Despite my love of talking, I have found that I am still in the process of learning to be comfortable talking about my faith, both to my friends who are not Christians and to my friends who are. I am definitely “not finished yet” in this department.
Obviously, learning to talk to unbelievers about Christ is important. However, I’m starting to realize that it’s equally important to be able to comfortably talk with fellow believers about Christ, especially those believers who are newer Christians. For too long I’ve been assuming that because someone says that they’re a Christian and/or they’re a member of a Lutheran church that their faith is strong. As time has gone on, I’m realizing that that assumption may be, well, assuming too much. It’s easy to forget that Satan works harder on Christians than on unbelievers.
Besides, what better circumstance is there to get practice in talking about one’s faith than to fellow believers? They’re not likely to argue with you, and your words may be just the encouragement they need to hear. And aren’t believers supposed to build each other up in the faith? I’ve been trying to do that lately with the people in my life, although I have a long way to go before I can even begin to think that I might be good at it. Hopefully God will give me lots more opportunities to practice – I need ’em!
On a related topic, I’ve been wondering lately about how much I can/should encourage members who rarely attend church to come more often. While I regularly see certain members after school as they come to pick up their kids, I rarely see these same members in church. I have very friendly relations with these parents on the playground, and I often feel like I should be saying something to them when I hear about their weekend plans, and those plans don’t include being in church on Sunday. Should I say more things to these people about coming to church? Am I overstepping my pastor’s wife bounds? Or is that something that, as a Christian, I should be doing?
This all reminds me again of how tricky it can be to be the pastor’s wife. It’s difficult to have really good friends in the church, because, as I’ve said before, you never know when that person will start attending church less often or develop some spiritual problem that your pastor-husband has to deal with in some way — and when that happens, your friendship suddenly shifts. It’s not easy to strike a balance. Plus, once you’ve been burned a few times, you become even less eager to venture into a new friendship with members.
Being a pastor’s wife and living in a pastor’s family is not easy. We get plenty of situations that “normal” families don’t experience. But, JJ and I have been blessed with a number of kind people in our church who find ways to make our lives easier, and I’m very grateful for those dear souls. There are special crosses that a pastor’s family bears, but there are special benefits, too. And one of those benefits is lots of opportunities to talk about your faith! 🙂