Is My Life Worthwhile?
Do you ever ask yourself if what you've been doing for the past 5 years has really been worth anything? I have made a number of choices to postpone what I felt were important "callings" on my life over the past 8 to 10 years in order to be there for my wife when she has been going through depression, anxiety, etc. She is now coming out of it all (hopefully she'll be mostly recovered this year), but what if that were not the case? A psychiatrist said years ago that she might need to be on some pretty heavy-duty psychiatric meds for the rest of her life! I didn't buy that at the time, but had to consider the possibility.
I love my wife and have committed my life to her and the kids above anything else. When I met her and there were none of these problems present, I was looking to become a pastor, and I told her that I believed that a pastor's first duty is to God, then his family and then to the congregation. Of course I need to provide for the family, but have always managed to come up with a work situation that may be very demanding, but also has some flexibility so that family needs can be addressed.
The main thing I'm getting at here is that God requires only that we be obedient to Him, not that we each find a way to save the world and go off to accomplish it ourselves. He makes the "save the world" plans and our part is just to do what He tells us. In my case He has told me to take care of my wife until she can get well, and then see what He wants to do next. On that basis I have believed that she would get well some time before I die, giving me sufficient additional time to do whatever else He really thinks is important after that.
Some would just divorce her and move on, or just go on with his "vision"and tell her to get her act together, leaving her to find other family or friends to lean on. I can't see that, especially for those called to be church leaders, because Jesus described the church as his bride, and told us that husbands should love their brides as Christ loved the Church.
If I were to divorce my wife (never been a consideration for me) in order to move on with my ministry, I'm demonstrating through my marriage that Christ doesn't really think the Church is all that hot, and He can move on and find someone else if he doesn't like what He finds here. Why should I attend a Church where the main example of how Christ loves his bride is a pastor who chose ministry over his bride. It's always easier in my experience for a man to get wrapped up in work than to find ways to meet needs at home and let work take a back seat, even when the work is not that essential.
I know that God has very special plans for me, my wife, and my family. I could describe plenty of reasons for that, but the bottom line is that His plans are His plans, and I can't improve on them if He has told me to take care of my wife and family foremost for now and worry about greater ministry opportunities later. I've had about 10 years in the wilderness so far. If I can get away with that instead of the 80 years that Moses had (40 after fleeing Egypt and 40 in the Exodus), I'm better off than he was.