pastor (8)

‘pastor: n. a Christian minister; a shepherd

[ This post is #8 in a 22-part series. So as to best comprehend this series, read the introduction to the opening installment (posted Mon., Oct. 2). ]

Mario & Marilyn Pineda. Mario and I were students together back in preaching school days. Mario was preaching a bit with a local congregation and would soon wind up preaching “full time” there.* I was the true newb at the time; I was yet to even preach my first sermon when Mario and I first met.

Neither was I wearing a ring on my left hand yet, but I would be in the near future. While on the other hand, Mario was already a married man. He and his sweet bride, Marilyn, were quite a pair; a marvelous young Christian couple. They both strove to be Christ-like, each in their own ways, and together. Their care and consideration for each other was deep, easy, natural, and flourishing. Their great love for each other lit up the room whenever they walked in together.

And believe me: I, and others, took frequent and joyful note of that.

I don’t know if Mario or Marilyn ever knew it at the time, but they were often the topic of conversation among instructors and fellow students.

“Isn’t it great the way Marilyn did ____ for him?” “Did you see the way Mario took care of ____ for her?” “Just look at the way those two look at each other, will ya’?” “They just seem to want to give each other the best they have all the time!” Etc.

Such were common comments by all whenever Mario and Marilyn would depart a larger group’s company. They made us all determined to be better people and for those who, like myself, were unmarried at the time, well, they gave us a sterling example.

Mario and Marilyn, you two silently taught, pastored, shepherded, and instructed no small number of people in some of the ways of true thoughtfulness and tenderness, consideration and service, for our mates. It was easy to see Christ at the center of your marriage and the Spirit’s fruit in your lives then, and I know such must be all the more the case today.

Though I’m sure I’m exceedingly far from anything like a great husband, there is no doubt in my mind that I am a better partner for my mate due to the model Mario and Marilyn set before me over and over. I’m very thankful for that.

Father God, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for good men who love their wives, and by so doing, show that way clearly to others. Thank you for the shepherding your servants, Mario and Marilyn, silently gave me in this regard. Lavish your riches on them forever, I pray. Amen.

[ * To this day, Mario & Marilyn still minister with the Prairie Hill Church of Christ, located just south of Duncan, OK. ]