Many people support a charitable organization or missionary. To do so, we willingly give up our own money and channel it to an individual or organization who is actively involved in helping out others in some way. We understand that we cannot be everywhere at the same time, so giving of our resources to help fund someone meeting a need we are passionate about just makes sense.
My wife and I have been blessed. Throughout our marriage, she has been able to stay at home with our children, while I was off working. I understand that this is not the case for all couples for a variety of reasons. I understand that all of us have different circumstances in life, different personalities, different goals, etc. My point is that for Terri and I, we chose to have her stay at home with our children, and God has provided for us through my employment.
Over the years, there have been many times where she would tell me the highlights of her day, such as spending time at the park or going to a pool, or even having the opportunity to read while our children napped. Most of the time, I was so happy for her that she had the opportunity to do these things with the kids. To be honest though, there were also days when I had a lot of stress at work and she would tell me of her day and I would get jealous. My thinking would go something like, “I’m out there among wolves working my tail off and you are having another day of vacation loving on our children. It is just not fair.”
I admit my selfishness in this mindset and my total disregard for the homeschooling, changing diapers, dealing with grouchy children, feeding the seven of us, grocery shopping, laundry, driving to practices and games etc., or even the times when one of them, or she was sick.
Fast forward to now, since the children are grown she has much more time to do as she likes, and I still have opportunities to be jealous over the activities she is involved in while I am busy at work. But about three weeks ago, the thought came to me about the activities my wife was doing. She was visiting a friend regularly at the hospital. She was spending time with her mom. She was involved in a Bible study with other women. She was involved with some women who were going through difficult times. She was spending time ministering to our adult children. She was serving in our home. Basically, she was using the gifts God has given her.
All of a sudden, like a neon light just blinked on in my mind, the thought came to me that what I am really doing, in a small way each day, is supporting a missionary. Although she has not left to another country, which obviously has many more difficulties, she is busy ministering to others. Funny, because I do remember her feeling the same way, long ago, when I would be off to church or helping in some ministry and she was still at home caring for our children.
When I told her my new understanding, she was so filled with peace and joy because it relieved her of the pressure she feels to work, as many women in our culture do, when their children are grown.
Anyway, at least in our circumstance, I am grateful to be able to financially support my wife, the missionary.