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Joyce Rogers imparts wisdom from her 48 years of marriage

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–She met her future husband in the fourth grade. However, he jokingly says they did not get serious until the sixth grade. She still has the love notes to prove it.
Joyce Rogers shared the wisdom she has gleaned from 48 years of marriage to Adrian Rogers, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in suburban Memphis, Tenn., at the Christian Women’s Luncheon at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. The Oct. 12 luncheon was part of the seminary’s inaugural Heritage Week.
“I have always loved being a minister’s wife,” Rogers said, recalling that she felt called early in life to be the wife of a pastor. However, she said that her role as a pastor’s wife has not always been what she expected.
“There is only one thing I can remember ever telling Adrian that I did not want to do as far as being a minister’s wife. I said to him on several occasions that I do not ever want to go to a big church,” said Rogers, who is now part of a church with 20,000 members.
Rogers said a big church was the last place she ever thought she would end up. They started out while her husband was in seminary in a church with only 25 members. She told of one Sunday when only eight people showed up for the service and four of the eight people were part of her family.
“But the Lord has stretched me and grown me,” Rogers said, sharing how God prepared her for a “monster” church. “The only way to victory,” she said, “is death to self. I don’t know what I would have done without my Jesus to lean on and without his wonderful Word to dig in to.”
Rogers shared what has proven helpful to her during her many years of marriage and ministry, and she exhorted the women to discover who they are in Christ.
“You can have role models, but remember that there is no cookie cutter, no design for what a minister’s wife, or any wife, should be. We come in all different sizes, shapes and forms,” she said.
She challenged women at the luncheon to ask God to reveal their gifts and talents, then be willing to accept themselves. Quoting Romans 6:13, she told the women to yield their unique person to the Holy Spirit and to let God use them in the ministry.
Another encouragement she shared was to enjoy and appreciate every day, whether it be the newlywed years or the “empty nest” years. She said to truly prize child-bearing years and child-rearing years as well.
“Do not sacrifice your children on the altar of busyness,” she said. “Never let it be said of you that you were a better teacher of the Bible to other women or to other people’s children than you were to your own.”
In addition to raising children, Rogers said that “keeping a home” and building the relationship with her husband should be top priorities for a wife based on Titus 2:4-5. Some suggestions she shared for improving marriage included not putting children before one’s husband, learning how to have fun and spending time alone with one’s husband.
Rogers also encouraged the women to meet their husbands’ needs. “It has been said, and the Bible verifies it, that the greatest need of a man is admiration,” she said. Admire him physically, admire his abilities and admire him spiritually, she advised.
Finally, Rogers told women to take time to be holy. “Take time every day to spend time in God’s wonderful Word,” she said, never allowing “doing things” in the ministry to take the place of that time.
Rogers said the goal of her life through all she had been through is “God himself — not peace, nor joy, nor even blessing, but God himself.”
Mary Mohler, wife of Southern president R. Albert Mohler Jr., hosted the luncheon, describing it as a wonderful way to have brought together women on and off campus. “We had a fine mix between students and student wives with those who are seasoned in ministry,” she said. “The spirit was one of great congeniality.”
Mohler also commended Rogers for “tailoring her address to speak to every woman present. Her winsome, down-to-earth style was very well received. … There is so much they can learn from ‘Titus women’ who model excellence.”

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  • Macon Fritsch