As I’m laying in my brothers old room in North Carolina, I found myself not able to sleep. Perhaps the husbands ever-so-slightly different snoring pattern due to a cold? Perhaps the childhood excitement of presents under the Christmas Tree downstairs? Whatever the reason, I got on one of my favorite resources, a blog for ministry wives and pastors wives, GraceCoversMe.com. Christine has some amazing perspective and I’d like to share it now. This quote is a chunk from the blog post about receiving hate mail/criticism in ministry.
We have to deal with our wounds, otherwise bitterness takes root, grows, and chokes the life out of us. They keep us from fulfilling our calling.
We can’t always share our wounds, but God knows them intimately. He knows them intimately and He heals them intimately. He knows who writes anonymous notes and He deals with it. Ultimately, we can’t protect ourselves from nicks, cuts, and wounds, but we can trust Him when they come. After all, we’re doing all this for Him anyway. We must choose to care more about His will and His pleasure than what anyone does or does not say to us or about us. Easier said than done, but it’s the only way out of our bitterness, our fear of man, and our wounds that “won’t” heal.
These women express two things common to ministry: loneliness and criticism. Often, they go hand-in-hand as ministry wives must privately process criticism. Sometimes we even still have to interact (nicely) with people who have offended or hurt us or who continually complain about our husbands
The last part is the one that hit home to me. Recently a friend expressed something about our ministry and it stuck in me. They had heard something that simply wasn’t true and it bothered me that we couldn’t rectify it. But it wasn’t a ministry breaker, so I (we) had to let it go and know that God knows our hearts and our actions.
as ministry wives must privately process criticism
That’s the hardest part-PRIVATELY. It’s so easy to go to a friend to ask if I’m overreacting, when really I just need to pray and let God guide my actions and words. If I jump or move out of turn, it can and inevitably will make situations worse. Waiting on God to heal, move and guide is the hardest part of ministry, but it’s a necessary facet and a huge part of being a ministry grown-up.
Block quotes from http://www.gracecoversme.com/2012/01/when-ministry-brings-wounds.html