Being the wife of a man in full-time Christian service can be a very fulfilling and satisfying calling. It can also be a very hazardous occupation. Therefore, there are three things that absolutely must be in place in your life.
First, you need to be aware of the pitfalls that are involved so they don’t catch you by surprise.
Second, you need to be in daily fellowship with God and growing personally in your relationship with the Lord.
Third, you must have an assurance that God has called you into your place of service and you are in His will.
If these three areas are in place, you can overcome the majority of the problems that occur in the ministry. Let’s look at some of those problems.
In our last article, we looked at the issue of loneliness and some suggestions on how to deal with that issue. Now we want to look at another area that you will sacrifice in if your husband is in full-time Christian service.
Limited Time with Husband
Your husband is usually ‘on call’ 24 hours a day. There are many things for him to keep up with. He will be involved in sermon preparation, counseling, administrative work of the church, visitation, teaching, hospital calls, deacon’s meetings, etc. Many times you will make plans, only to have those plans changed or interrupted at the last minute because something came up, or someone needs your husband. The average pastor puts in from 70-90 hours per week. His job is definitely not a normal one.
Ways to Deal with This:
* Plan your time wisely so you can spend time with your husband when he has it. I used to get upset when I had my day all planned out with what I was going to do, then my husband would call and want me to go with him somewhere. But I soon realized that I needed to take advantage of every possible opportunity to be with my husband since his schedule is so busy. Now when he calls, I tell him I will be ready to go in 5 minutes. Then I re-arrange my schedule so I can be with him.
* Adapt to your husband’s schedule. He is under a great deal of pressure, and his schedule will be much more difficult to change than yours. The things he is involved with are much more important. Be flexible and willing to change. Get the children to bed at a reasonable time, so you can spend quiet time with your husband in the evenings.
* Try to plan a day off together often. It may be that you can just take a morning off now and then, or an afternoon. Take advantage of those opportunities. Go out for lunch or just go for a walk in the park. Your husband needs to get away every once in awhile just to relax and get his mind off the many situations he deals with. Encourage him to take care of his physical and emotional needs, so his pressures don’t carry over into the family.
* Don’t allow jealousy to rob you of your joy in the ministry. Your husband must care for others. He has been called by God to be a shepherd to those he pastors. This is his life work. Cultivate the same kind of loving concern in your heart.
* Plan a “family night” once a week, a fun time for games, food, recreation, and talk. Keep this time as a serious appointment if at all possible.
* Make a ‘date night’ for the two of you alone once a week. This can even be combined with visitation. Even if you don’t have much money, you can share a piece of pie! Usually a fast food place is not a good place, because you will not find quiet there. Go someplace where you can relax and let someone wait on you.
Beverly is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and Doug Hammett have been married for over 35 years. Since her father was a pastor and her husband was already a pastor when she married him, she is well acquainted with the blessings as well as the problems of the ministry! Bev’s favorite things to do are read and spend time with her family.
In Autumn of 2010, Doug stepped aside from his position as senior pastor at LVBC to reach and train men in Botswana and South Africa. Beverly continues to write for our ladies publication, giving her unique perspective of life in the ministry, and now life on the mission field. You can read more about their ministry here.