There is a dream that dies when we are wounded by another pastor's wife. Let's face it, we typically enter ministry alongside our husbands with an ideal picture of what it will be like to serve on the staff of a church, a kind of kumbiyah-meets-the-office sort of picture. And that certainly doesn't last long. But the first time we feel slighted or we are purposefully wounded, it's really quite a shock. We didn't think it would be perfect, but we didn't think it would be like this.
But it happens, it certainly does, because of insecurities and little-k-kingdom building, and also because we're human and there are misunderstandings. Will we close in on ourselves in a protective shell and develop a sharp edge of cynicism? Or will we purposefully and firmly choose forgiveness and grace? Wounds give us an opportunity to live the gospel, and they certainly bring the marrow of our hearts to the surface.
I have already told you the shameful fact that I have been wounder, but I also know what it's like to be wounded from within our ministry. I'm thankful for those wounds in a way because, in time, they became opportunities that God used to show me my own ability to wound and to teach me to forgive and root out bitterness in my heart.
This is what I learned:
Stop having expectations. Most of my small wounds were self-inflicted because I expected other ministry wives to do and be exactly what I thought they should do and be. But the more I thought about it, I realized that if they expected the same things from me, I couldn't meet their expectations. I was expecting from them what I myself couldn't give.
When you are sinned against, do not then become the sinner.