This week in the Neighbors’ household the roles are reversed. Ashley is in Orlando with a group of our teenage girls from Morningside attending the Blume Conference. This “girls only” event has been a great way for Ashley to further connect with the ladies in our student ministry, and a way for me to step back from the lead for a moment. During these days away from full-time ministry I’ve been keeping the home front going with our two boys who are full of life and energy (that’s code for: wild and crazy).
For several months leading up to this week Ashley has been saying, “You’re not going to know what to do without me while I’m gone to Blume.” Whenever she would bring it up I would laugh it off and pretended that I was going to be fine. However, on the inside, I knew it was going to be really hard without her. This week has given me a new appreciation of what Ashley does as the homemaker in our family.
From the very beginning God knew that man needed help. Genesis 2:18 says, “The LORD God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” For some of you, that may seem chauvinistic, but it’s the truth. God made men and women to be together and to help one another in this life. It certainly is true for me. I don’t know where I would be without Ashley. She is far more than a “helper” to me. She makes managing our home, raising our boys, and serving in our church all at the same time look so easy. Heck, I had trouble this week just trying to go by the office for a minute with the boys.
One year before I answered the call to full-time ministry (back in 1993) I met and began to date Ashley. I didn’t know it then, but God’s provision was right on time. Even before He called me, He equipped me. The Lord provided the best part of my ministry – my wife!