I am type-A, and my husband is the direct opposite. If we did life and ministry completely according to how I am wired, our ministry would be rigid, and everyone would operate like the Energizer bunny. My husband helps me “chill out” and not take everything so seriously. I have learned from him, for example, how to take a nap after church on Sunday. My husband is great at casting vision, but sometimes needs help figuring out a plan to get us there. This is where my strengths come in—I help him lay it out in sequential steps. Learning to align our gifts, talents, and abilities together is an effort for anyone in marriage, but adding ministry to this makes it even more difficult. You might be thinking, Is it worth it? It absolutely is. If God says we’re meant to be together, working together for his kingdom, then it’s true—and it’s absolutely worth working on.
For many years, the way God designed my husband drove me insane, until God began to show me that there are certain things that I do better, and there are certain things my husband does better. I have the grace to handle financial and administrative matters—him not so much. He has the grace to handle chaos in crisis and the incredible stress of being a bi-vocational pastor without complaining—me not so much. I have learned to appreciate and love his quiet strength, while he has learned to appreciate and love my passionate charisma. When we work together, God is glorified.
It’s inevitable that we’ll experience conflict in our marriage; how we handle it is indicative of our maturity in Christ. In our marriage, we often agree on what should be done, but how to get there is a horse of another color. When my husband and I pray through our conflict rather than give each other the silent treatment, we are demonstrating forgiveness and maturity and presenting a glorious church without spot or wrinkle. When we operate in unity and oneness in our marriage rather than allowing a spirit of division to operate, our family and ministry are blessed. Psalm 133:1–3 declares that unity releases blessing and life forevermore. So, when we work as a unit, it releases life and blessing.
Sometimes our conflict has actually led to incredible lessons. When I first started leading, I led according to what I learned in previous leadership roles without considering that I was now leading in the kingdom of God. I used to get straight to the point, but I learned through some conflicts that this method can hurt rather than heal. Drawing from my husband’s diplomacy, I have altered the way I lead. I am typically no nonsense and a straight shooter, but now I take more care and ask God to make me sensitive and attentive to the needs of people who are very different from me. Now I think through who and what my decisions may affect and consider the potential risks before I make and implement my decision. Amazingly, God knew that we would balance each other out; together we are both better in ministry.