I’ll be the first to admit I’ve taken my wife for granted when it comes to our student ministry responsibilities. It’s sometimes difficult to separate her as a volunteer and a wife. We’ve been doing it for so long I forget to take a step back, thank her for her service in ministry, but show the effort to go above and beyond and recognize her as my wife…not as a ministry volunteer.
Don’t get me wrong–I love that we are able to serve students side by side. It’s an honor to watch her use her talents to glorify Jesus. But when we leave for the night, flip off the switch and pull in the driveway, she’s my wife…not a ministry staff.
For those whose wives don’t serve with you in ministry, they still sacrifice for you. There are those nights where you skip out on a family function to be with a student or slip away from dinner with the family or game night to watch a movie with students. It’s sometimes the ugly side of ministry, but one your wife has to deal with.
I’ve spent the last few days thinking of ways to honor my wife. Here’s my favorite three that I’m considering putting into action.
- Set aside times of the day when you don’t talk about “work.” This isn’t always a perfect situation as circumstances may force you to change on the fly, but I’m considering making chunks of my day off-limits to church life and more focused on my wife and family. This isn’t a super novel idea, but if I’m honest, one that I haven’t been very good at doing. I don’t want to see my marriage become a causality of ministry.
- Invest time in her hobbies. We spend hours doing things with our children, our church students, and investing resources in those areas. All good stuff and we’ll continue to do that. But am I investing, even a little bit, in my wife’s favorite things? She loves (and is very good at) photography, graphic design, exercise, walking, cooking, travel, and tons of other stuff. I’d love to spend more time with her, and doing the things she loves is a way to show her honor.
- This may sound counterintuitive to what I am trying to write about, but help her to free up her time and resources for ministry that she wants to do. For us, we have young kids, so sometimes that means I take lead on a bedtime routine or getting them into something so she can have some quiet space to meet with students or work on the computer. Though I am the paid youth leader, what she is doing is important and doesn’t play second fiddle.
Christ often used the language of marriage and talked about the Church as his bride. If Christ finds it important enough to call us his bride and give his time and his life, we should find it important to invest and honor our wives as we partner in ministry.