Today we continue with our series 10 Questions for Pastors' Wives interviewing Alison Hamilton. Alison is married to Scott Hamilton who is senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, a new church plant in Glasgow, Scotland.
1. What do you think is your most important responsibility as a pastor's wife?
To be a good wife - to love and submit to our husbands and therefore to God. Ephesians 5v22-24
2. Is there anything that you think is not part of your role that others may assume is?
Can't think of anything specifically that people have assumed that is part of my role!
3. What boundaries have you established in order to protect your marriage and family life?
I think this has been more relevant for Scott - he tries to make sure that we are in together one evening, he would be fairly clear that people don't think they can just pop in anytime they fancy to our house. I Probably need to make sure I watch my tongue - not to be grumbling and complaining about Scott.... not that I ever would!! - It is not a helpful or Godly example to set.
4. How do you apply Galatians 6:2 ("Carry each other's burdens") when facing difficulties or frustrations in ministry?
In prayer and encouragement from God's word.
5. Where do you and your husband find your own pastoral care?
From other pastors and their wives who are friends.
6. How do you deal with criticism of you or your husband?
We need to exam the criticism for a grain of truth, then hand it over to the Lord recognising that he is control of all things and that he probably wants to grow me in my understanding of his love and forgiveness which he expects me to mirror in return to the source of the criticism even if it is untrue or unfair.
7. What is the greatest blessing and what the greatest burden of being a pastor's wife?
Seeing people grow in their walks with the Lord, especially my husband, and the encouragement that is. Greatest burden - frustration of seeing people make unwise choices and the effects that they can have on others.
8. Are there any books you would recommend that you've found particularly helpful as a pastor’s wife?
I don't think I've ever actually read a book about being a pastors wife - but as I think the most important thing about being a pastors wife is being a good and godly wife - some helpful marriage books are- Love that Lasts by Gary and Betsy Ricucci and When sinners say I do by Dave Harvey.
9. What one piece of advice would you pass on to a new pastor's wife?
Someone said to me and a bunch of pastors and wives recently that we should make sure that our marriages are the best in the church - so invest in your marriage - recognise that you are both sinners but have a great Saviour, that submission, forgiveness and humility are God's way and although difficult at times and certainly not cultural responses - due to the pride in our hearts will bring God's peace. That God is always sovereign and in control - even when things seem like they are spiraling out of control and that God's ways are not being honoured - he has his plans and purposes in all situations which are far more complex than we can ever understand or see.
10. How can the other women in a congregation best support you practically and in prayer?
By being in a healthy discipling, accountable relationships with some of them. That they would encourage me in my walk with the Lord to know love God more to pray 2 Thessalonians 1 v 11-12, also in my marriage - to love and serve my husband and family.