Not Hating Your Husband’s Ministry

by Angie Washington on August 23, 2013

We welcome Danielle Cevallos as our guest writer today. Her words come to us from Bangkok, Thailand where she and her beautiful family serve.

Danielle Cevallos Thailand

Early in our marriage my husband and I did ministry alongside of one another. However, in the past 5 years, God has called my husband to something that has forced me to really look at how “we” do ministry.  Today he works with an organization that requires him to travel every month. He now trains and encourages national leaders. While it is amazing to see what God is doing all over the world, this has been the first season in our lives where we have not been side by side in ministry.

I would get frustrated that he got to go off into the world and do these awesome things, while I was at home. I wanted to be a part of the adventure and the awesome God things that he got to be part of.

What I didn’t realize at the time,

was that I already was.

I began praying that God would help me to know what ministry “together” looked like in this season in our lives. Here are some things that he gave me

Prayer

About a year ago, God began to  show me that this really is the answer to everything! Yes, God is sovereign. But, he has chosen to use our prayers to change things. To make things happen. When I began to pray specifically for my husband and his ministry, support raising, and the specific leaders that he was working with, my heart became considerably more involved in the work that was going on. I was able to encourage him, and lend a new kind of support that I am embarrassed to say, I had not been giving before.

Hold down the fort

My husband has always been helpful in our home. He enjoys taking our girls places, and working on things with them. He does dishes and folds laundry While he is gone, it is hard.  Early on, I used to let him know, in a no-so-subtle way, how hard it was.  Imagine how supported one might feel going off into the world knowing that your wife was at home, and super ticked off about it. I prayed hard for a heart that was willing and for the grace to make it through the days while he was gone. I thanked God and my husband for how awesome, present and invested he was while at home. Slowly God has begun to change my heart in this way.

Be ready and available

While there is not always an opportunity for us to work side by side, there are times when those opportunities do arise.  I have edited countless newsletters and emails. I have gone on coffee/dinner/support dates. I have travelled to India and worked with the women there. I have written blog posts.  I have worked part time, and as of late, have gotten a job in Bangkok so that we can get visas to live there. When it is needed, I try to be available and positive, for whatever he needs.

Give him time to decompress, talk, and relax

When my husband would come home from a trip I would immediately want to hand everything over to him. I learned that one way to support him was to give him some time when he got home. If that was a dinner out, a late morning in, a long conversation about the trip or a Starbucks, then I tried to give him that.  I want him to feel okay about leaving both before and after returning home. It isn’t always easy, but one more day, night or morning won’t kill me.

Danielle Cevallos Thailand 2

Recently we moved to Bangkok so that my husband could be closer to the work God is doing in Asia. This has been the biggest way I have had to support his ministry thus far. God asked me to leave my life behind for this work. Perhaps the biggest thing that has helped me keep a right perspective is knowing that the same God who calls us, equips us. If he is the one calling my husband, and our family, then he will equip us, both on the front lines and on the home front.

What do your roles in ministry look like within your marriage? What has been helpful in keeping a good perspective on that?

Danielle Cevallos– Danielle Cevallos, missionary in Bangkok, Thailand. Believer in Jesus. Wife to a traveling missionary. Mother of two beautiful young ladies. Friend of amazing women. Southernized New Yorker. Carrie Underwood lover. Fountain Coke/Starbucks addict. Run-on sentence writer, and special educator.

blog: This Life I Live  Twitter: @d_cevallos

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About Angie Washington

Co-Founder, Editor of this collaborative blog site: A Life Overseas
  • Pingback: How not to hate your husband's ministry | This Life I Live()

  • Anna walmsley

    Hi Danielle, Thankyou so much for this post. We are about to head to the remote parts of Austalia where I will have to take on the role of schooler and full time carer of our three kids. Just like u mentioned until now I have always worked side by side with my husband and have found myself getting resentful of this knew role of mine. Thankyou so much this was something I needed to read.

    • Girl, I just prayed for you! This is a big transition, but God is our faithful, GOOD, shepherd. He leads us well, and will lead you well in this new season. Abide in him, being daily reminded, that apart from him we can do NOTHING! I am certain you will learn him in new ways during this season! Our move has really helped open my eyes to so many truths about who He is!

  • beejay

    Thanks for this Danielle. We are not living overseas, or even in a full-time missions context, but my husband travels a lot for his job, and I admit to a lot of the same feelings and behaviours as you mentioned. This article has been a challenge to me, thank you!

    • Glad to hear it! The ministry you do at home, is full time, and so vital, no matter what your husband’s profession!

      • Sheila

        Hi Danielle,

        Thank you for the God honoring post. We came to the States from our home of a year in Southeast Asia to have our second child fully expecting to come right back home in a few months. The Lord allowed a season of serious sickness in my life and body and we have now been home in the USA for two years. My husband transitioned in his role from full time church planter to director of communications for our non-profit and I am technically still on medical furlough. Everyday I thank God for the health that He is slowly but steadily restoring to me, the honor to be a Mom to 2 lovely kids and the ministry He has given us while we are here. As you can imagine we are eager to return to our work overseas but are waiting on Him. I admit my attitude has not always been good, my husband adjusted well to his new role and feels immensely fulfilled. I guess I did not, since I have always viewed my role as recovery. I have felt left out and alone a lot during our time in the USA, since we did serve side by side prior to this unexpected change in our lives. This post gave me a lot to think about, mainly NOT myself all the time!

  • Jessica P

    hi Danielle,

    I read this post with great interest. I’m a citified Midwesterner, living 15 years now in NYC with my husband where we head up our churchs missions ministry. In the beginning we traveled together but after children, I’m the one who holds down the fort. He travels for 7-10 days every 5-6 weeks and I’ve felt many emotions you listed in your blog. I’m happy that I’m in the more supportive role now. Gods grace and mercy has been sufficient, when he notes he’s been on around 100 trips in 10 years…I declare, and I’ve survived 100 trips and lived to tell about it! Gods blessings to you and your family, and thanks for the post.

    • I am from NYC! Queens to be exact! Surviving that many trips is definitely no small thing! Such a blessing to be used in what God is doing as the one who secures things back home!

  • Richelle Wright

    hey danielle ~ i think this is a super important discussion to have and i think those wives who feel God is leading them to serve their husbands in this way not only fight their own sinful natures in this type of service as well as their God-given desires to be directly involved in ministry, but i also think much of our church society “preaches” to them that this CAN’T be biblical – everything has to be equal or the wife is being dominated by the man and his wishes. i don’t want to enter into the egal/complem marriage models debate – i just struggle with why we, as wives, can’t encourage each other regardless of how we, with our husbands, have desired to work out our own marriages.

    our roles have changed so much through the years. at first, we were both super active, equal partners… even with littles because even in those early years while i was home schooling and they were able and loved tagging along. then, i had to give up my heart’s desire – home schooling – and we put our kids into a local language school and had a house helper to help watch them while i took a huge chunk of the paperwork/bookkeeping/ administrative assistant/secretary type jobs off his shoulders so he could focus on more people oriented ministry opportunities. most recently, i’ve been doing lots outside the house while still home schooling two of our 8 children and doing the bulk of the work around the house stuff (only very minimal house help this last year) with my jr higher who was being home schooled. and in these last three years of no or minimal house help, God has gentled me so much in the area of serving my family with love and joy and grace, regardless of their response to all that i was doing. for me, the key gist of what you are sharing is that i need to be ready to lay aside what i want to serve my husband and family and to do so willingly and with great joy… even when they aren’t happy about it or forget to say thank you. i’m so far from good at doing so, but thankful i’m still a work in progress.

    • Richelle, thanks so much for sharing! We too have been through so many seasons in our time together. Ultimately I am learning that all of life, is really about laying aside the things I think I want, need, etc. so that I honor God and can be about what He wants, desires, calls me to. His things, are the better things, regardless of what the world says about them. They are different for each women, and in each season. And I am learning it is rarely the task, or the setting that is most important, it is his people, being yielded to him. We are the laborers, but unless he builds it, we labor in vain. This is something God has been teaching me in every season, and in every setting over the last couple of years. I too, wish we all did a better job of encouraging one another as women to serve God in the context he has placed us. He knows us each individually and uses all of his children! I pray that we would encourage each other in the ministries he has given us, in and out of the home!

  • Dawn F.

    Hi, Danielle. Welcome to Thailand – I can barely welcome you b/c we’ve just been here for 4.5 months ;), BUT still … welcome from a neighbor in the north! We moved here to base my husband’s visual storytelling (thru videography/photography) business here and he is just about to travel for the first time since moving here. I’ve always struggled for a variety of reasons when he travels. B/c of this, I SO appreciated this post – lately I have been convicted of how I am incredibly self-focused regarding how I am affected when he’s gone and have not been an active supporter of what God has called him (and our whole family as well – just via different roles, as you mentioned) to do. Thank you for sharing your heart and also some practical changes you have made in order to better come alongside your husband – it all was helpful and I look forward to praying more about this, talking with my husband about ways we can approach his traveling differently, and putting new things into practice.

    This was huge for me, you have no idea. Thanks again!

    • Hey Dawn! I am so glad to hear it! If you are ever in BKK, let me know!!! This is still such a process in my life, but God equips us to do the ministry he calls us to! So, as I am learning to abide in him, he is giving me the grace that is sufficient!

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