For some reason, the most clicks I get on my blog are the posts I write about dating a pastor. Who would have thought that so many people would be concerned about this particular topic? For those of you who are indeed concerned about this, here’s some of my thoughts.
Rules for Dating a Pastor
1. Get ready for the scrutiny. Dear, sweet, innocent girl (or guy), Ministry will kill you. If you don’t believe me, read the Bible. Most people who devoted their lives to ministry ended up being murdered. Now, you may not get physically killed in good ‘ole America, but you will get raked over the coals every now and again. People won’t like you. People won’t care about what you are doing if they think you should be doing something else. People will tell you blatantly that they don’t approve of the very thing you feel like God told you to do. And you won’t make it unless you are secure in who you are in Christ. Get a backbone now because you’ll need it.
2. You have to decide right now to do the right thing every time for the rest of your life. There’s a lot on the line when you marry a pastor. One decision on my part can destroy my husband’s career. There are a few other careers where this holds true, but not many. And here’s the kicker…if you make the decision to do the right thing just to honor your spouse, you will resent him or her for it one day. If you make that decision in order to honor God, you’ll probably make it just fine.
3. Be an encourager. There’s no person on earth who needs more encouragement than a pastor. What job holds more at stake than eternity? And trust me, those few minutes on a Sunday morning where he/she is preaching is the most important few minutes of his/her week. The mantle on your spouse is HUGE and you better be the one to help them carry it.
4. Decide to enjoy the challenges. Too many people I know are miserable in ministry…that’s because it’s hard! You’ve got to decide not to be miserable and lean into the challenge with a gusto! Remember that God is in the challenge. He’s using you in the midst of difficulty and you’re going to be just fine. It’s OK to be yourself, it’s OK if people don’t like everything you do, and it’s OK to boldly go in the direction that God has intended for you, even if the crowd is shouting to go the other way.
Well, after reading through the list, I think the bottom line is to live this way whether you are dating a pastor or not…maybe that’s the lesson in all of this. Ultimately, I’m not a pastor, I’m not a pastor’s wife…I’m a child of God. My responsibility is not to the ministry or to my spouse…my responsibility is to Jesus Christ and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
If I live for Him, the rest just all falls into place…
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.