Monday, May 21, 2012

Cookie Cutter Method?

(image taken from here)

I've given myself credit, in the past, for not falling into the folly of thinking there's a "cookie cuter" Pastor's wife role. I've spread my doctrine to friends and family about what I think a Pastor's wife role is--easy---to be a faithful disciple of Christ, a faithful wife, a faithful mommy, and a faithful church member. Of course there's more to say, but at the end of the day I felt that was the message, if asked, in a nut shell. 

God started revealing sin in my heart. I think I felt proud that I didn't struggle with this complex, as some other wives did. It was lodged in my brain, "I got this." I began seeing my folly--"How can I fail in this? This is what a Pastor's wife is made of, but it doesn't come naturally to me." What was it? Hospitality. 

Growing as a Christian around mature women, who just churned up delicious meals, endless hangouts, wise counsel, and cleanaing up, all in a shorts notice or for multiple times a week! Perhaps I'm exaggerating, but it sure felt this way. As I soon got married, had children, my husband in the ministry, I believe I tried to have the same agenda as previous godly women I observed. I started to sense this didn't come naturally to me. I began seeing my up bringing as a hinderance to this. I felt PJ was from a different mind set, since his up bringing was different than mine.  I felt sad. Why? Idolatry. You see, I wanted to serve to a capacity that I felt good about myself. Good to know that I had the good'ol hospitable badge on my chest, and of course, ALL Pastor wives did....WRONG. You see I was trying to fit in a mold that I sinfully created. I was trying hard to make the shoe fit. 

So reality is-- I don't easily have the urge to always be hospitable. I hesistate to say this, in case some family, friends think they'll be a burden, but on the contrary, it allows me opportunities to say yes or no, without fear of man. My decline to be host on a particular night/day, are never intended to hurt anyone but because I'm getting to know more and more my capacities as a wife and mother, I sometimes need to say no for the good of my soul and my family-- but I need to make that decision (with PJ's help of course:). It's ok to lack, we're human and God's working in us, and it's ok to confess it.  Striving and finding ways to bless other's and be blessed by others, is freeing; that also, can look different for the people of the local church community. 


Being at Capitol Hill Baptist Church was helpful in so many ways. There were many married women and single, which made a great learning atmosphere. I wondered with all these women being so busy, and yet having time to pour into these younger women, "How did they do it?!" It was at a CHBC women's retreat, where the insight was revealed to me. There was a workshop speifically addressing my simple question. There was a panel of wives/moms, with young women. The older women were discipling the younger (Titus 2) and were explaining their discipliship methods. It was genuis! At least in my mind. The women didn't sit down for an hour and read a 400 page book with homework and prep time,  and yet still manage to talk about their lives, blessings, things God's been teaching them, etc. As simple as it was, it was--- watch me. Watch me? There was a mutal understading that the wife, and the young woman, can sit down and talk about things that God has put on their hearts (these conversations can go in so many directions). What's key in this agreement, is--- understanding there WILL be interruptions, because she will serve her family in various ways as she's there, and she can participate by watching, learning, asking questions, etc. Great, huh? I ate that philosphy up and wanted to run with it! I soon started to understand that there needs to be a mutal understanding of this kind of discipliship, but I can totally see how it would be benefical and helpful on so many levels. I'm not saying this is the only way or the best way, but I am saying if you are busy with life, family, friends, church, this method can be helpful and a big blessing. And since I struggle with hospitality, this method is helpful for me in that regard too!

So I beckon other young ladies, don't feel discipleship has to be one specific way (read a book together/ Bible reading), although if it works, then do it, but if it doesn't work for a wife, then adjust with her and trust me, there's lots to learn about being a wife and a mother that can increase your understanding of it, if it's acted out in front of you. This is an out  working of being in a community (a local church family). Assure the busy wife that you just want to talk and pray and want to learn how she cares for her family. This can be helpful in getting an older woman to disciple you. I've heard that a lot of older women can sometimes feel inadaquate if discipleship is asked of them, but this method can be non-aggressive and less can be asked, as far as preparation. Just life--on--life, isn't that what community's about?

There's other ways hospitality can be done,  and there's other ways discipleship can be done. There's no cookie cuter method, just life--on--life.


  1. i love this so much. God used this to encourage me mucho...thank you, fantastic frances. i have learned so much from observing you and other wives/mommas, and i am thankful for how you've applied what you've learned! i miss you mucho. i would love to talk to you about this whole hospitality/discipleship thing soon. i love you!!

  2. Frances, I am really encouraged by this too! I've never feel like I fit into cookie-cutter roles either, and it's so easy to look at other women who I so admire (you included by the way!) and feel pressure to be like them. Life on life. so good. Thanks for sharing such a candid side of your soul! CrossView women are so lucky we have you (hint hint at Helen to come back!)



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