As mentioned in previous posts, for the past couple months I have had the privilege of meeting one-on-one with a young woman who will marry a pastor the 2nd weekend in August. When I heard the good news of her engagement, I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to take her under my wing and teach her some of the things I have learned along the way about being married to a pastor. There were five distinct topics I wanted to share. To read the other four click on the links below:
This post is the final heart to heart we had. From the title, you may be wondering what on earth it is about. . . A few years ago a study was done on monkeys. They took one monkey and put it in a cage in a dark and quiet room. Being caged in darkness and quietness can be scary enough, but then they started flashing blinding lights and deafening noises. They tested the monkey’s stress levels and, as you can imagine, they were through the roof! Next, they put a second monkey in the cage with the first monkey and started the bright lights and loud noises again. This time when they tested the stress levels, they were cut in half, just because he had a monkey friend in the cage with him.
There is no denying that ministry is stressful. There are seasons where it is quiet and dark. Then the bright lights and deafening noises start in. Thankfully, it is not God’s plan that we are in the cage alone, therefore, He provides “monkeys” in the cage with us. Our job is to ask Him to show us who our “monkeys” are and seek out and pursue relationship with them. I encouraged my young friend to look for the following qualities in her “monkeys”:
- Availability – time, emotionally available, proximity in distance
- Deep relationship with Jesus – your “monkeys” will influence you, make sure they are influencing the way Jesus would
- Trustworthy – this is of utmost importance
- Speaks the truth to you – not just what you want to hear, but the truth of what you need to hear
As a reminder, I gave her this little sock monkey that says, “Be You Tiful” on its shirt and I also let her know that I am available to her as someone who has walked the road as a pastor’s wife and I am available to her.
Just last weekend we had her bridal shower and at the end I was able to pull her, her mom, her sister and sister-in-law aside to share with them how much she is going to need them as she steps into this calling that God has on her life. I explained the “monkey in the cage with you” concept and then this amazing group of women and I prayed over her. It was one of those moments in life that was so special it will be remembered a long time. (Ministry is full of those moments!)
Do you have monkeys in the cage with you? If so, cherish those special relationships and hold on to them tightly! If not, begin to pray for the Holy Spirit to send a monkey or two your way. Since it is His plan for you not to walk alone, that is a prayer He will delight in answering!
Your Friend in Ministry,