|Matthew and Christy Fitzwater, Kalispell, Montana|
Twenty years ago we started marriage as normal people – me a teacher and my husband a professional counselor with a masters in psychology. We’ve only been at this not-normal pastor thing for seven years now.
So maybe we didn’t know that a pastor and his wife shouldn’t be sexy and flirty and playful and adventurous.
About ten years ago I realized my bridal shower lingerie was looking a little outdated and ratty, so that Christmas I put a tiny little box in my husband’s stocking, with a tag on it that said “open in private”. He’s been getting one of those little packages every Christmas now for the last ten years - a most fun Christmas gift that says everything about how desirable a man he is and absolutely nothing about how good his sermon was last Sunday.
Every Sunday in our Bible study class he walks around the room and shakes hands with people. When he comes to me he holds my hand with both of his and pauses for a long time – looking deep into my eyes. (I once talked to a woman who was new to the class, and she said, “Oh, I’m so relieved to find out you’re his wife.”)
A few years ago he bought me a little black dress for Christmas and took me out to a shrimp-on-ice and cloth-napkin-in-your-lap restaurant. So romantic. All his attention on me. Talking about life and enjoying each other.
Every Friday (his day off) he takes me to Taco Bell for lunch. I order a burrito supreme (because he’s no cheapskate), and we exchange long, lingering glances over hot sauce packets. Catching up with each other.
On our 20th anniversary last June, we decided to enter our next decade of marriage with an exciting new adventure, so we made a decision to become coffee snobs. Armed with a $2, four-cup coffee maker from a garage sale and a budget-friendly can of Folgers, we brewed our first pot and enjoyed a cuppa together.
For 20 years my husband and I have always lived like we were in the honeymoon stage, and because we’ve worked (and it takes work) to always pursue and flirt and be a little sexy and adventurous, after two decades our relationship is on fire and grows more exciting as time goes on. I’m convinced that when we enter the ministry we need to act even more honeymoon-ish, because there’s so much at stake as we set an example for our church family of what romance looks like. Everyone is watching.
I think the 25-year-old pastor’s wife and the 43-year-old pastor’s wife and the 57-year-old pastor’s wife should all be caught in Victoria’s Secret every once in a while. Ministry marriages need a little “pink” too.
Allow me to introduce myself...
My name is Christy, and my husband and I met at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Texas. We've lived in Kalispell, Montana (an hour from the Canadian border) for 17 years. He is a licensed professional counselor who worked with seriously emotionally disturbed children and teens for a decade before coming on as associate pastor at Easthaven Baptist Church. He preaches and does counseling. I have a secondary teaching degree, but I don't teach for a living. My ministry is all about words. I write and teach my own children's curriculum to about 70 Awana kids every week. I write Bible studies and small group discussion guides that correspond with our sermon series at church. I also write devotional guides for our youth, preparing them for mission trips. (Check out my devotional blog, Tiddlywinks.) Besides all the writing, I do medical transcription and love being housewife, pastor's champion, and mom to my two awesome teenagers.