09 Dec Teaching Others, Also
This article appeared in the Volume 18, Issue 2, 2010 Issue of the Cultivator.
II Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
Not too long ago, I had a birthday! This was not just another birthday….this was the BIG ONE, if you know what I mean! I know that a lot of you cannot believe I have reached this age, but it really is true! Birthdays are not the worst thing that can or will happen, but with this particular year, it is often looked at as a turning point in our lives. Ladies, as we get older, we are bombarded by products to improve our looks, exercise to make our bodies keep going, and lots of healthy food plans to keep us energized so we are able to have long and healthy lives. These things are all good for us, but are we equipped spiritually to be able to help the young pastors’ wives as they help their husbands in the ministry? My husband and I have always been involved in the ministry together believing that we were in the ministry for the Lord as a family. I believe that our children can attest to this statement. We always encouraged our children to be involved in doing something in the church as they were growing up.
There are many of us “aged women” who have so much to offer to the “young women” today as found in Titus 2. The world in which we find ourselves living in is passing us by so quickly. Our daily experiences and what we have learned from the Word of God can be such a help to the young ladies who are new pastors’ wives! We can help them to see that they are not in this alone. The trials, the hurts, and growing pains that we have endured from the beginning of our service to God can help the young wives realize that they, too, can “make it” through to help their husbands have successful church plants. We are working by their sides as “the weaker vessels” that God refers to in I Peter 3:7. I have to say that many times at the end of the day this “weaker vessel” has had more energy than the one in charge!
Before I started writing for the Cultivator, I did not think about all my experiences in the last thirty-eight years of ministry that have certainly taught me many lessons. My husband encouraged me to use the printed page to teach and encourage pastors’ wives in the ministry. Sadly, there are “aged women” who have isolated themselves from the ministry. They no longer go soul winning; they do not take active parts in their churches; they have others doing everything else, and they do not seem to be willing to serve the Lord as a leader in their church. I have heard it said, from some of my missionary friends, that they have been in churches, presenting their ministry, and the pastor’s wife did not even greet them. This is so sad!
I would like to challenge each and every seasoned pastor’s wife to pray about how you can help. If you know a young pastor’s wife, be willing to let the Lord use you to make suggestions. I have heard it said, “Advice not asked for is advice not heeded.” Well, I certainly do not believe that is what these verses teach. We should be able to share our experiences with younger pastor’s wives as method to help them see their way through situations that arise early in minis- try. My pastor’s wife and I have often mentioned to each other about how these “younger women” today do not seem to want to be out there with their husbands on the front lines. Dear Friend, it is called “serving the Lord!” We have talked about how we did “everything plus” in the beginning years of raising children, starting churches, being “the music” in the services, organizing the church nursery, having ladies meetings, being the hospitality committee for special speakers and missionaries and the list could go on and on. We also hoped that the joy of serving Jesus from our hearts was shining through the smiles on our faces! We need to have a servant’s heart, and leave the rest up to the Lord! I really believe this is how I looked at being a pastor’s wife. I can truly say that I want to
help anyone I can.
Life in the ministry has been an adventure that I would not trade for anything! God has blessed me so much. At times, my hus- band has protected me from some hurts that could have Mrs. Beth Jessup caused me to be disappointed in the ministry. Right from the time I trusted Christ as my Savior, I have always had a tender heart to serve the Lord. Remember, we are not called to be pastor’s wives, but we are called to be “servants” for the One who gave Himself as a sacrifice for us so that we can enjoy the fruitfulness of serving our Savior. Being a servant includes everyone in the church.
I have a dear friend, Ginny Crichton, from whom I have learned so much. She definitely has the gift to “teach others also.” She told me recently that as they were building their church, pioneering the work, she would meet with the deacon’s wives and teach them from Titus 2, the characteristics of a faithful woman. They would meet once a month and study the Scriptures. Most of us may not feel like we are called to teach like this, but we should be able to share from the Scripture that which we have learned, to pass on something to help “others also” to have the character and discernment of being good examples to those who are younger in the faith. Let us not forget that the Scripture says in Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”