Hazel Coe is the wife of W. O. Coe, president of the Central Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Lincoln, Nebraska.

 

Dear Shepherdess: After a very busy but happy three weeks I was to meet my husband at 5:30 P.M. at the General Conference, with the car packed, supper ready, and food in brown bags for the next day. We were to leave immediately for Florida, where he had weekend appointments beginning Friday night. Almost 900 miles to go!

I had set many goals for that Thurs day, but everything was suddenly complicated by the fact that the telephone was out of order. The C & P Telephone Company, ever prompt, asked whether I would be home between eight and one. I would. Then at breakfast I felt an unusually hard piece of "granola" in my mouth. .Upon inspection I knew it was either a piece of an amalgam filling or the side of a tooth. I called my dentist's office. Could they possibly work me in— I had a yawning abyss in my mouth, which felt like the Grand Canyon, and my tongue was already sore from the rough edges.

Could I come in at one o'clock? I could! The kind receptionist said there had been a cancellation two minutes before. God's timing—in my favor! How grateful I was and how humble I felt. God knew my needs before I did! Fortunately, the telephone-repair man came early. The dentist repaired my impaired tooth smoothly, and we had time to take a walk before sundown on Friday at Camp Kulaqua among the palm trees.

And isn't that just like God? How great He is. "Just when I need Him, Jesus is near."

Discouragement comes to us all. When we feel that we are only cluttering up the landscape the promise comes "wherever we may be, He is at our right hand, to support, maintain, uphold, and cheer."

Such promises provide a grand and glorious way to begin the new year. With love, Kay.

MY TELEPHONE rang the other day. It was a request for me to write a short article on "The Power Behind the Throne" for our Colorado "Nugget." My immediate reaction was "I can't," but finally I agreed "I will try." After hanging up, I found the phrase running through my mind, "the power behind the throne." Of course, the Lord furnishes the power behind the throne, but that wasn't what my caller was talking about; and it is an awesome, almost a frightening, feeling to know that you, as a minister's wife, are referred to by many as the "power behind the throne."

We have a tremendous responsibility as we stand by our husband's side in working for the advancement of God's cause and the saving of lost souls.

As I sit here in my husband's study on our thirty-first wedding anniversary, alone, as I have been on many of our past anniversaries, since my husband's responsibilities take him away from home a great deal, I suppose I should feel sorry for myself. Others have often expressed the fact that they feel sorry for me, having to be alone so much of the time. But I don't feel sorry for myself, as I don't ever feel that I am completely alone. I have my Lord with me constantly and I have the love of a good husband. Even though he may be far away, the knowledge that he loves me and will be back just as soon as possible keeps me happy. He doesn't like being away any more than I like having him go, but with us, the Lord's work comes first, and this is the way it has to be if you want "your minister" to be a success.

As ministers' wives, we must lean more heavily upon the Lord, because the eyes of all are upon us, and whether we like it or not, they judge our minister husbands, and they may even judge the church, by the impression we give.

Under all circumstances I try to be a Christian—not just a good Seventh-day Adventist holding steadily to the truths I believe, but to be Christlike, in the home, in the neighborhood, and in my contact with the members of our church.

I try to be a good wife and mother, to make my husband and children happy in my love for them, and by keeping our home neat and comfortable, so they will want to be there.

Every family has a house—not all have a home. I try to make ours a comfortable, loving home. This doesn't take a lot of money or the finest of furnishings. All it takes is the basic necessities of life, kept neat, clean and orderly, and a cheerful, happy countenance. Always remember that your husband and your children will reflect the atmosphere of their home.

I have observed through the years that where there is a happy, loving, neat, clean, orderly mother, there are happy, contented children and a husband who loves to come home.

I have always felt that my most important responsibility in being a minister's wife was not in running the church (being the "power behind the throne"). I let my husband do that, for that is his job. But my responsibility is to stand by his side, to encourage him, offer suggestions in the spirit of the Lord, not to nag, to have a good listening ear. Our husbands have to have someone to talk to, and many times we are the only one with whom he can talk openly and freely, knowing we will never betray his confidence in us. Sometimes there are matters that he cannot discuss even with me. I don't press him as to what is bothering him, but I try to give him more love and attention and postpone any discussions that may cause him more stress, until his crisis has passed.

Believe in your husband. Many a man has been transformed by a wife who believed in him. An honest expression of admiration can work wonders. Even the weakest ego can be built up, and one of the most vital services a wife can per form for her husband and herself is to learn how to do this.

The woman who is able to make her husband feel that, to her, anyway, he is the most important person in the world, will do much to help him on to success. Be genuinely interested in his work, for it is the most important thing in his life and he can be a success only when he has the knowledge that you are as happy in his work as he is.

And the next time someone refers to you as "the power behind the throne" pray to God that He will continue to give you the insight to be the kind of "power behind the throne" that will encourage your minister husband on to greater achievements for the Lord.

 

Prayers from the Parsonage

By Cherry B. Habenicht

Dear God, I'm trying not to com plain, but I'm so discouraged."

Today we saw the parsonage where we'll he living in a month. Set near a dirt road, it is a box to which other boxes have been added haphazardly. The bedrooms are off the kitchen, as is the bathroom; and we look through the study window right into the garage.

In the living and (dining rooms the linoleum buckles, and the bath room fixtures belong in a museum of antiquities. I was almost afraid to descend into the dirt-floor basement with its rough, rock walls.

But should these things matter? You said, "I, the Messiah, have no home of My own — no place to lay My head." Help me not to think of the modern, attractive parsonages in this conference. I know You can bless my efforts to make even this old house a home.


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Hazel Coe is the wife of W. O. Coe, president of the Central Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Lincoln, Nebraska.

January 1977

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