Ministry has to be one of the busiest jobs on the planet. The reason is that it never stops. I know that I work at the office from 8-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and then most weekends are filled with events and ministry responsibilities. On Sunday, I am at the church to have things ready to go by 8:00 a.m., and do not return until about 12:30 p.m. I do not say any of this to complain, but I am saying this to prove that ministry is busy. In the midst of the busyness, it is easy to neglect our families. Believe me, I have heard phrases such as this from my wife, “You are never at home with us!” That is the last thing that you want to hear. So, how can we change this and not allow our wives to feel this way during the busyness of our ministry? Do we neglect our family, or do we neglect the ministry? I am here to tell you that you can love your spouse and kids, and keep your marriage strong and healthy even with a busy ministry! How? Here are four ways that you can do this:
- Sleep in with your wife occasionally — I head to the office kind of early to have my personal quiet time with God. So, I am at the office each morning by 7:30 a.m. My daughter is still in bed, and my wife is about to get her day started as well. One thing that has encouraged my wife more than anything, is on Thursday mornings I sleep in with her, and then she cooks breakfast. I go into the office later. Look, things are not going to fall apart if you miss the first hour of the day occasionally.
- Never lose the romance — I used to think that romance always had to be expensive. Here is the reality: It does not have to be expensive to be romantic. Look, I get it, in ministry you have no money, but be creative with what you have. Show up with an evening plan and surprise for your family. Show up with flowers or candy from time to time. Have a surprise getaway somewhere for just you guys sometime. Plan a scavenger hunt for your spouse through your city with thought. Never get too old for romance.
- Listen to your spouse’s advice and use it — My wife is much wiser and smarter than I am. I sometimes feel intimidated by using her advice because it is better than mine, but one thing that encourages my wife is when I listen to her advice, and use it. She loves it.
- Turn off your phone at night sometimes — This is something that I struggle with, but when I succeed, and leave mine off or in another room, I can focus on my wife and daughter more.
Question: What do you do in ministry to keep your marriage strong?