Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

A Gift for Your Pastor's Wife. . .

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 16 December 2008

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
~ II Corinthians 1:3-5

This has been my "Life Verse"
for many years . . . even before becoming a pastor's wife. And over the last few years, I've learned something: Most people in ministry have similar convictions. And . . . sometimes those people who have made God's Kingdom their life's work become so busy in their obedience to the work of their church or ministry, that they become a stranger to the God of their work.

Ministry pulls at its servants both positively and negatively in terms of our own spiritual walk. Satan attacks ministry in the most unsuspecting ways and through the most unsuspecting people. It is not easy work. Obedience to God's call brings great reward, unspeakable joy, untold heartache, indescribable sorrow, and an immense void filled only by solitude. The solitude is hard to find . . . .

"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."

~ Luke 5:16

And now. . . because Kate asked :-)

One of the best Christmas gifts you could give your pastor's wife -- and her husband! -- is to let them know how much you appreciate the sacrifices made and difficulties faced - most of them completely unbeknownst to those around them. AND that you understand the need for solitude and refreshment for the soul.

Bless your pastor's family this year with a simple Christmas card expressing these sentiments in your own words.

And as for those great gift ideas:
(. . . and yes, they're all books. What ministry family doesn't love books?)

Celebration of Disciplines by Richard Foster
Resting Places by Jane Rubietta
Quiet Places by Jane Rubietta
Come Closer by Jane Rubietta
Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton
Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels

More Good Gift Ideas HERE.

And finally. . . For the creative gifters: An appropriate and beautiful quote from Max Lucado to fit into you Christmas gift this year. . . On Obedience:

“You’ve stood where Joseph stood. Caught between what God says and what makes sense. You’ve done what he told you to do only to wonder if it was him speaking in the first place.” … “If you are asking what Joseph asked, let me urge you to do what Joseph did. Obey. That’s what he did. He obeyed. He obeyed when the angel called. He obeyed when Mary explained. He obeyed when God sent.”
~ Max Lucado
From “Joseph’s Prayer" in The Heart of Christmas

~ Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
©2008 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife


Anonymous said...

GOOGLE is a godsend. I landed here looking for exactly what you offer. GOD BLESS YOU!

Barbara said...

Perfect. I like the way you think.

Denise said...

Bless you dear one.

sara said...

as usual, that was beautifully written! As a pastor's wife, I so appreciate this post. Thanks Esthermay.

Merry Christmas!

kalopoieo said...

I think there is great disparity between expectations of ministry and the reality of pastoring. To study the problems in churches today is to study the issues faced by the Church of God in the First Century. Unbelievers persecuting the church. Unbelievers today are often disguised as powerful parishioners who become enraged with hate when ministry is doing its job. You correctly state that Satan attacks unsuspectingly. Ministers (and wives) are often very lonely with very few friends in the community because they carry the greatest burden of knowing those in their flock professing Christianity have the greatest need for it. Which need must also remain secret.

As always, you have put your finger right on the truth.

Wonderful book recommendations. Merry Christmas, Esthermay.

Rachel said...

I realize you're not my pastor's wife, but your blog blesses me all the same. Thank you!!!

lori said...

I haven't read the post yet...I will:) PROMISE..but I had to tell you the COLOR COORDINATED recipe is up...and all is right with the world..for now...


You crack me up...now I'm going to read...just after I put some kiddos to bed:) Be back!

Kate said...

Oh, you are so good! I was leaning towards a book, but you nailed it for me. And that you link it for me-you're beautiful! My pastor's wife is the greatest, she has helped me so much this last year grow in my faith and learn to listen to God through reading His Word. I want to bless you and I pray you are blessed by those who love you in your congregation too!
thanks again! :0

MiPa said...

Thank you for dropping by my place. Sorry the quote didn't get up earlier--Loni was late posting hers and I was so busy with the Christmas Programme at church Sat/Sun I totally forgot it was my turn!

Great suggestions for gifts. Bless you!

Michele Williams said...

So wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this. As a pastor's wife I truly appreciate it when I know people are praying for me and thinking about me. bless you dear.

Patricia said...

I will be taking your advice as I prepare a gift basket for our pastor and his family. Your suggestion will make it complete as I add words of our appreciation to the accompanying card.

Your advice is also applicable to others in ministry work as well. When I was a church secretary, there was no Sunday when I did not have to solve a problem... sometimes even to the point of missing out on the beginning moments of the worship service. I didn't really get to go to church...I was always at work. Funny how people think they own a bit of you if you are called to work for the church.

As usual, great post!

Marsha said...

This is wonderful, EstherMay!

As a missionary involved in full time ministry via a parachurch organization, I can say amen to what you've shared. Rarely does someone stop to thank those of us out on the front lines.

Solace said...

I appreciate what kalopoieo shares about ministry. As a PK, I completely understand church problems and problem people in churches. No pastor is immune. The solitude is a necessity. And as a church secretary, I understand the pressure there too, but nothing (nothing!) compares to the burden and joy of the pastorate. Love your book suggestions. I've not heard of Jane Rubietta. I may check her out.
God Bless you - I know your ministry road has not been an easy one.

samantha said...

I really like that verse. It is so important that we obey God, even if what he is telling us doesn't make sence.

Laurie Ann said...

All excellent gifts. Thanks for the ideas! One year our Sunday School class gave our pastor and his wife a weekend getaway. We kept their children and even arranged for a guest pastor to fill in for prayer meeting on Wednesday and church on Sunday morning. We had a fellowship for them on Sunday night and they both said they enjoyed the time away, just resting and refueling after the busyness of all that had gone on.

Amy Guerino said...

Thank you for the poems you have posted. I was encouraged by them....as a fellow pastor's wife.

Your post here is true too. Thanks for validation of the behind the scenes work we do. God sees them and are not forgotten or overlooked.

PastorB. blog said...

Thanks for the Christmas verse. It befits our lives as ministers together (husband and wife) in a sometimes misunderstood world and role even with church members.
Knowing one is doing God's will and doing what the lord has given them to do is always most rewarding.

Mom To Six said...

What a great post!

Happy New Year,


Lori said...

Here's another great Pastor's gift idea...even though Christmas is past...this is a gift they will appreciate any time and it's free. The Pastor's Retreat Network offers free week long retreats for Pastors and their spouses. For more information, check out my blog www.thesecretlifeofapastorswife.blogspot.com
Thanks for a great, uplifting blog.

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