Rural Route Heroes: Part IV

wfamA pastor is so much more effective when he has the assurance that his family is on board with the ministry that God has called him to.  Rural route heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.  I happen to be the father of 5 little stinkers (stinkers can also mean heroes) who are pictured above.  Even more important is having the support of your wife.  Her love, encouragement, and level of church participation often sets the tone for the rest of the family.  There is nothing that can help or hinder a pastor more than his family.

Almost 5 years ago (wow, has it been that long?) God called my family to a rural route.  We prayed, contemplated, asked very pointed questions, and even argued a bit about the decision.  In the end, though, we knew that God was calling and our opinions, “what if’s”, and arguments would be refined and winnowed out in our obedience.  It is hard to see what kind of “good” God will create through your obedience when you are packing that Penske truck.  Watching your kids say “goodbye” to friends and watching them help box up their lives is a humbling experience because you know they wouldn’t be doing this if you had some other job.  Watching your wife place her trust in God and play out her submissive role as she also says tearful goodbyes is both beautiful and difficult.

I see the sacrifice that my family makes everyday.  I see the many ways that they participate in the ministry that God has called me to.  If my wife were not a Proverbs 31 kind of woman we would not be able to sustain our little army.  She is the clipper of coupons which saves us unbelievable amounts of money.  While most people are just getting up on Monday morning, she is on her way to the grocery store in order to get the best meat and produce deals from the bargain bin.  While many families have found convenience in eating out several meals a week, she cooks every meal because it is so much more economical.   She runs her own photography business and contributes to our sustainability.  She makes a parsonage a home.

I see the sacrifice that my children make.  They do not have access to the money, cool hangouts, and programs that many children are accustomed to, but I have never heard them complain about it.  Oh, they are not destitute and deprived, but they could complain if they were lesser individuals.  They live under the intense scrutiny of the entire community.  Its not the community’s fault  . . . it just comes with the job.  I have never heard them gripe about putting off our plans when there is a ministry need.  My kids have a keen understanding that what we are doing here is bigger than our wants and so they just role with the punches.

My family is my rural hero today. . . and every day.  Heroes, not because they endure my ministry but because they willingly participate in it.   Heroes becasue of their selfless investment in the people and place God called us to five years ago.  They always seem to find a way to help me do my job.   Today’s post is for every preacher’s kid who has ever gone on a hospital visit with their dad just to spend time with him.  Today’s post is for every preacher’s wife who has made a little go a long way and made a parsonage a home.  They are truly my heroes.

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Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm  Comments (4)  

4 Comments

  1. Yo..you and your family inspire me. You are most CERTAINLY my heros!

    XXOOXX

    Helen

  2. Helen,

    Right back atcha!

  3. Mike,

    I know that you cherish every moment of time spent with your family. You might not have many material possessions but you have what really counts in life. Also, thanks for the kind words that you wrote about me and our ministry.
    Gene

  4. Gene,

    You are very welcome. Keep up the good work to the glory of God.


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