Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On Being (a Woman of) the River!

He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.
-Proverbs 18:22

House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
-Proverbs 19:14

Lately I have been thinking a lot about all of the energy that many people put into seeing that our flock is taken care of and that God’s Kingdom is being spread. The people that aid in making our Church what it is are numerous, and every person that participates in doing this performs tasks that are absolutely essential to fulfilling God’s purpose in the community. Every task that these people do is vital, as there is no such thing as an insignificant task. A lot of tasks are done “behind the scenes”, with many of us unaware of how much time and resources are freely given. Though a lot of the work may not be acknowledged or even given a thought by many in our congregation, this work is not being done in vain, as God is always the unseen audience who is always aware of our devotion to him. What people may be prone to not noticing, the watchful eye of God is upon those who serve him, as he delights in those who serve him out of a willing heart that aims that his glory may be made known so as to cover the earth.

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about how affectionate my heart is for our congregation as a whole, and specifically, for our elders and their families. I cannot express how thankful I am for our elders and their guidance over the River. They are not perfect in any sense of the word and I don’t agree with everything they do (I don’t agree with everything anyone does, including myself). However, what humbles my heart and makes me eager to be guided by them is the disposition of their hearts. They are willing vessels, eager to see God move in our midst. For this I am thankful.

The more I thought about this, the more I came to see something much deeper in this. What I began to see is something that is a large part of what holds our church together and makes it what it is.

What serves as the backbone of our church, allowing the body to function, are the wives of the elders. Though it is easy to overlook this fact, it is in reality what helps make our church what it is. Just as Christ can’t complete his work apart from the Church, so too husbands cannot fulfill their callings apart from the help of their wives. The devotion and willingness of Allison, Betsy, and Sarah to Jesus Christ is something that warms and melts my heart whenever I think of it.

I know it is often not easy for them to be in the role they are in and to do the things that they do.

There are many times when I see Joey asking Allison if she is alright with him taking time away from their family in order that needed tasks can be done. When he asks, she gives him the “I’m seriously thinking about running you over with our van in order that I can break your legs so that you can’t you leave me at home by myself with three energetic boys stuck inside on a rainy day but I love you and I love Jesus and wish to see his kingdom spread, so yes, it will be alright” look.

I have seen Sarah spend months devoting nearly all of her time to helping Brian fulfill the calling God had put upon him at that time. Through the difficulty of dealing with the heavy load that was placed upon them, she was faithful to do what God had asked of her and helped willingly despite the hardships that they were having to carry at that time. In the past months I have seen Sarah have the look of, “Brian, I will willingly serve God beside you even though this is difficult and you better praise the Lord that I’m too exhausted to kill you right now”. Nevertheless, she continued to push forward in fulfilling God’s calling on her though it has been exhausting and painful to do so at times.

Betsy is someone I do not know extremely well, as I have not spent as much time with her and Justin as I have with the Yokeley’s or the Leimone’s. I am continually impressed by Betsy’s interactions with others and the character and integrity she and her whole family share. She is definitely a “1 Peter 3:3-4 woman”, a rare breed. She has always been respectful to me, and I am continually amazed by the level of concern and courtesy that she and Justin show to me. I don’t know if Betsy has a “look”, but I sometimes see Justin have the look of, “Betsy is going to kill me if I don’t keep my priorities right, but I have no problem doing so as I know that she will work beside me tirelessly.”

I pray that one day God gives me a wife like these three women. (If any of you three happen to have younger sisters my age that I don’t know about, please disclose this to me. Lol.)

I will have to admit if whoever she is not have a sense of humor like Allison, as her having a sense of humor like Allison’s will result in us going into a diabetic coma. Allison and I both like corny jokes so me marrying someone who also likes corny jokes would cause an overload, thus causing us to turn into starch, which in turn overloads our bodies with sugar, resulting in a diabetic coma.

Also, the girl I marry cannot dress like Sarah. There is nothing wrong with how Sarah dresses. It is just that in some ways Sarah and I dress so similarly that if the girl I marry dresses like Sarah we would constantly be mixing up clothes, as our clothes would look alike. Sarah and I have SEVERAL striped shirts that are the exact same colors and stripe-width. It’s eerie. If Sarah and I mysteriously woke up one day as a member of the opposite sex we would probably just call one another and exchange wardrobes. (I love you Sarah!).

I am very grateful for these three women, both for who they are and for what they do. I appreciate all that they do to support their husbands and our church as a whole. As a church body we are deeply indebted to these women, as we are to many other people as well.

The River Church is a wonderful group of oddball, grace-filled, Kingdom-driven, messed up, broken people who are slowly but surely extending the Kingdom of God in the midst of learning what it means to truly, though not perfectly, follow Jesus in today’s world.

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