Since 1993, Terry Meeuwsen has
served as Pat Robertsons co-host of The 700 Club on the Christian
Broadcasting Network (CBN). A former Miss America, Meeuwsen has had
successful careers as a broadcaster, author and recording artist. At
home she is Mom to Drew, 18, Tory, 16, J.P., 14, and Tyler, 12. Recently
she spoke with Ashli OConnell, assistant editor, about her most
treasured responsibilities: wife and mother.
Evangel: What have been the most
challenging roles of your life?
I dont even have to think about that: wife and mother. These
roles touch everything that you do. Biblically, after my relationship
with the Lord, those are my next priorities. The secret to both is to
have a servants attitude. Thats true with everything we
do, but its harder to maintain that under your own roof than it
is with the world. I know that a dad has a huge responsibility in leading
the family, but the mom really sets the tone. If I am out of sorts,
its really like that saying, "If Momma aint happy,
aint nobody happy." It affects my whole household. God has
given both that responsibility and that privilege to me as a woman.
Evangel: How do you balance your
public ministry with your responsibilities as wife and mother?
Meeuwsen: One of the blessings
for me is that CBN is very committed to family. When they asked me to
come here eight years ago, I questioned the Lord. I loved being an at-home
mom, and I had no desire to go back to work full time. I said, "Lord,
why would You ask me to do this when my children are still young?"
And I felt like the Lord told me that my children were part of the reason
I was going.
But I still had a lot of anxiety.
Pat Robertson had never had a co-host who was a mother. And its
different when you have someone who is a mom. Nothing goes the way it
is supposed to. Life is just one spontaneous moment after another. But
from the very beginning CBN has been incredibly positive toward my family
Evangel: And youre a homeschooling
Meeuwsen: Yes, I am homeschooling
one of my sons. Often while I do the program, hes doing his homework
in my office. And then were able to have lunch together and then
I take him home. So I have an unusual scenario here that would not necessarily
be available to me in another workplace.
Evangel: Tell me about your longtime
dream to adopt a Korean child and how that dream was finally realized.
Meeuwsen: I would like to
explain clearly why I had that desire, but Im not really sure
myself. It was something that was in me for many years. When I met my
husband, Andy, and we knew we were going to be married, he adopted my
dream as his own. The process took several years, and J.P. came to our
home after the birth of our first two children. He was such a gift.
All of our children have been incredible gifts just to be able
to have children is an incredible blessing. God blessed us so abundantly.
We were off the charts with gratitude.
Evangel: Your fourth child is
also adopted. How did that come about?
Meeuwsen: The desire of
our hearts was to have four children. I am the oldest of four; Andy
is the oldest of four. We had discussed how great it would be to adopt
again. And we had even thought wed like to adopt a black or biracial
child, but we never asked God for a fourth child because we felt that
He had already so abundantly blessed us.
A friend of ours met a 20-year-old
woman who had recently become pregnant. This girl was frantic over her
circumstances. She had been told her child would never be accepted because
he was neither black nor white. Our friend told her about J.P. and how
he had been so wanted and so loved and accepted. And she said if she
could find a family like ours, she would place her child for adoption.
So were eating dinner one
night and our friend calls. Not knowing about our desire, she asked
if we would consider adopting a biracial baby. Well, we almost swallowed
our forks. We were just ecstatic. We were [there] when Tyler was born.
It was just a great, great blessing and a gift from the Lord. He really
completed our family.
Evangel: What would you say to
couples who desire to adopt a child but are discouraged by the process?
Meeuwsen: First, pray and
ask God to lead you. He knows the desires of your heart and heaven knows
there are many children in need of families. God will make a way where
there seems to be no way. Begin the process and see how God opens the
doors. Its a great adventure to walk with the Lord through these
places when we cant see the end. Those are the times when we get
into the flow of the Holy Spirit and embark on a God adventure.
And there are wonderful opportunities
to adopt special-needs kids. Not just kids who have profound mental
and physical disabilities, but also kids who might need cleft palate
surgery or maybe a heart surgery or who might have a hand thats
missing a finger or two. In their cultures, these children would have
no chance for a normal life, but in America they would have incredible
opportunity. You dont have to be a person of great means to do
this. You just have to be a person who is willing to embark on an adventure
and who has a lot of capacity for love. God can make the impossible
Evangel: Having a career in the
public eye, youre well aware of how image-conscious our society
can be. How can we raise our children to find their self-worth in Christ?
Meeuwsen: Welcome to every
Christian parents greatest challenge I really think thats
the hardest thing to do with your kids because everything in our society
and our culture is working against you.
Having two adopted children, I especially
want my kids to find their identity in Christ and know who they are
in Him before they know any other aspect of who they are.
Parents can help children do this
by walking through the Scriptures with them, helping them discover Gods
purposes for them. And pray. Pray more than you talk. Pray for your
children. Pray with your children. When I put my kids to bed at night,
I physically lay my hands on them and pray.
Children need to know that in the
everydayness of life and growing up Mom and Dad are thinking of them
and praying for them. They just need to know that they are covered.
Evangel: You have the opportunity
to talk to so many fascinating people. Whats the best advice youve
received about raising a godly family?
Meeuwsen: Pat Robertson
has given me a lot of godly advice in numerous ways. Just working with
him and hearing how he raised his kids has impacted my family. Ive
listened to his kids say the thing they most remember is getting up
in the morning to find him reading the Word every day. I once asked
his son, Gordon, "What is the most memorable thing that your dad
ever taught you growing up?" And he said it was to stay "blessable."
God wants to bless you. If were not in a position where God is
able to bless us, its by our own choosing. I have really stressed
that with my kids.
Evangel: Daily you bring your
viewers a message of hope and inspiration. Where do you turn to be inspired
Meeuwsen: I go to the Lord.
My favorite time of the day is after everyone is asleep and I can brew
a cup of tea and just sit down with the Lord, maybe read the Scriptures,
maybe read a book that God is using to speak to me, maybe listen to
some praise and worship music, maybe write in my journal.
And I have good Christian friends.
I think this is so important. God uses us to support each other and
refresh each other and keep each other accountable. Some people find
that in their church or in a cell group or in a Moms-in-Touch
group. It doesnt matter where. What matters is that youre
plugged in somewhere.
Evangel: Anything else?
Meeuwsen: We live in very
challenging times. We have to be vigilant about our commitment and our
walk with the Lord. We have to be vigilant about our marriages and our
parenting. We live in a dying world, and weve got the answer.
Were the torchbearers. We need to share that light with gusto,
understanding that the opportunity is a privilege.