California women featured at SBC wives gatherings

Published Jun 26, 2017

PHOENIX (BP) — Be “brave” in sharing God’s truth to those outside and inside the church, especially in the face of today’s increasing intolerance toward Christianity, speakers said during the 2017 Pastors’ Wives Conference — including two Californians.

Based on Proverbs 31:25, “Brave” was the theme of the conference, June 12 in Phoenix prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Marshelle Wilburn

Marshelle Wilburn, volunteer services manager for the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond, shared how to bravely raise kids in a sexually-charged culture. Wilburn is the wife of Port Wilburn, director of missions for San Francisco-Peninsula Baptist Association and pastor of Rock Harbor Christian Fellowship in San Pablo, and the mother of five, whom the Wilburns are training up in righteousness to “strengthen the culture around them.”

In her message, Wilburn used the acronym, BRAVE, to encourage Christian parents to consider how to equip their children to engage today’s culture.

First, Christian parents must be “Bold believers,” willing to share the Good News of what Jesus offers in a culture of “do’s” instead of “do not’s.” She and her husband constantly teach their children what they can do: “Pursue the Lord with your gifts, be a light, share the love of God with your friends.”

Second, Christian parents must be “Radically relevant,” understanding what is going on in the culture in order to address it.

“We can’t put hierarchies on things if we are going to be truly relevant and being able to share truth,” Wilburn said.

Third, Christian parents must be “Audaciously adept” — so brave and so bold that they are not afraid to step out into culture.

“We may be nervous about it, but not afraid,” Wilburn said, sharing her experience of attending a “queer” Christian support group for those questioning their sexuality to better understand how homosexuals reconcile their lifestyle with their spirituality. She did not approach the individuals with condemnation but with love.

Fourth, Christian parents must be “Vitally voracious” and willing to speak life-giving truth without holding back.

Finally, Christian parents must be “Equipped to be empathetically engaging.” They should put themselves in the shoes of Christ to address issues with the ones He enables to be in their spheres of influence “so that their futures might be changed in the presence of Jesus Christ.”

Keeping children in “protected environments falls short of fulfilling the call of being His presence in this world,” Wilburn declared.

Kay Warren

Kay Warren, who is married to Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, spoke practically to the pastors’ wives about taking care of themselves spiritually, emotionally and physically.

“You and I must learn to control the controllables, and leave the uncontrollables to God” so “we can be stronger in the broken places,” said Warren, author of the recently released “Sacred Privilege: Your Life and Ministry as a Pastor’s Wife.”

“To be spiritually mature women, you are going to have to take responsibility for your own growth,” she asserted, pointing to daily being in God’s Word, praying and surrendering oneself.

“I could only live in surrender to Jesus Christ on April 5, 2013 (the date of her son Matthew’s suicide) because I spent the 50 previous years saying yes to God,” Warren admitted.

She also urged the women to do the work necessary for emotional healing and to focus on physical health.

“What a travesty it would be to mistreat the one body we’ve been given,” she said. “Being a pastor’s wife is already hard. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.”