News Articles

Women ‘s conference speakers say identity comes from Christ

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)– “My identity is not as a pastor’s wife, not as the wife of Jimmy Draper, but my identity comes from Jesus alone,” Carol Ann Draper said at the second annual Monday morning special women’s session held June 8 in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference in Salt Lake City.
Draper, a popular speaker, conference leader and wife of James T. Draper Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tenn., was one of two featured speakers addressing approximately 1,300 women. Draper and Jeanette Clift George, director of the AD Players based in Houston, spoke about a woman’s identity in Christ.
“My faith is not built on Jimmy Draper, but my hope in built on the Word of God and (God) has taught me truth,” Draper said. She told a story of how she naively believed her husband, in seminary at the time, would be ready to impart truth to her at the end of each long day of study. Learning to depend on God instead of her husband was a turning point, she said.
In another illustration, Draper challenged those in the audience to read the Bible just like they read cherished love letters from their husbands.
“How is your love life with Jesus? This is his love letter to you,” she said, lifting her Bible high. “If you are not excited about getting into his Word, maybe you have a love problem with Jesus. I encourage you to go back to the cross,” she said.
Speaking frankly of problems ministers’ wives encounter in their daily lives with scheduling and trying to meet the demands of home and family, Draper cautioned listeners to learn “an open door is not always God’s assignment.”
“If I say yes, I may be standing in God’s way because God has someone he has called,” Draper warned about saying “yes” too quickly. “We can get in serious trouble that way.”
She said delegating tasks to others has become second nature to her because God told her to be mindful of what she is involved in and see to it that when it is done he gets all the glory. “God says, ‘I will not share my glory with another,'” Draper said. “Plug into the power of the Holy Spirit. Without that we are nothing. My life is a ‘zero’ apart from Jesus Christ. Jesus is my only hope and my only help. My only identity is in Jesus Christ.”
George, an actress known for her portrayal of Corrie ten Boom in the motion picture version of “The Hiding Place,” said, “I thank the Lord I am happily married and I thank him for my husband. I love being his wife, but my identity does not come from him. It comes from the person of Jesus Christ.”
Much to the delight of a laughing audience, George used the voices of different characters while telling a half dozen stories illustrating her lack of confidence in her own abilities.
George said she is allergic to make-up, stammers, has trouble remembering words and has “funny eyes.” Despite the problems, she is an actress. “I spend a lot of time trying to explain to God that he has made a mistake,” she chuckled. “That’s this person who I am and God loves me. Sometimes God giggles a little, but he loves me.”
Encouraging women to be who they are, the way God made them, George said she had a telegram for someone in the audience. “God loves you. God loves you and sent a telegram to someone here,” she repeated.
“There is no other name but Jesus whereby we can have access to the one who values my tears,” George said. “The only thing that gives security is the name of Jesus Christ. By his grace I am forever in his book.”

    About the Author

  • Joni Hannigan