Today, both my parents and The Preacher's parents celebrate wedding anniversaries. That's right-- they were married on the same day, nine years apart. In my short 13 years of marriage, I've already tasted the labor of love that is marriage. It is sacrifice, it is pursuit, it is deliberate, it is dying to self...it is a sanctifying institution. Because I know from experience, I'm all the more grateful for our parents' testimony and faithfulness in marriage.
I am married to a pastor. Being one in our marriage means that I, too, often carry with him the burdens of ministry, relationships, and the weight of proclaiming the Gospel in word and in deed. It means that we lay all these at the Lord's feet together as well. I was blessed to recently read these words from Iain Murray's biography of John MacArthur:
If whom we marry is the next most important thing to conversion itself, it is doubly so for every pastor. Jon Watson, advising student for the ministry on this point, warned that of all men they "ought to be most careful in the choice of a wife, for she may be either a help or hidrance not merely to his comfort but to his work". A good wife, he continued,
advises her husband on every important matter, and often restrains him from hasty speech...receives him weary, discouraged, irritable, and sends him out again strong, hopeful, sweet tempered. The woman is in the shadow and the man stands in the open, and it is not until the woman dies and the man is left alone that the people or he himself knows what she has been.
MacArthur would have no doubt about the truthfulness of Watson's word. He would go further and say with Spurgeon,
A true wife is the husband's better half, his flower of beauty, and his heart's treasure. In her company he finds his earthly heaven; she is the light of his home, the comfort of his soul.
I pray that this could be said of me one day, that I was a help and not a hindrance to my husband's ministry...that I sent him out strong and hopeful...that I was the light of his home and the comfort of his soul. Ministry marriage or not, this is every wife's high calling as a helpmate. May the Lord grant me the sweet blessing of our parents' 37 and 46 years. God is good.
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