Last month, I wrote about the importance, as I see it, of 'just turning up.' Not for showing face, but being supportive of events, people, building relationships.
But there's a (or a few?) double-edged sword to this. Firstly, I don't want to get into a situation where it's expected I turn up. Yes, there are things in church which I have to be part of, but I am thinking of the more social things. I don't want to be expected to be at every cat and dog fight. But, I suppose if I usually turn up to most things, people will understand when I don't go to other things (or am I being naive? Perhaps people will wonder why I turned up at even A, organised by person X, but not at event B, organised by person Y...)
Then, there's the expectation on the family. There are people who have seemed somewhat confused Spot hasn't been at ever Sunday service with me (though, by now, most of them know the reason why). I do know some do wonder why he doesn't come to other things with me. Well, for a start, why should he? After all, this is my work place. I have to be 'on', but it's unfair to expect him to have to be 'on' too, for what should be something social. I am lucky this is not the prevailing attitude at Airside, though it's there.
This is an advantage with Spot also training for ministry. We have the genuine excuse there are times where the other is busy. At no point do either of us want to do the dutiful husband/wife thing which is expected of us. But, I sometimes wonder if, but one or other of us not turning up at our respective other's congregation, people get the impression we are not supportive of the other's training. The irony that by us turning up to be supportive, the other is not seen to be supportive. Sigh, sometimes it is a case of cannae win, so stick to what we know is right for us, and our callings.