Tag Archives: Emily Hatfield

The Unanswered Cry — Emily Hatfield

On Sunday morning, my toddler was that kid.

She wasn’t feeling well. And, let’s add, that she’s only a year-and-some-change old. She needed sleep (like, up-for-an-hour-in-the-middle-of-the-night needed sleep) . She was likely hungry (aren’t they always?), and she was definitely in no mood to sit still. So, after an hour of Bible class, five minutes of announcements, and ten minutes of singing praise to God, she was done. D-O-N-E done.

Of course, she waited to let me know she was done. She waited until the moment that a dear brother in Christ stood up to speak about the upcoming Lord’s Supper. As he approached the microphone and began to speak about the betrayal of our Lord, she cried. It was a different cry. It wasn’t a fussy cry or a defiant cry. She was upset, hurting, unwell. So she cried. And when we stood up, she assumed that she would be getting a spanking because, well, she always does if she makes us get up out of worship (which, has happened like twice since she’s been old enough to sit still). So, the upset, unwell cry turned into a severe, urgent cry of help. Oh, and did I mention loud? Because it was SO loud.

When we got to the back (we sit in the front, of course), she was crying, I was crying, and I was soothing. We sat in the cry room, thankfully alone, as I dried her tears and calmed her heart. I spoke soft words of comfort to her and after a while she was appeased. She understood she wasn’t in trouble; that I was there to help and console. So she breathed deeply and settled into my chest to relax.

But I. was. a. mess.

All I could think of was my Lord, on the cross. Wasn’t that what I had been trying to prepare my mind to do? And while a screaming child can usually distract, she sent me right where I needed to be. She sent me directly to Calvary. To a Child in so much pain and agony; a Child hurting and desperate for comfort from His Father…a Child whose cry, whose urgent cry (My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?) went unanswered.

In the moment that my sweet, innocent girl cried out for my attention, I wanted nothing more than to give it to her and alleviate any discomfort she felt. I wanted to take her pain; to do all within my power to make her happy. And it was what? A little bit of tiredness and hunger that sent her to that point? If I know that kind of love and care for my child, how much more so does God the Father know love and wish to extend it to His children? And yet, for His Only Begotten Son, He chose to let Him hang there — to suffer unimaginable pain and carry the weight of the entire world in His pierced hands and feet.

What love the Father must have for His other children — for the church. For those who have been washed in Jesus’ sweet, saving blood. Those who have taken on His name, Christian. How much love must the Father have for us, to answer our cry (the need to be saved!) instead of Jesus’ on the cross?!

I cannot fathom my God’s love. But wow, am I ever grateful that He chooses to love me even though I’ve failed Him time and again.

My sweet child didn’t know what she was doing. She didn’t understand just how much she was helping me when she cried out. But she was. She took me straight to the heart of God — straight to Calvary. That’s where I need to stay; basking in the great love my God has for me.

Emily worships at the North Charleston congregation in North Charleston, SC. Her husband, Robert, preaches there. She is the host of the weekly podcast for Christian women, Wifey Wednesdays, on The Light Network, a brotherhood podcast network (www.thelightnetwork.tv).

 

Life As A Preacher’s Wife – Emily Hatfield

Recently, my husband did an amazing job delving into 1 Corinthians 7 and answering some tough questions about the passage. Throughout the sermon, he made observations about marriage and focus and the husband and wife relationship. As I sat there, I realized I was the only person in the audience who really knew if I should respect the words coming out of his mouth. No one else is married to the preacher. No one else really knows how he treats his wife. No one but me, the preacher’s wife.

There are a lot of women who seem to despise the role of preacher’s wife for one reason or another. Be it the glass house, higher (and sometimes unrealistic) expectations, seeing ‘behind the curtain’ into unfortunate conversations and attitudes…who knows. Some women just really seem to not enjoy being the preacher’s wife, or even being called the preacher’s wife. Me? I don’t really get it.

As I was listening intently to the man I love open the Word that I love, I felt an incredible sense of blessedness. As a preacher’s wife, I get to be married to a man constantly engaged in deep Bible study. Married to a man who will consistently try to better himself, who will freely say I’m sorry, who will forgive me as Christ does. I get to be involved in many people’s lives. Help them through struggles. Greet them with love and cheer when their world might otherwise be in chaos. I get to teach, love, and serve in unique ways because of my proximity to God’s messenger. As one who wasn’t given the opportunity to fulfill that role (1 Tim. 2:12), this is the next best thing, isn’t it?

However, I can sort of understand where some women are coming from. They don’t necessarily thrive on being in the spotlight. They don’t handle awkward or probing questions well. They don’t enjoy being held to a different standard than others, but here’s the thing: we’ve got to get past all of that.

The fact of the matter is, if your husband is a preacher, you are held to a different standard. Your husband proclaims the word of God to groups of people multiple times throughout the week. He will speak on subjects like marriage, holiness, purity of speech and dress, and proper attitudes. Nothing he says will be taken seriously if his wife isn’t living what he preaches. Just like people won’t listen if his own life isn’t in order, the same can be said of his family. How could my husband have gotten into the pulpit Sunday and spoken boldly and confidently about God’s instruction on marriage if his own marriage wasn’t as God intended? It would have been hypocritical. And so, there’s a part I play in his preaching. There’s a standard that has to be different for me. Now, every Christian women should be striving to live to that standard as well, but other people’s souls don’t necessarily depend on that. In our case – they do. Souls will not listen to a preacher whose wife is out of control or standoff-ish. Souls will not feel at ease with a preacher whose wife seems to despise her role, wants to not be involved in all of the ways he’s asking the congregation to be involved. People will tune him out if they see his wife not behaving in a submissive way, a respectful way, a pure and holy way. People will laugh when he preaches on modesty if his wife is known for her low-cut attire.

It may not seem fair, but that’s the way it is. And I, for one, absolutely love it. Maybe it’s the competitive spirit within me, but when I know people are watching, I want to be better. When I know people will be studying me and my family, I want to be sure I am doing things exactly as Christ would have me to do them, lest they be lead in the wrong direction.

So, if you find yourself struggling in your role or nervous to get married to a preacher or bitter because people expect so much of you— change the way you think about it. Realize that God is using you in a unique way, and use your position as the preacher’s wife to help spread the truth of God through your pure, holy, Christ-seeking spirit and influence.

emilyhat.com