I have never felt as insecure in my entire life as I did when we first began our journey in youth ministry. In my mind, I had a list of expectations for myself as a StuMinWife that was daunting. The perfect StuMinWife is an amazing woman in the church who has her life all together and leads and encourages those in her care with grace and humility at all times. The perfect StuMinWife has a great relationship with her husband and bends-over-backwards, ignoring her own needs, to make him the best student ministry pastor he can be. The perfect StuMinWife has her home in order with laundry finished and dinner on the table every evening. The list from each of us could be a mile long of different pressures we feel to be the perfect StuMinWife to all people at all times. But the list of expectations is something we will never measure up to. The list is something we were never meant to have in the first place.
I have so many StuMinWives friends who count themselves as failures because they just aren’t “good enough” in some aspect on their list to make the cut as an amazing woman in ministry. I know StuMinWives who believe they aren’t extroverted enough to speak boldly in public. I have friends who are StuMinWives who believe they don’t know the Bible enough to encourage and teach students. I know some who believe they aren’t good enough to lead others because of their own personal struggles and pain. Many of these women don’t believe they can be an example to other women because their marriage and home life isn’t good enough as they struggle to make it just one more day in ministry as a mom and as a wife.
This list – this stupid, meaningless, pain-provoking, insecurity-ridden list – was never something that God intended for us as StuMinWives to look at as a measurement of our success or abilities as a mom, wife, or leader in ministry. In fact, I believe it pains God to see us come under the pressure of our own thoughts and insecurities instead of living the life that He has called us to live.
I will never be good enough in my own eyes to be the StuMinWife I think that I need to be. But freedom comes when I realize I was never created to be the facade I have created inside of my head. She doesn’t exist. She never has existed. And she never will exist.
God is not in the business of creating perfect StuMinWives who can be superhuman by their own strength. Instead, our God is in the business of taking what we give to Him in obedience and making something beautiful with our messy and imperfect lives. He desires to take what we offer Him, and by His strength, make us into exactly the person He needs us to be.
Your students don’t need you to be the perfect Bible teacher to teach them what they need to know. They just need you. Your husband doesn’t need you to put aside your own needs and desires and make yourself miserable in the process of ministering with him. He just needs you. Your children don’t need a perfect mom who has the perfect home that is clean and tidy all of the time. They just need you.
They need you, even the parts that are messy, the parts that you believe aren’t good enough, and the parts of life that make you feel insecure. Because when those aspects of your life are given to God, He does exactly what He wants with your life to set you up to be the leader, mom, wife, and woman He wants you to be.
StuMinWife, rest assured and be encouraged today, knowing that, in God, you are more than good enough.