Your Marriage is Your First Ministry & a Link Up!

I recently received an email from a reader asking me for some advice that I’d like to share with you as well.
  

Dear Jolene,
How do I balance being a wife at the same time while serving in the church as a leader?   Keep in mind, my husband isn’t saved yet. We normally have differences & at times I feel like resigning.   What should I do?

I’m so glad this reader wrote in and asked this question because this issue needs to be addressed and in a big way!  Many marriages are crumbling because Godly women are gone from the home and serving in the Church.  Their men have been left to fend for themselves on a constant basis.  A marriage should not be like this, nor would Jesus be too pleased if the marriage is being forsaken so outside ministry can take place.So this response is to all wives, whether one’s husband is saved or not.  Also, if you’re involved in outside ministry but you don’t hold a position of leadership, the counsel given here is designed to give you clarity regarding your Godly priorities.

First, let me give you my definition of outside ministry.

It’s anything you do for the Lord that takes place outside of your home.  It doesn’t matter if you serve the Lord through your church or minister to a needy family on a regular basis.  (Writing books and blogs for the Lord would apply here as well.)  What you’re doing is what I consider ‘outside ministry’.

How you minister to your husband, you children and how you take care of your home, is what I deem as ‘ministry in the home’.

‘Ministry in the home’ trumps ‘outside ministry’ every day of the week, and this is why:

We’re to be women who love our husbands and children.  We’re to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to our own husband, so the Word of God is not blasphemed.  Titus 2:5 (my paraphrase)

Now I want to let you know that I’m in complete favor of outside ministry, in fact, this blog is birthed out of my heart’s desire to pour out my life to serve the Lord.HOWEVER…..

My writing ministry does not take precedence over my ministry to my husband and family.  Hence, that’s why you don’t see me writing posts every day on a regular basis.  Of course with better planning and discipline I can probably handle more writing but for now I’m good.  (Although tomorrow will be the exception when I kick off the 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge where I post everyday for 13 days.  In fact, I’m thrilled to let you in on the topic I’ve chosen…..Wives of the Bible; What to Do and What Not to Do Based on the Lives of these Women)

So, it’s imperative as Godly wives, that we keep the Biblical order of ministry in the proper perspective so we don’t blaspheme the Word of God.  And a husband who is not saved is always watching you.

Here’s a chart to give you a better overview of our Godly responsibilities.  I’ve made it so you can print it out if you’d like.

Our marriages are a reflection of the way that Christ loves the Church.  As married women, we should try to emulate that type of sacrifice in our marriage, ESPECIALLY if your man is an unbeliever.Sometimes we might not realize that making our husband a nice meal and taking him to bed is just as important as writing or leading a Bible study.  So is mopping the floor, cleaning the toilets and doing laundry.  These domestic things I’m not too fond, by the way.

I know that some women just love the domestic side to home life, but I would not fall into that category.  I’ve tried to really embrace this, but it’s kinda like putting a square peg in a round hole. However, just because I don’t enjoy these things or blossom in them, I still commit myself to doing them because I’m commanded to do so according to the Word of God.  My talents and skills are suited well for the work force but I left the world of business when I had children.

Personally, I’d prefer to lead a Bible study or write a blog post.  But outside ministry coming before ministry to my husband, children, and home is outside of the Biblical order of my responsibilities.

Many years ago I used to lead Bible studies at my church when my boys were babies.  As they got older and I became more ill, leading a group became very difficult for me.  When my oldest was entering Kindergarten, I was planning on homeschooling him but I knew it wouldn’t be physically possible for me to do both; lead a study and homeschool.  I knew I had to make a choice and I must tell you, it absolutely broke my heart to step out of leading Bible study.  In fact, I cried and my heart hurt for many years that followed.  Just sharing this story brings me to tears and it’s been 9 years!   I didn’t understand why God would allow my body to be so broken down and unable to do things that would bring Him glory.  Goodness I was serving the Lord leading a Bible study, it wasn’t like I was going out to bars each night!  No, back then I didn’t understand why He removed outside ministry from my life, but today I do.

So can we love our husbands, love our children, keep a Godly countenance, keep our homes AND serve in outside ministry?

It depends on each persons situation as well as your husband’s love language and whether or not he is saved.  Your life will look different from mine but our priorities should be the same.   In some marriages, the husband may need more quality time from you, more of you serving him, more of your physical touch (sex), more of your words of affirmation, or more gifts given to him.  These are the 5 Love Languages from Gary Chapman’s book.  If you don’t know your man’s love language I recommend finding out what it is.  By the way, I thought the book was way boring.  (Sorry Gary!) So I just skipped to the good stuff so I could better love my husband.

Also if a marriage doesn’t have kids yet, a wife will have more free time which will allow more opportunity for outside ministry. When children enter into the world, a baby requires much more nurturing than a 12 yr. old child.  Again, more free time is available to allow a married woman to serve the Lord outside of her home.

Here’s what I like to call my wife meter/gauge to determine if my priorities are in order.
  • Does my husband feel loved by me?
  • Are we communicating with one another or are we just going through life like roommates who occasionally have sex?
  • Are we connecting emotionally and spiritually (for those who have saved husbands)?
  • Do I have a sense that I’m neglecting him so I can pursue others things?
  • Has he verbally communicated to me that he feels I’m somewhat absent from the marriage?
  • Are we constantly bickering?
  • Am I constantly asking him to help me in ministry or home life but I have no time to help him?
And here’s the kicker of the test, which is what my husband always uses with me.  On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your marriage?
Try using any of these questions with your husband and see how he feels.  If he’s feeling unloved, disrespected, or neglected then by ALL means, step out of ministry!
God will honor you for your obedience!

Live a poured out life for Christ,
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Now bloggers, it’s time to link up your posts!

I’m looking for posts on any and all things related to being a wife, i.e. homemaking ideas, ways you minister to your husband, dating ideas, and/or hearing what the Lord is telling you about your most important earthly relationship!
Link back to this community, either by using the button below or a text link.  Link to your actual “Marital Oneness Mondays” post, not just your general blog address–that way if readers come by later in the week, they can click your relevant post.
The Alabaster Jar
The Alabaster Jar

I’m linking up with:  Unveiled Wife

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for this post :) I am guilty of neglecting my home life at times not purposely in order to try and do a work for God. I need to reevaluate and make some changes.