Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. After 31 years of marriage, the day doesn’t look quite the same as it did when Vic and I were first married, but I still enjoy going out to eat and spending time with him. Part of the reason he’s my favorite Valentine is that he’s not only a great husband, but he’s a great supporter of my calling to minister to women.
I know I’m not alone. I speak to leaders a lot and have found many of them have supportive husbands. And while we often talk about the importance of ministry wives, today I’d like to list some ways men can support their wives in ministry leadership.
First, men who support their wives in leadership are encouragers. There have been many nights when I’ve walked through the door and wondered if I should just get a non-ministry job. I can still remember one specific time when I was really frustrated. Vic gently asked, “But aren’t you called to do this?” It was just what I needed to hear and a confirmation of God’s calling to hang in there—even on the tough days.
Second, men who support their wives in ministry leadership are servants. Vic has carried boxes, loaded trucks, dressed up in goofy costumes, and even driven golf carts as a way to serve not only me, but also the women I’ve served. On Sunday evenings I host a small group of young women in my house, and while we dig into God’s Word after dinner, I often find him in the kitchen cleaning and serving the group through the simple gesture of washing dishes. He’s built photo booths and painted props, but more importantly, he has put the needs of women ahead of his own. I love that.
Third, men who support their wives in ministry understand sacrifice. Supportive spouses understand that ministry often comes with sacrifice—whether it involves finances or time away from each other. When our children were younger, he often took care of their needs when I had responsibilities that kept me from being at one of their activities or made sure they had a meal on the table—even if it was carryout pizza. In recent years, he packed up our house of 19 years and took care of details to move 12 hours away from family because he knew I was following God’s calling. My calling became his calling, and it came with the sacrifice of moving away from our family and long-time friends.
Fourth, men who support wives in ministry leadership become champions for women. I’ve seen this over and over again with women in leadership. Because they are passionate about ministering to women, their husbands often hear their hearts for discipleship and evangelism. They know that the Lord has given their wives spiritual gifts that build up the body and impact the world for the kingdom. Last year Vic came with me and attended a panel discussion on sexual abuse. After it was over, he just kept shaking his head and saying, “I had no idea.” My husband understands that ministry to women is vital. He has seen lives changed by the gospel because women invested in others. He’s seen how women care for one another and how they show up for one another. Most importantly, he’s seen that the Lord uses women for His glory and for His good. I couldn’t ask for a better man who is in my corner but also in the corner for women around the world.
So, while this isn’t your usual Valentine’s post, it’s one way to send a love letter to the man who makes me better and the God who loves us more than we can imagine. If you have a supportive spouse that champions you in ministry, give him an extra hug this week and thank him for all he does.
Kelly D. King is the Manager of Magazines/Devotional Publishing and Women’s Ministry Training for LifeWay Christian Resources. She is the author of Ministry to Women: The Essential Guide for Leading Women in the Local Church. You can hear Kelly at LifeWay’s You Lead events that are held in several cities around the country or listen to her co-host the Marked Podcast with Elizabeth Hyndman.