Monday, July 16, 2012

You have to admit it's a hard job.

By Christy Fitzwater

An amazing lady in our church passed away last week, so my pastor husband added to his job the weight of preparing for her funeral. On Friday, his only true day off, he spent six hours at the church working on her service. On Saturday he spent another six hours in a black suit. 

Sunday morning he woke up and said, Well, it’s my Monday and I’ve had no weekend. 


Monday morning, as I kissed him on his way out the door, he said it again. It’s Monday morning and I’m so tired. I feel like I’ve had no weekend. 

What does a wife say to that?   

A wife who scrolled through pictures on Facebook –looking at everyone else’s weekend playing-at-the lake pictures. Our family did funeral instead. 

The Fitzwater Family
You laid down your life for another family. That’s what I said to him. That’s what followers of Christ do. That’s what shepherds do.   

We could have had a weekend like “normal people”, but what we want more than anything is to follow Christ. That means sacrifice, and there’s no way around it. It’s just hard. 

When our families sacrifice and our husbands are fatigued, we can either feel sorry for ourselves, or we can speak words of truth to our men.   

We can say it out loud: 

We’re denying ourselves the fun of playing like everyone else does. 

We’re laying down our weekend fun. 

We’re taking up a weighty cross of loving other people even when it hurts.   

It's what we signed up for -giving up fun and normal for something richer.   

That’s what we speak to our tired husbands when shoulders slump and black bags are under the eyes.

About Christy: I live in Kalispell, Montana where my husband is associate pastor at Easthaven Baptist Church. I have a daughter who starts college in a month (sniff sniff) and a lanky teenage boy who will be a sophomore this year. I love to teach and write. Find me at my devotional blog: 


  1. Hi Christy, What you are saying is true, but there are opportunities for us rest, relax and retreat. We need to learn to get away, let other members handle the some of the work, and realize that some things are not crisis and can wait. Many times our role as a spouse is to ensure that there are boundaries in ministries and to encourage our husbands to take vacations that are not church related. We must also encourage them to adjust their schedule when the crisis of ministry occurs. For me, it is not necessary to quote scripture, unless we are using the example of Jesus getting away to the other side to get away from the crowds. We are better servants when we rest , spend quality time with our spouse, have fun and laugh together. We have to be intentional in the scheduling of our time. It ultimately sets a wonderful example for our members when they see us attempting to live a life of balance.

  2. I totally get where you're coming from -I'm usually the one campaigning for boundaries and rest. But there are so many times when sacrifice is necessary, and it's just hard on the whole family. There's definitely no rest when someone dies and funeral prep has to be added in. It just has to be done. When we're exhausted after a service like this, it's easy to forget why we do such a hard job. It really helped us to speak out loud verses that remind us about laying down our lives. It's an interesting tension -isn't it? Sacrificing and taking care of ourselves at the same time. I'll let you know when we've got it all figured out! :)

  3. Amen sister! We,have been in full time pastoral ministry for 32 years, and I wish in my earlier years I would have known what I know now.. Our children are young adults and say that we did a great job balancing things and making them feel that they always came before the church. It was a struggle, but we lost sight of each Other and one day because of a crisis, we had to renew and restore our relationship with one another. Your willingness to be transparent speaks volumes. God is faithful and He will help us once we acknowledge that it is overwhelming. I have decided to change my measuring stick, which now includes taking care of myself, nurturing my relationship with my husband and loving the saints! I will let you know when I got it all figured out:) great chatting with you!


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