Yesterday, I was (as my Nana would say) "on a tear" about Lifeway, which is my denomination's publishing and marketing arm. (Actually, the reference to Lifeway was secondary, but yes, I was on a tear.) I almost completely forgot an experience I had with Lifeway last week that made me smile.
For some completely inexplicable reason, I picked up the Lifeway magazine that comes to our house by virtue of my husband being a pastor and started flipping through it. There was an article about "Ministering to the Minister's Family" and since ministry families are a key interest of mine, I checked it out. There was the list of ways to minister to the minister, all "he" and "him" and "his" and I just sighed.
Then there was the list of ways to bless the minister's wife that reminded us that during ministry appreciation times, we should do something special for the wives like "pamper time," with manicures and facials. (It also had the mystifying suggestion that we should "let her serve," which completely confused me, since every minister's wife I know is exhausted with serving and certainly doesn't feel left out of being able to "lead your next Bible study." Not sure where that one came from.)
Okay, okay, the part that "made me smile" . . . hold your horses, I'm getting to it!
So then I turned the page and there it was . . . a list of ways to bless the minister's husband. It was actually a very helpful list, written by the husband of a children's minister from Alabama. It wasn't gender-specific or patronizing and included suggestions like "Don't complain to me about my wife's ministry" and "Keep conversations confidential."
I was really pleasantly surprised and pleased to see an acknowledgment that not all ministers are male, even in the bastion of traditional Baptist life that Lifeway represents. We haven't come a long way, baby--not even close--but this is a nice step in the right direction and it made me happy.