When I was an adolescent and would make a resolution to do the Bible year reading, I was fascinated by the historical and poetic books. However, I found the Chronicles and prophetic books such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Revelation to be very tiring, boring, discouraging, and even incomprehensible. Also it was very difficult when I tried to understand St. Paul's epistles with their profound concepts and complications!
Today I am a woman and a pastor's wife, and I love the prophetic books, especially Isaiah, since I have found that they are filled with encouraging promises for my life. Saint Paul's epistles are very effective as they relate to practical Christian living, particularly the epistle to the Philippians, which I read frequently. In these writings I find the joy and peace that are so necessary for my needs; the presence and power of Jesus is there. This is the secret of a happy and satisfied life for everyone, particularly for the pastor's wife who so frequently finds herself at home alone.
Twenty-four years ago I became a pastor's wife, and I'm happy because I have seen God's guiding hand in our lives. Not everything has been a bed of roses; however, In difficult moments the Lord has helped me to look at situations from a perspective of purpose and divine guidance in my spiritual growth.
For almost 20 years my husband has had to be absent from home for a few days, sometimes for weeks and at times even for months to fulfill his responsibility as departmental director, evangelist or administrator. Each time he has to travel, there is always someone who says: "You poor thing; you are always alone." However, these words do not affect me because I do not feel as if I am alone. Even though he is not with me physically, the most important thing is that I have his love, support, and understanding. On the other hand, God has given us the privilege of having wonderful children who have enriched our lives. The love of my husband and affection of my children have enriched my life to such an extent that I haven't felt alone. When my children were little, I devoted myself to be with them, train, and instruct them in the ways of the Lord. I enjoyed each stage of their growth, and together we always joyfully awaited the return of our husband and father. My thoughtful husband always brought the children a souvenir or gift from his trips. Sometimes it would be be a toy, candies or chocolates, a key ring, or something else; no matter how small, it always made us happy. Soon the children became adolescents, and even with the implications of this stage, I didn't have time to feel alone because God was at my side. He even gave me the strength to complete my studies which were interrupted when I got married.
Now, our nest is almost empty. Only our youngest son is at home; he and I are involved in activities of the school, church and work, and we are enjoying our time of being "alone." When my husband is at home, we fill up our emotional "tank" and life continues its course. I believe that the secret of my not feeling "alone" has been the joy of motherhood, my sense of satisfaction in the home by maintaining a constant relationship with God and looking at life with a positive attitude, despite whatever circumstance I may have to face.
A very close relationship exists between mind and body to such an extent that if the body suffers, the mind reacts, and vice versa. Therefore, it is evident that positive thinking requires good physical and mental health. Here are some suggestions to help us think positively.
1. Take care of our physical health by eating adequate food, by exercising regularly and getting appropriate rest.
2. Cultivate the mind by reading books which uplift, edify and develop our character; books that generate thoughts of peace, love, and hope.
3. Have a right perspective of life. The Lord says: "Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life" (Ministry of Healing, p. 241), And Paul says in Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
4. Cultivate happiness. Constant complaints embitter our life and weaken our heart. It is necessary to see the positive side of the problems and difficulties that we face. If we live by faith, we will know how to be happy and laugh in spite of tragedies. "A happy and satisfied spirt is like health to the soul." In. Philippians 4:4, we read: "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice."
There are so many reasons for which to be happy, and it is very disconcerting to live with a sad and whining heart!
5. Get rid of your worries. In Philippians 4:6 we are exhorted not to worry. Anxiety depletes nervous energy. We should work on the priorities and forget the rest. Get rid of your "loneliness" and worries by placing your faith in God. David says in Psalms 37:5, "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
6. Be thankful. Gratitude is a special ingredient for mental health. But we should not only be thankful for the blessings, but also for everything which happens to us because Lod has a purpose for our lives.
Have our lives been miraculously spared in an accident? Perhaps we were left trembling for a moment because of the terrible emotional impact. But more than that, it's likely we repeatedly said, "Thanks, many thanks, Lord." Hasn't He also remarkably solved grave difficulties in our lives? There is no doubt that we are valuable in God's sight and consequently are objects of His special care. Shouldn't we then be grateful to Him? Gratitude to God and to those around us is one of the positive sentiments which helps us to enjoy life.
The pastor's wife should not allow loneliness to overcome her. On the contrary, joy and hope should be a part of her Christian experience. The presence of Jesus is a positive attitude as we face life; it helps us to enjoy being the wife of a man who is fulfilling the divine commission.