By Tish K.

By Tish K.

    It Never Fails

    Monday, April 15, 2024

    What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “It never fails?” Often, I think of that phrase in its negative context. Like Murphy’s Law. When we plan a day trip, it never fails to rain, or the kids will get sick.  Certainly, we’ve experienced these roadblocks/challenges enough times.

    However, we have to be aware of that subtle temptation to declare with our lips that this negative thought will most likely occur. We need to always be mindful of the fact that Scripture teaches us that the power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Psalm 141 makes it very clear that we need to always set a watch upon our lips. We all know from personal experience that the tongue can be used as a weapon to harm and destroy or a tool to build and heal.

    One of my bishop’s wives shared a truth with me years ago that I have never forgotten. “It never fails that clergy families are always under more satanic attack each year before Christmas and Easter.” I remember two specific times that this happened in my own life. It was 1987 and the first Easter that my husband, John, was conducting services. We had three young sons and our youngest, Chris, was 2 at the time. I had just bathed and dressed him but had forgotten to drain the water from the tub. And he tumbled in, head first! I had 30 minutes to “re-dress” the situation. One particular Christmas several years later, I was directing the annual Christmas pageant.  The morning of the pageant (Christmas Eve) the mother whose son had the lead role called me in a panic. Her son, Nathan, had woken up that morning with the flu. I had to quickly scramble and call another young boy to take the role, which he graciously did. Phew! It’s so helpful to remember that the unexpected may happen. We ought to put on the whole armor of God every morning. It’s a fashion statement that’s always in season!

    What can we do as clergy wives to protect our husbands and families? One idea is to secure prayer partners outside our church circle. This is beneficial for two reasons. It gives us a confidential, safe space. And secondly, it gives these prayer partners an opportunity to support us. Ask them to pray specifically for your family one month before and throughout the holiday.  Many of our family and friends outside the ministry are unaware that we could use extra support from them in this way. Surround yourself with people that pray for you behind your back. (It is good to know someone has your back.)

    Battling Discouragement

    As I reflect back, there are several practical tools that I have used to help battle discouragement. One is, I banded together with other clergy wives who were willing to share specific prayer needs, especially for their families. We each wrote out our kid’s names, ages, and a specific request (or siblings, grandchildren, whatever). We used 6×8 index cards and made copies of these to share. We compared notes every 2-3 months. It was exciting to hear how God answered prayers. We did not feel so alone.

    Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

    Another source of support I sought out over the years was a spiritual director, or older sister in the Lord. I found someone in my denomination who wasn’t a member of my congregation. We would meet together monthly, and I was able to share my concerns and receive much-needed  “hands on” support. I could be very honest with her regarding anything I was struggling with at home or in the church. And I did my share of confessing those “negative” feelings, like anger, that I struggled with admitting to myself!  Again, this fulfills an admonition from the book of James as we are encouraged to “confess our sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

    Having served the Lord as a clergy wife for 37 years, I’ve certainly had my ups and downs, and my share of heartaches, but Christ has always been faithful. Let’s remember that we must never forget the greatest truth of all – God’s love NEVER fails (1 Cor 13:8). He ALWAYS has your back.

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