If anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

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Finally, brothers and sisters,

Whatever is true, whatever is noble,

Whatever is right, whatever is pure,

Whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—

If anything is excellent or praiseworthy—

Think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 NIV


Have you ever found yourself in a pattern or funk of dwelling on the negative? This is something I have found I was doing quite a bit. Until one day recently, my Lord during my quite time centered my thoughts on this scripture above. More specifically on “if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  He kept bringing me right back here because I had developed a pattern of painful, unhealthy thought processes.  I thought about some things I had been going through for the past year, my emotions had been anger, bitterness and grief.  As I sat there and pondered what the Lord was trying to lay on my heart, I felt him leading me to let go of all of the painful experiences and hurt.  It was just getting in my way of peace and quality of life and not just for myself but for those who had to hear about my pain and grief I had been focusing on all this time. 


In the last couple of years, I have lost several patriarch men in my family that I had always adored and loved one being my beloved dad.  Words cannot express the pain in my heart that they are no longer here with us.  Life is just not the same in our families.  Family has always been so important to me and the losses of these men have been tragic to me and life changing.  All of these men had always been at family events, my graduations, my wedding, birthdays for my babies and reunions for me throughout my life.  Each of their passing has brought a great deal of pain to me. This is where my grief has snowballed.   My comfort now comes that they are with my Lord in Heaven and one day I will see them again.  In each of their lives their health had so deteriorated they would not be happy still living under those conditions. So I cling to the special times and memories I had with each of them, yet it is hard at times if I choose to dwell on the negative. 

The bitterness, rage and anger come from being a pastor’s wife. Yes, I said came from being a pastor’s wife.  I am not meek and quiet, and I do not play the piano and I do not carry a tune well at all unless I stand next to someone who does then I can harmonize with them.  My gifts and strengths are different, not all pastor’s wives fit a certain mold.  He makes us all unique and people need to realize that when they make assumptions about who I am supposed to be.

Grace, forgiveness, and love are not exercised within the church body, this should not be.  We as Christians are required to love forgive and show mercy and compassion at all times, especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ because this is our Godly family this includes their pastor, wife and family. Getting upset over small, petty things and holding a grudge of unforgiveness is damaging.  I will say it again, as Christians we are not to be overly sensitive, easily offended and we are required to love and forgive. 

The word of God is clear that this is how we will be recognized by the world as true followers of Christ.  We severely miss the mark.  Pastors and their wives and children are given little room for mistakes and failure or simply being human.  Pastors and their wives are called to a higher standard of living. I do not dispute this.  But fellow Christians need to realize that pastors and their wives and children are not perfect, they make mistakes, but they need to be loved and forgiven the same way they expect to be loved and forgiven. They need to serve in the way God leads them to serve not how someone else tells them to serve, they need to feel loved and embraced and not shunned, judged, condemned and written off.  When these things take place, it is hard on a marriage,  it takes a toll on their children.  It can make their children hate church and God and many walk away from their calling including their children. 

After our last experience at a small church we once thought was a loving, kind-hearted church was heart wrenching. It has been difficult for me and my husband to return to church ministry.  It has also impacted my six year old who wants no part of church now; he has no desire to go church because he has seen the pain even at his young age it has caused his parents.  

This is where I have been for the last year with the loss of family and poor church experiences.  God is trying to get me to dwell on the positive, the praiseworthy and excellent things in the life.  Now, when I feel compelled to be sad about my dad and my three uncles’ untimely deaths, I choose to remember and dwell on the good things they brought to my life while they were here.  I rejoice in their salvation and am so thankful that one day I will see them again in Heaven forever, not just for a time, but forever!  When my thoughts turn to a bitter, angry, hurt, unforgiving person, I turn my thoughts to the wonderful church God has brought us to in order to heal our hearts and souls and even show us and teach us some things we can do better and change in our next church.  We have been blessed to see that God does have healthy churches that love and embrace their pastor, his wife and their children.  These are things I am choosing to dwell on because they are noteworthy, praiseworthy and excellent in nature. 

If you are going through a challenging time within your life, I ask you to join this renewing of your thoughts with this particular scripture from Philippians 4:8.  It has truly helped me and continues to help me when my thoughts are challenged on a daily basis and war with the negative ones.  I hope this helps you today and that God will bless you and fill you today with a sweet time of fellowship with him.

Love in Christ Always,



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