"But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with (Jesus) Christ even when we were dead in
transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved."
(Ephesians 2:4-5)

A Sisters Love

This is copied from a blog from Bethannie’s sister. Wonderful read and the elders encourage you to read on.

“This is an open letter to a group of my Christian brothers and sisters whom I have never met, in a place I have never been. You see, you are receiving a blessing this week that has required a sacrifice from me and my family: my sister, B, and her husband, L, as your new pastor and pastor’s wife.

Please understand from the beginning that I have every reason to think well of you. L & B had only good things to say about you all after their visit to candidate with you. I have only seen warmth, kindness, and welcome from your interactions with them on Facebook and on your website. But I have learned the hard way that people we love and think we know and who, we believe, love us in return can hurt us the most profoundly. No one is beyond the benefit of an encouraging word of exhortation. And so, I desire to spur you on to love and godliness in your interactions with my sister and brother-in-law because, while God can require hard – even painful – things of us at times, failing to walk in His ways always results in pain, even for innocent parties.

For this reason, I write to you.

Please remember that my big sister is not just a pastor’s wife. She is, but she is so much more than that. She is a wife, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend. She is a professional, a college graduate, and an aunt to my unborn child. She is the one who plunked out duets with me on the piano, who played dolls and dress-up with me, who introduced me to my favorite brand of makeup, who inspires me to read worthwhile books. She is well-read and has extensive knowledge about a variety of topics. She has spoken to a roomful of hundreds of collegues and has traveled to divers places. She has many strengths, but she has her fears and foibles as well. She isn’t perfect, and moving into a parsonage will not make her so. Please, be kind in your words to and about her. Do not be shocked when she disappoints you or lets you down in an expectation. Get to know her as a real human, not just as your pastor’s wife, or you will indeed miss out.

Please remember that L is not just your pastor. He is, but he is also so much more. L has hobbies and favorite books and places. He has quirks and preferences. He is not just learning to lead a church but also a wife. He will shepherd you in the ways of the Lord, but he himself is not infallible. There will be cultural differences as well (have you ever heard of Pizza Ranch or the Minnesota goodbye?). You will call him Pastor L, but do not let that title lull you into thinking that he is a pastor first (I say this because I am guilty of the same with my pastor). No, he is L. Please do not miss the richness of what that means by allowing the stereotypes and expectations of a title to suffice for actually getting to know him as a man.

Thank you for calling B & L. Thank you for extending this opportunity to a young couple fresh from seminary. I look forward to the opportunity to visit with you in person, to meet you and to begin to love the people and place that my sister and brother-in-law have chosen to love. I had never heard about you before a few months ago, and now it is my desire to make you friends as well as spiritual family. Please, in lieu of and agreement with their biological families who are separated by so many miles, wrap your arms – physically, spiritually, in prayer and in encouragement – around these our loved ones. As you do, may their absence from us be a gift to you. May you abound more and more in the riches of God’s kindness, and may He strengthen you in the knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Peace be to you.”

 

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