By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
TOWSON, Md.—The statistics about ministers and their wives are alarming: 1,500 ministers a month leave the ministry; 50 percent of ministry marriages end in divorce; 80 percent of ministers feel discouraged on any given day; and 80 percent of ministers’ wives want their husbands to quit the ministry.
Kim Hardy, the keynote speaker for the Ministers’ Wives Brunch, which was held during the Nov. 8-10 annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware in Towson, Md., understands this statistics. She has spent the last 23 years alongside her husband in ministry, the last four as a church planter’s wife.
And somewhere along the way, she became depressed.
“I was a pastor’s wife, and I was suicidal,” she confessed. “I was trying to keep everyone together while I was falling apart.”
She said she had a great husband, but he could only handle so much. She had to come to an end of herself and rely on God to pull her through. And He did.
In her book, “Spiritually Sassy (Serious About Serving the Savior-Yes),” Hardy shares how to live boldly for Christ to women who are serious about serving the Savior.
“God is all powerful. He is still on the throne, and He is doing something in your life,” she told the ministers’ wives in the room. “Ministry hurts, but He has got to give you an opportunity to grow. God wants to do something in your life so He can get the glory.”
Pointing to John 10:10, Hardy said that Jesus is in the dark places, too. He’s the Good Shepherd who puts Himself in harm’s way for the sheep.
“He has not forgotten you,” she reminded.
She cautioned against finding fulfillment in other people’s approval. Instead, one must ask God, “What are my assignments and what am I to do?”
To know what to do, one must “abide” with Christ in His Word, Hardy said. “We treat God like a hotel. We check in, and we check out. But when you abide, you stay, you dwell,” she said.
Hardy said that when you dwell like that, you learn to live in love and give love. “I live knowing I am loved, special and chosen. Because I am loved, I can give love,” she said.
Hardy shared about the day her van caught on fire, and she sat sobbing in the police car. The policeman on duty asked if she had car insurance. When she shook her head affirmatively, he told her to stop crying.
“There comes a day to stop crying, when you learn that there is enough power for the position that God has called you,” she said.