It’s day 1 of Round 2. This is the second time in 3 years that my wife Catherine has been brave enough (or crazy enough) to leave me alone with our two boys. The first time this madness happened she flew to England for 8 days. She went to recharge her batteries, see her family and drink french wine for lunch. Europeans.
This week she is off to the mountains of North Carolina. For 5 days she will get prayer ministry and helpful counselling. She will receive the kind of spiritual support someone would need if they were married to me. And she is. Married to me. And we plan to keep it that way.
You see, we really love one another. But we humans forget that unless you care for something (heart, marriage, plants, etc) those things will stop growing. And healthy things grow.
It’s “crazy” how having 2 kids, leading a church, traveling, writing a book and trying to adopt a baby will interfere with the joys of being a husband. All those things are amazing (super-duper amazing) but they could easily become a nightmare without her. Because Catherine is the most supportive, loving and gorgeous person I know. I do so much better when I listen and learn from her. I do so much better when I prioritize time with her. I do so much better when I love her,
“as Christ loves the church, and gave Himself for her.” Eph. 5:25
So it is my joy to change diapers for 5 days straight (Not really, but I’m staying positive). I’m happy to deal with snot and poo and a constant demand for games and chocolate. I will embrace the overwhelming lack of privacy that only 2 toddlers can provide. Because this is a season of really learning “family first”. Not the concept, the idea or the sermon, but the out working and the pleasure.
I realised this year that my one true calling, my congregation and priority, is my darling girl and my wild sons. I won’t get many accolades from just being a husband or a dad. I probably won’t get to collect an offering or sign a book deal. But oh do I love it. After 5 weeks of being on sabbatical from all pastoral duties I have gotten to enjoy the best kind of pastoring there is: teaching my boys how to wrestle, actually having a conversation with my girl without distractions and setting my eyes on Jesus again (and not because I need to write another sermon).
It’s unfortunate how normal it is for pastor’s kids to be messed up. It’s crazy that there is more divorce inside the church than outside of it. So we are choosing to not be another statistic. We are choosing to take the road less traveled. And it all starts with me. Me healing. Me changing. Me repenting. And whatever happens after that, it’s up to God.
I turned 33 last month. Jesus finished His ministry at 33. So I guess it’s ok that I’m having my own kind of death-burial-resurrection.
So here we go again. Another week with just me and the boys. And another season of dying to myself; of recognising that I am the issue (definitely not my wife). I guess I’m excited for all the junk God is bringing up to the surface in my life and for all the people who get to hear about it. (Not really, but I’m staying positive).
But please pray, because 5 days with 3 puertoricans inside a small apartment is an actual recipe for disaster. I hope we make it, I know we will, but maybe we won’t… So please pray! 🙂
Required reading if you have boys: Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson