My assistant Pam and I were working on a project. I turned to her and said, “It is true what you said to my wife, I would never marry him, and my wife Dot said back to you I would never work for him.” Pam enthusiastically said yes!
I was dating my wife when we were both attending ministry preparation school. There was a push by the denomination who sponsored the school that you marry someone who would make a wonderful assistant. The idea was that the two of you would serve together or co-labor side by side in either the church or another ministry opportunity we would be appointed. By marrying someone who would make a great assistant, you could climb the ladder and be appointed to more demanding roles of responsibility and leadership. If you’ve read my column for any amount of time you know that I bucked that mindset.
I wasn’t going to marry an assistant. I wanted to marry someone who was the love of my life. I wanted to marry someone who would make me stupid in love, not someone who could run programs or handle administration. My leaders shook their heads at my response.
When we graduated and were appointed to our first ministry assignment together, I quickly learned that I had married a wife and not an assistant. My wife doesn’t do well in-office procedures. It’s just not in her wheelhouse. Yet, we were appointed to serve together.
I went to my second appointment and yes, I had greater responsibility and greater demands. While my first appointment had no staff, I had four people to supervise in my second appointment. I saw greater administrative demands did not fit well in my wife’s wheelhouse.
Fast forward and it is March 01, 1996. I am sitting in the Board room at Charlotte Rescue Mission being interviewed for the position of Executive Director. One member of the interviewing committee asked me what I saw my wife’s role in the Mission. Without missing a beat, I turned to him and said, “If you want my wife to work here, that is a separate interview with her. You are interviewing me for the position of Executive Director. This is not a two for one interview.” He smiled at me and said, “Good answer.”
My wife’s gifts are in the area of hospitality. Ten people can arrive at our house unannounced and she can whip up something for everyone to eat without missing a beat. She makes everyone feel special and they have a wonderful time. To this day, my wife makes sure that we still celebrate our children’s birthdays with cake and candles. They’re not eight; they are in their thirty’s. If I was to host you, I would find a package of hot dogs and microwave them, hoping you don’t ask me for a roll and mustard.
My assistant’s role is different. She multiplies my time by taking care of the many details I need to be managed. Without her, the workload would be unmanageable, details would get lost, goals would not be accomplished, and things would fall apart. Pam is a details person. Give her a project and consider it done. My wife is not a details person.
For both of them, I share this verse. “A good woman, who can find. She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband (boss) trusts her and she does him good and not harm all the days of his life.” I am blessed to have both women in my life, each with very different roles.
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.