As a young wife and new mom, I desperately wanted to be a godly woman. I wanted to be a helpful and encouraging wife, a good mom, and a perfect pastor’s wife. The only problem was I had no idea what I was doing. I came to faith in Christ during my college years and got married just months after graduation. When we were expecting our first child, my seminarian husband accepted a full-time position in church ministry in order to support our family. I had been teaching full time, but we agreed it was important for me to stay home with our baby, and we were willing to make the necessary sacrifices. So we packed up our two-bedroom apartment and moved from our beloved seminary community to rural Kentucky.
We had one car, a newborn baby, and more on my husband’s plate then he could manage. Most of Ben’s days were spent either working busily with youth ministry or studying for classes, as he had begun work on his doctorate. His day off was spent driving back to the seminary campus for a full day of classes while I watched the hours slowly tick by, anticipating his return. I stayed at home with our new little bundle, trying to figure out how to embrace my new role. I had always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and was happy to resign from my teaching position, but I didn’t expect things to be so hard. My days were long and lonely. I missed the interaction with our seminary friends and lacked the wheels to go visit very often. I longed for an older woman to invest in my life, but both my transportation issues and my newborn baby’s schedule didn’t make it very feasible.
Yet during those isolated days at our little yellow house, God sent me a precious gift: a Titus 2 woman via the radio ministry of Revive Our Hearts. I remember sitting on the floor with my baby, entertaining her with blocks and rattles, while I eagerly listened to the teaching ministry of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. I was hungry for God’s Word. I absorbed her words like a sponge, anticipating the time each day when I could turn on the radio and hear Nancy’s familiar voice. She was a friend and mentor through the long-distance waves of the radio. I began to see a glimpse of God’s design for womanhood as the words of Titus 2:3–5 were fleshed out, an older woman teaching “what is good, and so to train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands.” I saw the high calling of being a wife and mom, that there was more to the meaning of motherhood and homemaking than just changing diapers and doing loads of laundry. The ordinary, mundane moments of life became beautiful as I embraced my new role. I began to see raising our children as a primary means of growing disciples of Christ, of pointing them to the Lord via the lullabies sung or snacks handed out.
It wasn’t long before I was desiring to encourage women in the same way Nancy had encouraged me. When we moved to Pittsburgh for my husband to begin pastoring our church (thirteen years ago), Lies Women Believewas the first Bible study I led. The lies in the book such as “I have my rights” and “If my circumstances were different, I would be different” hit me like a load of bricks. As I slowly learned what it meant to serve my family with joy, to delight in my husband and children, and to pour out my life for the sake of others, I began to transform from an insecure and ungrateful woman to one who could see God’s hand in the midst of our circumstances, even the hard ones.
I’ve continued to be blessed through the ministry of the True Woman conferences, books written by Nancy, as well as the resources for teens. Just last year I read through Lies Young Women Believe with a group of my teenage daughter’s friends and their moms. It was especially precious for me to take the very daughter that I used to sit on the floor with, listening to ROH, to the True Woman conference this past fall. God has been faithful to sustain me and equip me in this journey of motherhood and it’s a delight to pass the baton to the next generation.
He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments (Ps. 78:5–7).