“Please say your name, where you are from and why you are in this workshop. We will start in the back with you.”
Michael stood up and shared a little about himself, and about us…he motioned to me telling everyone, proudly I’m sure, that I am his wife. I smiled and waved, completely content with our introduction. The workshop leader motioned to me, and I just smiled and waved and responded with, “Yep, I’m the wife.”
The lady to my right, who I quickly found out had the answer to everything, looked at me with disapprovement and commented, “Is that all you are is a wife?” I wish I could tell you my witty, appropriate and Jesus-loved-filled response, but I had one of those moments. Those moments where I was so dumbfounded that someone actually said such a thing I just sat there confused.
During the remaining introductions I repeated “all you are is a wife,” “all you are is a wife.” Twenty introductions later, I came to find myself pitying the woman next to me, because certainly she was single. Not that single is bad, but for her it was bitter and bitter is never good.
I am here to say that if all I defined myself as was, “Just a wife,” I would be unapologetically proud. If I had a second chance to respond to this lovely, yet bitter woman, I might say:
“JUST a wife? Oh, honey, I am JUST a wife of the most amazing man ever. Who works ridiculous hours for this family, so I can be in ministry. Just a wife? Oh honey, a wife is one of the highest callings, and the first and foremost purpose in being a woman. God created Eve to be JUST a wife to Adam, how glorious to fulfill all that God wanted for me as a woman. Just a wife? Oh honey, I have the privilege of being unified with my best friend, fighting with him in public, and holding his hand in silence. As JUST a wife I have discovered my strengths and weakness I have learned to trust another person completely with my life, and the life of my children. Being Just a Wife is a firsthand experience of what the church means to Jesus, and God has given me that honor and insight. When I seek Jesus, I understand his love for me and the work I do in the church in a way that could never be duplicated. Oh honey, you can say I am JUST a wife, but I say, I am called and ordained, loved and trusted. And with that, I am completely content.