Who would have ever thought it? We have exchanged roles.
The change of roles has had some interesting effects on us. Harriet is not liking it a bit. She feels frustrated and almost ashamed that she cannot be the caregiver, do the ‘wifely’ things that she has done so wonderfully and joyfully for the past 46+ years. And I would never have dreamed that I would so thoroughly enjoy cleaning, cooking and doing the laundry. And what a privilege it is to care for my beloved sweetheart.
I can tell when Harriet is feeling better because it bothers her for me to care for her. She has a difficult time understanding just how much I want to help and what a privilege I consider it.
But I think the change has been a long time in coming… may be long overdue! She has stayed home and been both Mother and father; bookkeeper, house cleaner, laundry lady, meal planner, cook, counselor, disciplinarian, nurse, chauffer and all the tremendous work that a good Mother does to raise 3 children. And outside our home she has been involved in a ministry of hostess, teacher and counselor while we served in the New Tribes Mission training center. She has been involved in the local church. She has been active in all the sports, clubs and activities of our children. And then went back to teaching school so that we could send our daughter Kristie to a Christian high school.
And all this time I was out traveling all over the world, sharing the Gospel with the lost, recruiting missionaries to go where I could not go, preaching in great churches, teaching in Bible Colleges and trying to be an encouragement to missionaries in many different foreign mission fields.
And Harriet felt that I was "in the ministry" and she was just "Dun’s wife". I’m not sure I ever convinced her that I, and everyone who knew us realized that it was a team work -and she had the heaviest end of the log. Well, I may not have convinced her but our Lord must have because she has been a willing and joyful servant in that ministry.
And my preaching to her must have had some effect on me. Because our roles have not exactly reversed but I’ve had the high and holy privilege of having our Lord trust me with the ministry of caring for Harriet! And I am convinced that I am "in the ministry" here as if I were preaching to 3,000 students in a Bible College!