Today’s post is for married ministry leaders. I have a question for you: How are you nurturing your relationship with your man as you invest so much time and energy in ministry of serving those in and through the church, or other para-church ministry?
Something a mentor told me when we FINALLY adopted our daughters 6 years after marriage: always love Pat first, then your children. Invest in him because he will be with you much longer than your children will be.
I’ve never forgotten those words and have sought to do that very thing. She was right, our girls lived in our home 18-22 years and then they left, married and had their own children (our 7 precious grands!). This year my husband and I celebrated 43 years of marriage! That is many more years than I lived with my own parents or children.
When we serve the Lord as He desires, sometimes we think that ministry outside our homes is the most important kind of ministry. But our homes and those in it are to be a primary focus for our ministry. So what can we do to strengthen our marriages even as we serve endless hours in ministry?
- Set aside special time to celebrate your anniversary. Pat and I always go out of town for ours, even if it’s only 45 minutes away.
- Set aside special time each week if possible. When I’m not traveling on the weekend, Saturdays are very sacred for us. I normally don’t schedule anything for Saturday mornings unless our grands have a sporting event for us to attend.
- Ask your spouse to pray for you as you serve. I need to know Pat is praying as I go.
- Ask his advice and insight as you serve. This is one way he will know how to pray.
- Lift him up to those you serve, bragging on him to others. Even if he doesn’t hear you say it, someone will tell him! If he’s standing there, all the more reason to brag! My man has already retired and has taken over all the household tasks, which has made life and ministry so much easier! I NEVER get tired of telling others what he does!
- When a new ministry opportunity presents itself, take it to your husband and ask his opinion. Talk about the time it will take. Pray together as you make decisions about involvement.
- When possible, include your spouse in ministry. Do ministry together whenever possible to draw your hearts together and share experiences of watching God work. This may or may not be connected to women’s ministry.
- Continually thank God for giving you a husband who supports you in ministry. If your husband does not, be sensitive to your time away. If he asks you not to be involved at this point, graciously listen to what God is telling you right now. Remember as I said above, he is your first ministry. Ask God for open doors to be able to serve in other ways as He softens your husband’s heart. Stay in the Word and watch for God’s direction.
Now what do you do to strengthen your marriage as you minister to women? Share your ideas in the comments below.