*This charge was given to the wives of men being ordained to Gospel ministry at Ashland
Avenue Baptist Church on May 21, 2023.
Sydney, Kennedy, and Emily,
I have known y’all and have served the church with y’all for many years now. You are
dear sisters in Christ, and I am honored to offer you a charge today as your husbands
are ordained into Gospel ministry. I know that they have worked really hard, but I also
know that they could not have finished the work expected of them without your love and
There are a whole lot of kids represented between your three families, along with the
full-time service and work that both you and your husbands are involved in. I know what
this is like. I have walked down this road myself. You are to be commended for all the
unseen things you do every single day to keep your families thriving. I am thankful for
each of you! I see you, but more importantly, God sees you. All of your service is truly to
Him. He is worthy!
The things I would like to remind you of tonight are pretty simple. But they are things
that can get lost in the expectations that we put on ourselves and the expectations that
others often unknowingly put on us. Fight against the trap of expectations (the ought
to’s, the shoulds, and the comparisons) and just live the life that God has given you to
First, your marriage and your family life are to be an example of faithfulness, not
perfection. Your church family should look at you and your husband as two people who
are totally committed to one another and to raising, to the best of your ability, a heritage
of godly children. You are uniquely a helper suitable to your husband. So, because all of
your husbands are different, your lives and ministries won’t look or function exactly the
same. The sameness is in the faithfulness, not in the particulars. This is God’s beautiful
design of the church. He has gifted each of you to compliment your husbands. So you
are free just to be you, surrendered to Christ.
Secondly, you are your children’s mom. No one else has been called to that particular
task and to those particular lives. Other people can do all kinds of ministry tasks in the
church, but no one else can be your children’s mom. It is both a privilege and great
responsibility. One of the qualifications of a pastor is “to manage his household well . . .
keeping his children submissive” (1 Tim 3:4). He can’t do this without your help.
You are, most likely, the one that spends the most time with your children. So your
faithfulness to this task is so important. Be faithful to this and fight against the notion
that there are other, more important things that you could be doing. This is the most important thing that you can be doing. And honestly, it’s a huge sanctifying factor in your
life. Be all in!
Lastly, remember to live under grace every day. Everything you do is to be an offering,
a spiritual sacrifice offered up to God, because of what He’s done for you in Christ.
Because of this grace, you are free to serve God from your heart! You won’t do this
perfectly on this side of heaven. But God will grow you in it.
You live under God’s unmerited favor. You can’t receive merits or demerits for anything
you do or don’t do for Him. This is true for all Christians, but it’s particularly challenging,
I think, for people in ministry. You will know of so many needs, challenges, hurts, and
brokenness. People will turn to you for advice. You will feel inadequate and limited. And
so you are both.
There will be days when you feel like you don’t do enough, and there will be days when
you think you’ve really achieved something. Fight against both of those tendencies.
Remind yourself that you live under grace. Grace for yesterday. Grace for today. Grace
Everything, all of it, is for God’s glory alone! His opinion of you is the only one that truly
matters. He has called you to faithfulness. He will give the opportunities, and good
works to walk in. And He is the definer of what is good.
Remind yourself daily that God is completely sovereign, infinite in wisdom, & perfect in
love. You can completely trust Him. Remember your calling and that He who has called
you is faithful.
I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite verses, which really encapsulate the whole
charge I have tried to give you. Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved
through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works,
so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good
works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
So walk, my friends, and trust God along the way. I am so thankful for each of you!