MIDDLETOWN, Md. — Dr. Ed Litton, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), and his wife, Kathy, the director of planter spouse development at the North American Mission Board (NAMB), joined Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) pastors, ministry leaders, church members, and staff for breakfast at Skycroft Conference Center on Dec. 4. Afterward, Kathy spoke to pastors’ wives regarding “The Healthy Soul of a Pastor’s Wife,” while her husband addressed and interacted with the rest of the guests.
Kathy emphasized that it is an honor for her and her husband to connect with ministry families and marriages. She shared that she has been in ministry since she married her first husband when she was 19 and that the things she learned through his passing have contributed to her perspectives in ministry today.
She read Psalm 63:1-5, encouraging the women to notice David’s desires. “We are born to have these thirsts and these longings,” she said. “We have all been designed with longings and with deep longings – acceptance, approval, affirmation, admiration … we’re all longing for that. I’m still … looking for those things.”
She continued with Psalm 33:13-15 and stated, “God sees us. He’s watching us. He created our hearts – He fashioned and designed our hearts. What does that mean? He created us with a soul that is longing for Him, and we are filling it with a bunch of junk.”
Kathy shared from Beth Moore’s “Breaking Free,” “He has made us so that He himself would be necessary to us,” she quoted, adding Moore’s observation that “God never created in us a need that He did not intend to fill.”
“God has always been the water we have longed for, but we are going to go out there and dig some cisterns that don’t provide the same quality of water,” she said.
Kathy asked ladies to share their experiences looking for affirmation in the wrong places. “What behaviors or emotions signal your need for approval?” she asked. Several spoke about their struggles with pride, insecurity, and life’s disappointments.
Ultimately, Kathy addressed the question of “How do I learn to be satisfied in Him?” She shared a formula she developed through the experiences in her own Christian walk: “Disappointment plus a pivot equaled a discovery about God.” Through her own disappointments, some of which were significant, she realized that her hope had not been in God but in the blessings that He had given.
“Where are the places that have driven you more deeply into God?” she asked. “You have to have some dreams shattered in order to have your roots go down into God more deeply.”
In conclusion, Kathy shared the benefits of a satisfied soul. “You walk in true freedom,” she said. “The security of Jesus’ love enables you to need less and love more. You’ll see others with more compassion. You will glorify God. You will offer other people a more powerful gospel. The single greatest hindrance to personal evangelism is the poverty of our own personal experience.”
Rosalie Chesley serves at the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware as the assistant to the interim executive director and the managing editor of BaptistLIFE.
Cover photo: Kathy Litton speaks to pastors’s wives at Skycroft Conference Center (photo by Rosalie Chesley).