Welcome to Minister’s Wife Monday! 

Today, I’m kicking off our Christ-Like Pastor’s Wife series.  {If you missed the intro, What About Being a Good Pastor’s Wife?, you can read it here.}

Although I’ve planned for this series for several months, Ive wrestled with writing this particular article because it just doesn’t feel very spiritual, and definitely not what you’d expect to sit down and read at a pastor’s wife’s blog.

But this is what I feel strongly in my heart.  This is how I live out this ministry calling as a woman, wife, and mom.

So here we go!

The first attribute I want to talk about in our Christ-like Pastor’s Wife series, is the quality of being AWARE.

Just a Christ-Like Pastor's Wife | Kristy's Cottage blog

Aware: having knowledge or perception of a situation or fact; concerned and well-informed.”

Specifically, I am going to unpack the dimension of being SELF-AWARE.

Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.” {source}

“Self-awareness: the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others.” {source}

“Self-aware: informed; alert; knowledgeable; sophisticated.” {source}

I know, I know.  This isn’t a specifically “Christ-like” virtue, although I do have Scripture to back up what I’m about to share with you (I’ll get to that in a minute).

I also realize that it is entirely possible for anyone, even an unbeliever, to be self-aware.

And, naturally, certain personalities are going to be innately more introspective and self aware than others.

So why am I dealing with this in the context of ministry?  And why am I launching a series on Christ-like virtues for pastor’s wives with the idea of being self-aware?

This is why:

**Because I believe God has given each of His children the gift of eternal purpose and potential, specifically the potential to live a life of excellence and influence during our lifetime.**

I also believe that the quality of being self-aware, powered by godly wisdom and the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, greatly broadens our scope of vision and influence as Christian women.

Becoming a Woman of Eternal Vision | Kristy's Cottage

In two posts, I’m going to unpack Social Awareness and Spiritual Awareness, and how cultivating a heart of understanding and wisdom can equip us as pastor’s wives.

Please keep in mind that what I share here at my blog are my personal thoughts and observations.  I am neither a professional nor a licensed counselor.

Let’s get started!

Social Self-Awareness

According to my online dictionary, this quality of being self-aware can be defined as “informed” or “sophisticated.”  I kind of like that! 🙂

The words “informed” and “sophisticated” remind me of someone like Kate Middleton, born into a position of wealth, culture and education, and married into the Royal family.  By nature of these privileges, she is considered a woman of excellence and influence.

Most of us ministry wives were not born into, and did not marry into, a life of privilege and social standing.

But, whether our sphere of influence is 30, 300, or 3,000,000, we are each called to embrace a life of excellence and influence for the glory of Christ.

You and I may be “common” preacher’s wives, but our calling as daughters of God is high, holy, and eternally significant.  This kind of excellence and influence is earned through a life of integrity and through meaningful relationships.  

And, without the dimension of self-awareness, social relationships (even within the church body) can be greatly hindered.

———-> Have you ever noticed that certain personalities are very difficult for you to mesh with? 

———-> Or that, for some reason, you really “clash” with some people?  

———-> Or that particular situations make you feel extremely uncomfortable or insecure?

A woman who is self-aware seeks to realize why she struggles with certain people, and why she feels insecure in particular roles or circumstances. 

She will recognize how her upbringing and her past have shaped her. 

She will be open to cultivating new habits, and embracing new (Biblical) ideas, in order to pursue a healthy and effective life today and in the future.

We could say that the opposite of being self-aware is Oblivious, Unaware, or even Ignorant.

An unaware state of mind may allow us to react to people and situations, rather than seek to understand and act with wisdom and discernment.

A few more “red flags” of lacking self-awareness:

  • blaming, argumentative
  • rudeness, lack of tact or social graces
  • continuing in and/or oblivious to dysfunctional patterns
  • seeking to control people or circumstances
  • defensive or very insecure

{source}

**Lack of self-awareness (a.k.a. emotional intelligence) may stunt our personal growth, hinder our relationships (and, thus, our influence) with others, and even limit our freedom to purposefully serve within the body of Christ.**

As I’ve observed professional women in various roles of social and even spiritual leadership, I’ve noticed that the majority of these women (perhaps all) share the characteristic of being self-aware.

Contrary to how it may sound, self-awareness is not self-centeredness.  It is actually the opposite of being self-centered or self-absorbed.

Self-awareness is the learned ability to recognize the needs and differences of others, without feeling threatened or offended by those needs or differences.

Self-awareness is the cultivated, outward focus that recognizes who I am in relation to others, and how I can learn from any given person, situation, or circumstance.

Self-awareness sets me free from insecurity because I am filled with Christ-centered purpose and identity.

Self-awareness releases me from the bondage of the status quo because it liberates me to focus on my God-given strengths and the eternal significance of my life, as a child of God.

Self-awareness forces me to be honest with myself and seek personal growth in areas of weakness and limitation.

Throughout Scripture, we are prompted to cry out to God for wisdom and understanding:

Give me understanding, that I keep Thy law And observe it with my whole heart.”

Psalm 119:34

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.”

I Corinthians 2:12

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

James 1:5

Our primary source of wisdom and self-awareness is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, continually revealing Christ to us and conforming us into His image. 

**But God will not force feed wisdom to His children.  We have a choice, many choices, in how we live and apply truth and wisdom in our lives.

An open heart, a teachable spirit, and an “aware” mind will go a long way in helping us grow into the women of character and influence that God desires us to become.**

A few helpful resources on cultivating self-awareness and personal growth:

< Tomorrow we’ll talk about the dimension of spiritual self-awareness. > 

Cultivating Christ-like Awareness:

  • Am I generally honest with myself?  Am I aware of how my actions and emotions may be affecting my spouse, my children, and others around me?
  • Do I recognize how my past has shaped my present, or how it may continue to affect my future?
  • Do I welcome personal growth, or do I resist people or situations which push me out of my comfort zone?
  • Do I often feel threatened or insecure because of other people’s differences, strengths or accomplishments?
  • In difficult situations, do I “get” the bigger picture or am I more apt to react to people or circumstances?
  • How would being “aware” help me cultivate better relationships within the body of Christ?
  • Have I chosen to embrace the eternal significance of my life as a daughter of God?  Or do I feel satisfied with, or trapped by, my limitations and insecurities?

Dear Heavenly Father,

I praise you for the free offer of wisdom you have given to me, your child.  Thank you for the calling on my life as a ministry wife.  I know that you are intimately aware of my struggles and limitations in serving others with the love and grace of Jesus Christ. 

Please help me to be aware of your purpose for my life, and to see the eternal significance even in the mundane and difficult moments of my life.

Please help me to be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit, and to be aware of what You are trying to teach me.  Give me an understanding heart and broaden the scope of my vision and influence.

I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ., and for His glory, 

Amen. 

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2 thoughts on “The Christ-Like Pastor’s Wife | Aware, part 1

  1. Actually, I think this is very “spiritual”. It’s part of the “insignificant” that makes a great pastor’s wife. Obviously it is significant; I wrote that way to show that there are many things in our lives that are not recognized – unless it is not there. I believe being aware helps everyone in the end.

    Keep up the good work, Kristy!

    Posted on January 25, 2016 at 6:15 pm
    1. Thank you for that feedback, Mikki. Great point. The many, small “insignificant” choices in our lives are truly what create excellence.

      Posted on January 25, 2016 at 6:24 pm