This beautiful time of year, the turning from summer to autumn in Virginia, is a sight to behold. The shifting light, the shortened days, and the cooler mornings signal a return to the splendor of fall.
Autumn is a time of distinction, with the onset of firepits and football and family gatherings, as we anticipate Thanksgiving.
It is also a time of busyness at church.
While many of us are rolling up our sleeves to prepare for new Bible studies and fall festivals, may I encourage us, as pastors’ wives, to pause our labors and first tend to our soul?
Picture a blazing firepit on a chilly autumn night. That slow, steady burn exudes heat and beauty, drawing people together, inviting a spirit of unity and conversation and delight. The firepit does not set itself ablaze, but is sparked and stoked by wood and match, fed with kindling, as the backdrop of stars emerge to twinkle in the ink of night.
As pastors’ wives, it is easy to become a lifeless firepit, as we bustle about with good things: encouraging our husbands, tending to our families and our homes, working jobs outside of those four walls, and often filling those church vacancies left void by fickle volunteers.
On top of all these things lies the weight of ministry itself: we know what we know and wish we did not. Our pastor husbands are laboring to lead and teach and protect God’s flock, and to be blunt? The fury of Satan presses in and weighs us down.
Remember this: It is tempting for us, especially as women, to do all of the things for others, while neglecting our own famished souls. As we do, we unwittingly grow cold and tired in spirit, a fireless firepit.
What shall we do?
Step away from church demands, take up your Bible, and abide. We only become a healthy, crackling firepit while seated at the feet of Jesus.
Remember the account of Mary and Martha?
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 ESV)
Martha welcomed Jesus into her home yet quickly grew anxious and overwhelmed by her serving duties. She fumed that Mary was doing absolutely nothing to help.
Yet shockingly, according to Jesus, it was Mary who chose the good portion, which entailed sitting quietly at Christ’s feet while soaking up His every word.
Did you catch that?
Sitting still and listening to the teachings of Jesus supersedes serving.
Mary quieted herself and stoked the fire of her soul. This was, according to Scripture, the wiser choice. A decision which fueled the firepit flames of her soul.
Dear pastor’s wife, be like Mary today. Cease the striving, the anxious serving, the box-checking on your to-do list.
During this busy autumn season, quiet yourself at the feet of Jesus and listen to his every word.
You will become a delightful firepit, flames rising and crackling by the fuel of the Holy Spirit, who will heat your soul with the good portion, which will never be taken from you.