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
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.
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, 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.