By Sharon Rabon, Pastor’s Wife
Beacon Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina
Years ago a teenage girl in our church went to an authority figure in her life for help to overcome her suicidal tendencies. The authority figure said, “Go see your youth pastor’s wife.” She did, and I was that youth pastor’s wife. However, what if she hadn’t come to me? What if, with no hope of living, she had gone to another lady as a last resort? Every pastor’s wife, staff wife, or other saved lady must be prepared to help another sister through a crucial situation in her life.
I didn’t sign up for it—the job of counseling, that is. Counseling ladies is not only one of the hardest but also one of the most rewarding responsibilities that I have. How can it be the hardest yet the most rewarding? The ministry is all about people, and it is people who need counsel; therefore, counseling people is most rewarding. It doesn’t matter if we feel like it, if we want to, or if we are good at it. It is our responsibility to be about the business of spiritually helping people. When we give ourselves 100 percent to the task of helping people, God will reward us for our labor of love!
Take note of the following things so that you might get your life in order before being qualified to help someone else.
1. You must admit that God knows all about you before you can challenge another lady that God knows all about her.
Psalm 44:21 states, “… he knoweth the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 139:1 reminds us, “…thou hast searched me, and known me.” God knows your successes, failures, sins, and hurts; therefore, you don’t have to keep a record of them.
2. Take the challenge to write down the things that God already knows about you.
This is simply called a “Feelings Journal.” I have personally kept a feelings journal in my life when times were tough and I needed counsel and God’s intervention. By doing it, I have been able to better challenge other ladies to do the same. Loretta Walker, the editor of Christian Womanhood, adds a dimension to journaling that is wonderful. She challenges ladies to write down things that have happened to them in chronological order, stating that a person must go back to the point of his troubled times in order to move forward and get past them. I highly recommend her book Invisible Hurts to any lady. It will be helpful to you, as well as help you to help others.
Not long after my husband became pastor, I used a feelings journal in my life when I didn’t know where else to turn. Leaving the youth ministry was difficult for me. To add to my difficulty, a very prominent person asked me to “remember who the pastor is”—as if I were going to try to take over the church. My husband now had a staff that he involved in getting things done. I needed help, and I began to journal my feelings to God, as well as answers to my feelings from God’s Word. Verses like Psalm 139:2-4 were my comfort and focus.
3. Work at becoming a person who uses life’s situations for God’s glory.
What has happened to you in your own life that you will allow God to use to help someone else? Often we feel that we should not share those things; however, it is acceptable to use them and share them as long as we are not trying to get personal glory from it. Psalm 139:23, 24 are good verses to claim. Are you using what God has allowed in your life to help others?
Recently a lady in our church lost her baby eight months into her pregnancy. Delivering a stillborn baby was very difficult for this first-time mom. We know that God allows such things to happen and that we are to bring glory to God through our trials; nonetheless, this mom was having a difficult time with the loss. The same thing had happened to another mom (whom I will call Susie) in our church one year ago. Susie is willingly using her experience of losing a baby to help this young mom. In reality, their sharing has been therapy for both of them. Susie did what I couldn’t do as I have never lost a baby.
4. Learn to give praise to God through your trials.
Use a “Blessings Journal” to accomplish this phase.Psalm 139:14-16 reminds us to praise God with our whole heart. Most of us are very good at griping and complaining, thus missing what God has for us!
5. Communicate to God with openness.
Oftentimes we are mature physically but not spiritually. I love it when I feel so comfortable that I can pray to God with openness no matter if I’m praying at family devotions or in my quiet time with God.
6. I must be faithful and be known for being faithful in order to challenge another woman to do the same.
Dr. Lee Roberson said, “It takes three to thrive” concerning our church attendance. I Timothy 3:11 reminds us to be “faithful in all things.” Are you faithful in all things?
7. Examine yourself.
Are you on the road to spiritual growth? As you travel that road, you need other ladies to come alongside you. My husband and I enjoy when the two of us can travel alone so that we can talk about what we want to discuss or we can tune out and read or just rest in quietness. If someone travels with us, while their company may be enjoyable, it is also an inconvenience because of not being able to talk freely to each other. The same is true on our spiritual journey. We don’t like to be bothered; therefore, we choose not to take someone alongside us.
No, I didn’t sign up for this; however, I willingly sign up to minister to those whom God places in my life for counsel!