Thursday I had the privilege to attend a conference for pastors’ wives entitled,”The heart of a Pastor’s Wife”. It was arranged by our PresWIC (our presbytery’s Women In the Church). Wives from Birmingham to the Tennessee line were invited to hear Pam Benton, wife of Wilson Benton, speak about being a pastor’s wife. What a blessing it was to be around so many wonderful ladies and to put faces with names I have heard before. I loved getting to see old friends from seminary and from Birmingham.
But the most valuable part was the reminder of what is most important in ministry.
Pam focused first on the Pastor’s wife and her husband, emphasizing that our marriages were the most valuable thing for our ministry. Our role as “helper” is vital and enables him to do his job well. She challenged us about our self-centeredness, encouraged us to communicate, and built us up in our privilege that we have to come along side him.
Secondly, she focused on our roles as mothers- the Pastor’s wife and her family. So many of us worry about the difficulties that ministry can have on a family. What I love about Pam is her encouragement of ALL the blessings that go with this unique job. It is my desire that our children love ministry too. She offered real ways to help that happen- when children are part of the loving and caring for others, they understand the blessings too. She asked us what we really thought about being a pastor’s wife- we didn’t respond out loud, but she said that our answers would be what our children think of it too. If we love it, they will hear that and see that.
The final talk was the Pastor’s wife and her church. Here she focused on the fact that God has given you a specific family. She reminded us how easy it is to love Humanity in general, but how difficult it can be to love a specific human being- how easy it is to love the church in general, but how often it is difficult to love the specific faces in the church. She challenged us to love the faces- to love the people- to be excited about seeing the people that God has given to us. She worked through questions from the audience. Some in the audience were brand new head pastors’ wives. Can you imagine all of the new things they are learning and needing guidance about? It was a huge resource for us all.
I was so encouraged by her own testimony of years of ministry- watching God defend her family through tough times and knowing her children love ministry and want to be in it themselves. I am so grateful to the presbytery’s WIC council for funding this for the churches. What a big impact it will make as it flows into all of the churches in central and north Alabama.
We left with goodies and I actually won the door prize. What a week this has been:)