This may sound like an odd topic for a Legacy of Faith post. You may also think it is only for a very limited audience, but I hope you’ll take the time to read this post.
While doing a lesson for preachers’ wives at Polishing the Pulpit several years ago I made some comments about this role that touched the hearts of several people. One lady in particular, Carrie Voss, came up to me and said, “We need to have a retreat for preachers’ wives and you need to speak at it.” I agreed that it would be helpful for ladies in the same role to gather in one place, and I agreed to be the speaker (in the back of my mind thinking it would never happen). I underestimated Carrie!
A few weeks later she contacted me to say she had found a place to have the retreat and gave me the date. I don’t remember what each lady paid to attend the retreat, but it was minimal and, working with that limited budget, Carrie made it all happen. Twenty-seven preachers’ wives of all ages gathered together for a weekend of sharing, laughing, crying, singing, praying, and enjoying the company of those who understood the role of a preachers’ wife.
This year (2016) we had our fifth retreat and I was again privileged to speak to a group of eighty-six ladies from all over the United States. The retreat has not only grown in number, but also in helpfulness for those attending. Classes on many different topics are held and break-out sessions on how to handle certain situations are beneficial to all in attendance (especially those who are new to this role of preacher’s wife).
I want to share with you just a short list of blessings I take away from the retreat:
- Love. I come away from the retreat feeling more love for God and His word as well as more love and respect for my husband as he does this important work. I also come away from the retreat with love for the women I meet who tirelessly work, supporting their husbands in this great task.
- Encouragement. It is so helpful to realize that Christians are never alone. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of this, especially if you are a preacher’s family living some distance away from parents and other extended family.
- Understanding. As we interact with each other at the retreat I gain understanding about how to deal with certain situations.
- Forgiveness. This is sometimes very difficult when feelings are involved, but the retreat helps me understand that I need forgiveness on a daily basis, so I must learn to forgive others also.
- Strength. It is important to be spiritually strong. Just as we gain strength when we worship with our church family, as a preacher’s wife, I gain great strength by gathering with other preachers’ wives.
- Joy. When I hear beautiful voices blending together as we sing, laughter as stories are told, conversations as meals are shared, prayers led from sincere pure hearts…I cry tears of joy.
- Thankfulness. I come away feeling thankful for so many things…God and His word, my husband, my children and grandchildren, my role in life, my brothers and sisters in Christ, these fellow preachers’ wives, and the list could go on and on.
If you are reading this post and you are a preacher, try to encourage your wife to attend next year’s retreat. If you are not a preacher, why not give this information to your preacher or his wife, or maybe one of the elders who may encourage your preacher’s wife to attend next year’s retreat?
If you are a preacher’s wife, take steps toward attending next year’s retreat. You’ll be so glad you did!!! I sure would love to see you there!!!
The 2017 Preachers’ Wives’ Retreat will be held in Bowling Green, Kentucky on April 28-30, 2017. Registration cost for the retreat is $50. Contact information: www.preacherswiferetreat.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11