Tuesday Re-mix –
My older daughter married a pastor.
In raising daughters, there are the years when you have lots of say about who they see and who they do not see…and then those years come to an end and you learn to just keep quiet (mostly) and pray a lot. For my own girls, I have prayed their entire lives that, if other men must come into their lives–and, alas, they apparently must–that those men would know God and walk with Him and be shaped by Him to love my girls well.
But in my most vulnerable moments, ones when my worldly anxieties crept in and I allowed myself to have an opinion on the matter, when I was completely honest with God I probably periodically threw in an extra prayer such as, “…and God, please don’t let them marry a minister.” I had my reasons.
I myself am a pastor’s son. I’ve been around the church my whole life. I have made a career of working with conflicted churches and counseling pastors and church leaders alike through those difficult seasons. I have seen “up close and personal” the results of church fights in tens of thousands of lives. And of all the casualties of mean-spirited Christians and of all the lives and careers I have seen destroyed, the most helpless and defenseless (and typically the most innocent) of all is…the minister’s spouse.
If ministers have had any decent training at all, chances are pretty good that somebody along the way (maybe a seminary professor, maybe a wise friend) has warned them that they have chosen a difficult path, one wrought with mean people and disappointment. So when trouble comes and I am counseling them and I say to them, “Welcome to ministry”, they usually know exactly what I …