My prayer is that these thoughts will be a help and encouragement to someone! Much of what I learn on the “field” is through failure first, but thank the Lord for His faithfulness in teaching and molding us to be better vessels for His use. This is not an extensive list, but rather a few simple, yet important thoughts to ponder on.
It is possible that the missionary wife at some point or time may deal with the idea that she is in a way just dragging after husband to fulfill his calling and dream of serving the Lord in a country that she has no desire to go to so that he can have a ministry that she does not feel like being in. This may sound dramatic, but the truth is that it does take a lot of surrendering, trust and courage for a woman to “upt” with her family to serve in another side of the world or to stay there when things are just plain tough.
There can however be peace and joy when we fix our eyes on the real reason for serving, when we do it for the one who is more than worthy of any “sacrifice” we might make.
Why do we follow our husbands to the missions field, give our lives to it and invest most of what we have into that ministry? The reason is: Jesus.
Let us remember the One who died that we may have life. Let us remember the blood that was shed for our salvation. Let us ponder the price that was paid and the request that was made….let our lives not be our own! Give it wholly to Him dear wife. Follow Him even more than you follow your husband and soon you’ll find yourself standing beside your husband and not behind him! When our focus is that of serving our Savior even leaving behind that which we love and are most comfortable to us, can be the start of a sweet journey. I know many wives that can share such a testimony.
Remember that the Lord has a plan, not only for your husband, but for your life as well. As He made you uniquely you, there are individuals that He will bring across your path that you can reach and teach more effectively than perhaps another. He wants to use your life to!
He will reach some through your loving kindness or caring heart or He may use your talents to pull others. He can take your devotion to your family and teach women new principles that change their homes, brings their husband to Christ and alter the future of the next generation. Only God knows all that He has set out to accomplish through you, so yield yourself to His plan today.
Keep in mind that you get to be a missionary wife and not just “have” to be one. Serving the Lord in the capacity in which you do, is a privilege, not a problem. We can only bow our heads in humility and say thank you Lord for allowing me to be here.
I am thankful for a husband who reiterates the importance of caring for our family. He encourages me to spend adequate time with our children, never expects me to juggle too much or do anything in the ministry that takes time away from our family and home.
As missionary wives we may feel a great amount of pressure to fulfill all kinds of ministerial duties, but we simply have to remind ourselves that our children are our first disciples. My family needn’t be an excuse not to take part in the ministry, but the ministry needn’t be a reason for me neglecting my responsibilities at home. I would easily get side tracked if my husband did not help and remind me to keep my priorities straight. Others may criticize, but the proverbs 31 woman who looked well after the ways of her household was called blessed by her children and praised by her husband.
There is much I can say but In short: You need God’s Word, grace, power, help, guidance, peace, calm and wisdom to sustain you! Pray, pray, pray and stay at His feet!
– Perfection is not a requirement.
When we first started in our field, I for a while, lived with the overwhelming idea that much of what took place in our ministry would be determined by my level of input, my level of expertise, my level of resourcefulness, my constant involvement, my talents (which are few) my communications skills, my language learning skills, my cross cultural adaptation abilities, overall people skills, hosting skills, cooking skills, teaching skills and being perfectly able to juggle our home (with its never-ending cleaning and cooking needs), our new-born baby (or more) and my hubby’s needs all mixed in with 7 hours of language school a day!! Are missionary wives not mysteriously perfect anyways?
Needless to say that my spiritual and emotional well-being as well as my ability to properly care for my family drew thin under the pressures of being “super-woman”. I could never get everything just right (of course not) and wondered if I could ever be fit for the position, and if I could really be used to make a difference, after all, I wasn’t measuring up so great to super-woman. (I know some of you are smiling : )
In time however, The Lord graciously and patiently revealed to me the error in my thinking.
I learned that If I possessed all the ability in the world, If I had all the talents in the world, even if I was close to perfect, not even this could guarantee to be used of the Lord. For the truth we need acknowledge is this: that apart from Him we are nothing – without value !!! I am nothing Lord, but If you would, please use me, please be seen, known and heard through me! Love through me, give through me, help through me, teach through me, reach through me and then O Lord, my life can make a difference! Not because of me Lord, but all because of You!! I’m not able but you are!
Small things that make a big difference!
– Different does not mean inferior: Keep in mind that a superior attitude is like a bad odor that one can smell from a distance. A superior attitude is unpleasant and unwelcome. Be careful not to communicate such a message.
– My way is not the only way: We all know that people do things differently in different parts of the world, but simply because you are used to a certain method does not mean all else is taboo. Pray for flexibility and enjoy learning from your new friends about new ways to do things. Of course, boundaries apply if “stepping out of your box” condones traditions or cultures that violate Scripture.
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– Love can break down walls and cross many bridges. If you are going to share the love of God, people want to see love in you. Ask the Lord to let you fall in love with the people you get to minister to and He will knit your hearts together in a way you never imagined!