Moving slowly along in The Church Planting Wife, I’ve finished chapters 3 & 4.
I read a dissatisfied review on this book in relation to a woman who works for a living SO THAT her husband can church plant. She stated that her call was to work and she just so happened to be married to a church planter. I have to disagree. This call to work and this call to be a church planter’s wife can be lived out in harmony. I believe it would look differently for her, but I also believe the author asserts that the living out of these principles and issues will look different for each woman.
Chapter 3 speaks to the issues above, reminding us that the call is to the husband (and ultimately to God!), not the pastor or the church. Keeping a thriving relationship with God, a balanced schedule and a thriving relationship with your husband are the things the author challenges pastor’s wives to. Really, this call isn’t any different for a layman’s wife.
Friendships are the discussion in chapter 4. This one hit home, more than chapter 3, for me. Knowing who can be trusted, how much to expect from a friend and being a good friend in the midst of this life can be very difficult. Christine Hoover did an excellent job being practical here.
“I leave feeling refreshed and full of life. They ask about me. (emphasis mine)”
I remember a time when I left a very brief encounter with an dear, old friend, and expressed this exact feeling. They had spoken just one phrase: “Your hair looks really pretty.” This was the first time someone had said something nice – about me, to me, since church planting and that’s when I knew something was missing. I know this encounter sounds very vain; I can’t explain why it had such a huge impact on me.
Friendships have grown since that time, but I sometimes feel people want me to be who they want me to be rather than who I actually am. I try to remember that none of this is done maliciously, or even consciously, but it can be wearing when it’s coming from several sources at once.
Some of the practical things discussed are hanging in there and cultivating relationships even when it isn’t easy. Investing in women of various stages and walks of life and discovering friendship in the midst of that. She even discusses making friends with non-believers in the community and just asking questions to get to know them.
The book includes an interview with Brandi Wilson, a church planters wife from Tennessee. Brandi added these things that spoke to me:
- Take friendships slowly
- The very awkward situation where you have a boundary with a friend that they don’t realize, that’s so hard!
- It’s OK and healthy to have different levels of friendships.
- It can be good and helpful to have a friend outside of your situation. My cousin plays this role for me and she has been so very helpful when I need her!
The note that I wrote a very large AMEN next to was this:
“It’s possible to crave community yet also crave privacy.”
This is incredibly true of me. I’m a private person. I desire relationship, but I have a very real need for privacy and finding the balance in this is difficult. I have to make some hard stands sometimes and it doesn’t make me popular, but I also have to know my own limits.
Now to begin working on Chapters 5 & 6! I’m enjoying this book more than I thought I would, blogging through it has allowed me to digest it slowly and take some things to heart along the way.
Thank you for reading. 🙂