A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending one of our monthly pastoral round tables at Tenth Presbyterian Church. The Pastoral Round tables are a time for interns and others to listen to various speakers talk about aspects of Christian ministry. On this particular occasion Lisa Ryken, wife of Dr. Phil Ryken, and Luella Tripp, wife of Dr. Paul Tripp spoke on some of the experiences that have come from being married to a minister of the Gospel. The talks were great. There were many helpful insights and discussions.
Luella Tripp said something particularly insightful that I have thought about many times since I heard it. She was reminiscing about the time when Paul was a pastor of a small congregation in Scranton, PA. The question was raised about what expectations a church may place on the wife of a minister (i.e. teaching bible studies, discipling women in the church, etc). Luella explained that what the women in the church needed most was to see her at home serving her husband and children. She explained that the women in the church needed this because that is what they were doing. If she was out in public forums, speaking at conferences, the women in the church might think that there was something less spiritual or unimportant about what they were doing. This was a very insightful and mature answer. In a day when there seems to be a push to get women into full time ministry, Luella explained that being a godly wife and mother is full time ministry. Women teach more than they know by doing those things that God has called them to do. My respect for Lisa Ryken and Luella Tripp has multiplied exponentially since I listened to them explain their roles as wives and mothers. I hope that this will be an encouragement to any women who are struggling with finding usefulness in the kingdom of God.