Managing Marriage and Ministry
Managing Marriage and Ministry
Courtnaye Richard Inside Out with Courtnaye
I’m going to start this post by saying that managing marriage and ministry is NOT easy. Yet, it can be done. Personally, I’ve been married for nearly 16 years and been saved and active in ministry for over 20 years. So, I know from experience that this can be done. However, no matter how long we’ve been married and in ministry, for you and me, it’s still going to take prayer, personal discipline, love, and respect to manage them both, well.
In this post, I’m going to be sharing with you some biblical and practical tips on how to manage marriage and ministry, because that’s why you clicked onto this post in the first place. So here goes…
Kick your days off by praying for both areas.
Pray for your husband and pray for all that you need to do to manage your ministry. For instance, if you and your husband haven’t been seeing eye to eye, pray for him. If you want you two to become closer, pray for it. Pray for your husband’s needs, his protection, your intimate life, your finances together, spiritual growth, his work responsibilities, and for your love to grow for the Lord and one another. There is a book that I want to recommend to every wife reading this post and it is entitled, “The Power of a Praying Wife,” by Stormie Omartian. I like the little book of prayers, because it’s quick, powerful, anointed, and marriage-changing! Also, pray for your ministry. You can’t do what God has called you to do without communicating with Him and following His lead. So, pray about the ideas that come to mind, the work that needs to be done, what you would like to do, and what you would like to see come to pass in your ministry. Prayer changes your husband and prayer aligns us with the heart and will of God as we do ministry. Prayer brings peace to both parts (marriage and ministry). I’m telling you, sis. Prayer works. So, pray, and watch God move!
I’m talking about sex. If we get too busy for nurturing our marital relationship through intimacy, then we’re out of balance, and it can bring on undue stress, conflict, and problems. Our marriage is our first ministry, sis. So, we have to be careful not to give room for the devil to enter in. The Bible encourages us in 1 Corinthians 7:5-6, “Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command.” With that being said, I encourage you as the Apostle Paul encourages us in the Word. It’s just a great way to connect with each other, but it also keeps down arguments, insecurity, and extramarital affairs as we do the will of God. Satan would want nothing more than to damage our witness as married, Christian couples. So, balance it out, my sister. Don’t get so busy to the point that you neglect staying intimate with your husband, and I’ll take heed to the same. ;-)
This is BIG and life-changing in marriage and ministry. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:1-3, “…lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” Now, ponder this passage of Scripture for a moment. It’s all about action. Meaning, walk in humility when you speak, write, or voice an opinion. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry as James 1:19 states. I believe that when you and I are humble in our marriages and humble with people that we minister to and encounter, then God will honor that. I’ve seen Him do it countless times in both. The Bibles tells in Proverbs 18:12, “…humility comes before honor.” When we’re humble sis, it just brings so much peace, reconciliation, and open doors of opportunity.
Don’t forget to do date nights.
This not only keeps the flames burning between you two, but it also gives you a break away from the grind. Marriage is work and so is ministry. So, work on your marriage by spending planned time away together. Even if you have to be the one planning it. Go for it! Do dinner and a movie out or at home (with just you two – send the kids away for the night by grandma’s house or a trusted friend). Plan a weekend getaway to retreat or to grow in your marriage by attending a marriage conference in your area or away. Take a long drive, go to the beach or lake, or make it a lunch date. Whatever you do, date each other. Invest in your union. This helps to manage your marriage life as you take a break away from the ministry work.
Managing marriage and ministry will also entail finding rest from your labor for your well-being. In other words, knowing that you need to take time out for yourself as well, as you honor the roles in both. So, shut down the computer/laptop/phone, and take a hot bubble bath. Read a book that you’ve been wanting to read. Go to the coffee shop and have your favorite cup of coffee or tea. Take a bike or car ride to think, pray, and reflect on life. Simply relax. Breathe. Do something that you enjoy. Find rest, my sister. This is good life-management.
In a nutshell, don’t let marriage and ministry wedge a block between the two. Instead, aim at managing them better. Reassess where you are in your marriage and your ministry. Are there some things that you need to tighten up, balance better, or plan that will help both to run more smoothly? Is there something that you need to pray about as it relates to either area. If so, do it today (or night). And finally, do you need to plan rest, so that you can manage them both effectively and with energy?
Wherever you are, begin making strides and progress. It starts with one action step at a time. And it continues with knowing that it’s going to take prayer, humility, love, effort, discipline, good planning, and intentionality for things to flow better. You and God know exactly where you are on the topic. I just want you to know and be encouraged that they can both be done, because nothing is impossible with God. ;-)
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus/BrianAJackson