Category Archives: Clergy Families

ENRICHING A PASTORAL COUPLE’S ADVENT

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

 Let me suggest an evening conversation for a pastoral couple that can be both fun and even possibly life changing. Why not have a conversation about the proverbial Elephant in the room. This can be both fun and enlightening—though perhaps a little unnerving. Make sure you have sufficient time and energy for this exercise—and maybe even a cool drink and some soft music. OK, is that enough build-up?

Good Presbyterian theology posits that all of us, not just those who are ordained, have a call from God. Even if only one of the members of your marital team has a visible call from God, accept for this exercise that God has intentions (or a call) for both of you.

GOD’S CALL FOR EACH OF YOU

Each of you take some paper (or if you are high-tech, boot up your computer or iPad), and for twenty uninterrupted minutes try to come up with ten statements about what you sense God’s call is for the pastor and what it is for the pastor’s spouse. (If you are both ordained, make your statements about the call of the pastor’s spouse relate to the role as spouse of the other person who is pastor. They will be doing the same for you.)

HEAR IT READ ALOUD

Stop after twenty minutes, take a cool sip of your drink, and each of you read your list aloud to your spouse. Reflect on them and ask any clarifying questions to make sure you understand, before you start sharing your response to your mutual reflections.

It is quite likely, if you have a good healthy conversation, that each of you will want to make some revisions on your mutual lists. You may also discover some theological issues that you will want to discuss further at another time.

TIME TO DANCE

If you have chosen the music well, after the discussion might be a good time to get up and dance. It is special, humbling, and maybe even a little frightening to consider the call of the God of the universe for your personal lives and by virtue of your marriage, God’s call for you as a couple. Remember, it caused Abram and Sarai to start a whole new journey in life. If Scripture records that accurately, Abram was 75 and Sarai 65 at the time of that first call. Who knows what God has in store for you? One thing is clear, you are never too young or old to choose how you want to respond to God’s call in your lives.

QUESTION TO PONDER

This is the Advent season, a season of expectation where God introduces a Word into life that alters the very meaning of history. What is God birthing in your lives?