As I am in the midst of reading and editing my wife’s contribution to our upcoming book, so I thought I would throw a few nuggets of excellent wisdom and insight from her as I read them. Here are some very helpful words to pastor’s wives who often find themselves struggling with loneliness:
I went to lunch with one of our church members one day. Her husband was getting ready to take a senior pastor position and she was asking me questions. She had made the comment about how she hadn’t been invited to very many peoples’ houses for lunch. I chuckled and asked her how many houses she thought I had been invited to. She was shocked that I had not been invited into every person’s home. But the truth is I hadn’t been invited to visit very many at all at that point.
I am not bitter about this, in fact I understand it can be intimidating to think about inviting a family of 6 over to a small 2 bedroom apartment to eat. But the reality is that people don’t typically make the effort to me that I do to them. Now, that is not true for every church, and that is not true of our church now. However, my point is that if we sit back and wait for others to make the effort with us we will always be lonely.
I am not an extrovert. I am telling the truth when I say that I could sit in the corner of the sanctuary and be very content to just watch everybody. However, that does not help me make friends with the women of our church. The truth is that we have to approach them. We have to be the ones to be deliberate about making relationships and working to sustain them.
We also need to cry out to God. Our loneliness may be self-inflicted, but it may also be that God just has not provided that friend for this time of our life. We must be content with our relationship with God. He is a close friend, He is perfect friend, and He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. God is all-compassionate, all-knowing, and all-present. If Christ is not sufficient for us then no relationship on earth will be either.
The last thing we have to do is to be patient. Deep, lasting friendships are not built overnight. They take time and investment. They take patience, honesty, vulnerability and forgiveness. And they may not be many. We may only have one or two really close friends. However, even then we need to recognize the kind gift of God that those friendships are and thank Him, even for one.
Stay tuned pastor’s wives…there is more where that came from.