Often, I hear from leaders who feel called to serve Christ in various ways, but their husbands do not support their ministry fully. Often these men do not know Christ or perhaps they do, but they’re not actively growing spiritually and are not the spiritual leaders of their families.
Read Dr. Thom Rainer’s blog, Seven Things to Consider If Your Spouse Is Not Supportive of Your Ministry, and then let’s discuss how to deal with this as it relates to the woman in leadership.
1. Listen to your spouse.
Ask him what is causing his concern about your involvement in ministry. Perhaps he feels pressured to measure up to your spiritual level and feels he cannot achieve that. Or he may fear you will give 100% of your time and focus to the ministry and none to him. I remember a time in my marriage when my husband struggled with feeling as though he couldn’t measure up to others he felt were “more spiritual.”
2. Express your unconditional love to your spouse.
Cherish and respect your husband no matter what. Let him know your relationship with him and your priority in marriage will never be compromised for ministry outside the home. If he is not supportive of you serving in the capacity you are now, ask him what he would be comfortable with you doing, both in types of serving as well as amount of time it takes to serve.
3. Pray with your spouse.
If possible, pray with him about concerns and about ministry. Pray together about possible ministry opportunities and let God direct you both. If this isn’t possible, pray for him and pray you will be sensitive to him and to God’s direction regarding your serving and your investment in your spouse.
4. Seek counsel for you and your spouse.
Perhaps he is willing to go to an objective person about the concerns to find workable solutions if there are problems concerning your spiritual lives and your desire to serve.
5. Consider taking a break.
How often do you take time away to spend just with your husband? Perhaps a weekend or a week to just be with one another will allow him to see how important he is to you. Try not to talk about your ministry much (if at all) and cut off social media and email during that time. This is a struggle for me, so I know what I’m asking you to do here!
6. Look in the mirror closely and honestly.
Perhaps you do spend every waking hour thinking and talking about the ministry. Maybe you have been putting your husband in second place behind ministry. I understand that ministry is for the Lord, but keep in mind that our families and especially our spouses ARE ministry. Everything we do is to be done “unto Him,” and that includes being a wife.
7. Be willing to leave the ministry.
Sometimes you need to step down from a place of service for a season or permanently. God will honor your faithfulness and your love for the husband He gave you. As you walk with Him, He will open doors of service within your marriage and often beyond your marriage as well. Trust Him.
How have you navigated ministry inside and outside the home?