The Fish in the Bowl

Posted by | October 09, 2017 | Balance, Family, Identity, Pastors' Wives | No Comments
Closeup of a goldfish in a fishbowl

I am sure you can guess what our subject is about today, “The Fish in the Bowl,” speaking of where we all live as pastors’ wives. Patti Johnson has a really great blog on this subject to share with us today. Enjoy!

One day a co-worker asked those of us in the office to look after her fish while she was away on vacation. We agreed that would be something we could do for her. She arrived at the office soon after with her fish in a bowl. After a bit of instruction about feeding and cleaning the water she turned to leave. One of us said to her in a tone of confidence, “We won’t let anything happen to your fish.” With her hand on the office door, she turned and over her shoulder said this to us, “Oh, don’t worry so much about my fish, and just don’t let anything happen to the bowl.”

Quite stunned, we looked at each other, but before we could get an explanation, she was gone.

While she was away, we took good care of her fish and her bowl although we were not quite sure why the emphasis on the bowl.

When she returned from vacation, she came into the office to retrieve her fish. Seeing all was well with her fish, she thanked us and again mentioned that she was grateful we took care of her bowl.

I finally stepped up and asked her what we were all thinking, “What is so important about the bowl?” “And why do you have a fish if you don’t care so much for it?”

This was her answer:

Her husband works in a very fancy jewelry store, one that sells very costly crystal. Lalique crystal, to be exact. On one very important occasion her husband was given a Lalique crystal bowl. Her fish resides in this bowl. While she does value the life of her fish and does her best to take care of it, it is the bowl that holds the irreplaceable value in her eyes.

While this explained her words and actions, it left us all feeling sad for the fish.

This story comes back to my thoughts when I like you, as a pastor’s wife, may not feel as valued in others’ eyes as perhaps the “bowl” we reside in. The “bowl” being our church building or a ministry or program that takes higher value in others’ eyes over the “fish in the bowl.”

While there is understanding of the value in these other things, and care must be given to them, in comparison it feels wrong to be less valued.

This is how I remember that although people may not see my value in comparison to other things, God has told us in His Word that he values us greatly.

What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. Matthew 10:29 NLT

So take heart, dear sisters when we as the “fish in the bowl” feel less valued, remember God values us greatly.

Life as a pastor’s wife can certainly be difficult, but remember you are God’s girl and you are valued.

About Rodetta Cook

Rodetta Cook has been a pastor’s wife for 39 years. She and her husband, Ron, have actively served the Lord together in ministry during the entire time and are co-founders of Care for Pastors. She understands the expectations, loneliness and how hard it is to find balance in ministry as a pastor’s wife. Rodetta also leads the pastor’s wives initiative at Care for Pastors called The Confidante and ministers to hundreds of wives each week. She strives to share blogs with other pastors’ wives that will help them in their ministry walk.

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