Those cards and gifts were not for US, they were for the family they expected us to be. I did not betray them; they were betrayed by their own expectations. Because I do not express my Christian faith they way they think I *should* they choose not to maintain a relationship with me. That hurt deeply at first but now it warrants a shoulder shrug. Their loss.
It's a troubling pattern to consider as we prepare to greet a new congregation as our home and family. I am tempted to stand back and keep everyone at arm's length until I can get the lay of the land. What are your expectations? Do you want to know me, or do you want me to be someone you already think you know?
Some people say it's good to trust people until you have a reason not to. That may be wise; it is definitely risky. For me this is one of the biggest challenges of being married to the pastor.