Three Steps You Can Take
To help you begin to appreciate the differences in your spouse, I suggest these three practical steps that have helped me:
1. Talk to each other.
Communication is the key to helping ministry marriages thrive. The Bible declares in Proverbs 4:7: “The beginning of wisdom in this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” In our marriage, we are intentional about communication. For example, we designate one night a week that is just about us. On Friday nights, we unplug from technology and talk to each other. We turn our phones on silent and only answer if it’s a call from our children. We have ensured that our church and ministries respect Friday night—they know to contact other leaders who can address their concerns. Protecting your communication is vital to a healthy ministry marriage.
2. Stay in your lane.
One of the most important rules of the road is staying in your lane. Failure to do so ensures someone will get hurt. Staying in my lane in a ministry marriage means focusing on what I’ve been given to do rather than trying to do what God has given my husband to do. For example, I recognize that my husband is the senior leader in our local congregation, and I have trained myself to respect his decision-making even when I don’t agree. I am the administrative pastor, gifted in teaching and training, and I need to focus on these tasks. This allows us to work together more easily and cuts down on arguments. This does not happen overnight, but through prayer, humility, and extending grace, we are getting better every day.
3. Celebrate each other’s success.
When your spouse wins, throw a party, because it’s your win, too. Often in ministry marriages, spouses can become envious and jealous of the gifting or success of their ministry mate. It takes understanding who and how God made you and trusting God with your marriage to truly celebrate each other. Adhering to oneness in your ministry marriage helps keeps the enemy from whispering division in your ear. I know that if my husband excels in ministry, it’s a win for me because I was in the background praying for him, encouraging him, and supporting him along the way. When I excel in ministry, my husband gladly celebrates my win as our win, respecting and supporting the anointing on my life and ministry.