just pick up the phone to call them if I need them to do something, you know that I mean? That being said, we have found a good way to involve ladies is to find out what they are interested in. There are several ladies that love to cook, others may enjoy decorating more. I try to find out what their interests are and then use them in that way. Also, another staff wife had mentioned how important it is to let the ladies know how much you appreciate it when they do something for a meeting, banquet, etc., so I send out thank you notes to let them know their work didn’t go unnoticed.
33. What is the most important thing you want to pass down to your children? To be young men (and one day, older men) of integrity. To love the Lord with all their being and follow Him. If it’s being in the ministry? Great. If it’s being a doctor or a cashier at a convenience store? Great. Just serve Him and follow Him with their whole hearts.
34. In all of your business, how do you fit your personal time in with the Lord each day? I HAVE to do it first thing in the morning, which requires me to wake up about an hour before the kids get up. If I don’t do it then, it won’t get done.
35. Out of all that you have learned being in the full time ministry, what is the most important thing you have learned? God can and wants to use everyday people (like me) to have an impact and eternally change the lives of others. I know because that is what happened in my own life.
36. How would you describe the “perfect” Pastor’s wife? Is there such a person? J A lady that, first of all, has her relationship with the Lord right and secondly, has her relationship with her husband right. She asks herself: What can I do to serve my Lord and my husband? How can I do to be a blessing and help to my husband?