religion, christianity, articles
preacher's wives

Staying with the Baggage

By Irene C. Taylor

religion, articles, christianity

After the battle with the Amalekites, some of David's men were of the mind to keep all the spoils of war for themselves. "Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart" (1 Sam. 30:22). Because these had gone into battle and the others had remained on the "home front" David's men felt they only were entitled to the spoils. However, David wisely declared, "Ye shall not do so... For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his Part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike" (1 Sam. 30:23­24).

There is a principle laid down here that is all too often forgotten. In any good work there are the up front doers and the behind­the­scene workers and supporters. Both are vital to the success of the venture yet all too often the behind­the­scenes workers are not considered as part of the success. Those pushing for an expanded role for women in religion have played heavily on the precept that to be behind­the­scenes is to be prevented from utilizing one's talents. And too many have bought into the concept that we must be out front to use those talents. When this obvious concept is decried, it is claimed that one has been misunderstood.

Some preachers are guilty of following the concept that the out front workers are more important. We wives must be careful not to fan those fires! It has been observed that when veteran preachers are called upon often for lectureships and meetings, young preachers sometimes become upset. Some have even declared they would withhold support and refuse to attend lectureships because they have not been used as a speaker! They have lost sight of the fact that these veteran preachers were not so widely used when young. Confidence is built by years of service and experience. Has it never occurred to these young preachers that their attendance at the various lectureships and meetings might provide the contacts they need to be invited?

It has been observed that sometimes our missionaries forget that were it not for those keeping the "baggage" at home they would not have the necessary support to continue their work? Those who choose to go to the various countries of the world are to be admired. However, it seems a shame that some disdain those who keep the home fires burning. The apathy on some home fronts presents anything but an easy work! Sometimes those behind are asked "When are you going to do your mission work?" as though the work being done counts for nothing. When health concerns are involved there is sometimes the insinuation that one's faith is not strong enough if one chooses to remain near medical facilities.

There is work for all in the Lord's cause. Who is qualified to say that one work is important and another is insignificant? In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14ff), the Lord did not stipulate the where and how that the talents were to be used, only that they be used for God's glory.

Let's keep in mind that we are all to work together in God's kingdom, not in competition to each other. Let's strive to respect and appreciate the work of another as well as trying to make effective our own efforts. Just as we are grateful for those willing and able to travel to the uttermost parts, so let us be grateful for those who "stay with the baggage."

Published December 1996