Milk and Honey Magazine explains how a Godly wife can encourage and support her husband whom works in ministry. Pray for him, listen to him, and create a restful environment! You are his rock, lovely girl.

Lovin' Your Ministry Man

Hannah Coffman

I’m the wife of a campus minister, which means our lives are gloriously chaotic. Sometimes my husband, Nathanael, leaves our house at 7:30 AM and isn’t able to come back until 11 PM because his day is packed full of college events, managing a Christian Campus House that’s home to almost 70 guys, and meeting with students over coffee or tacos. Sometimes we look at our calendars, trying frantically to find a free weekend between retreats, outreaches, and other events for the students. Other times, when we go to a wedding, we get to dance like crazy in a huge circle of the most fun people in the world, because nobody knows how to dance like college students.

My husband is one of the most unique people I’ve ever met (okay, I’ll admit that I’m biased). But seriously—it’s not just anyone who can undertake the grueling schedule that campus ministry requires. He needs such a huge variety of skills to succeed in his job—he preaches, leads small groups, meets one-on-one with students in order to counsel, mentor, and disciple, plans campus events that can involve over seven hundred people, and does a variety of day-to-day tasks with the students to keep the campus house running smoothly.

Whatever ministry your husband has chosen—pastor, youth pastor, deacon, elder, worship pastor, missionary, or church staff member—the truth is that ministry is difficult. I often wonder what that means for me, as his wife: What is my role? What part do I play? Just like the wife described so eloquently in Proverbs 31, I seek to be a wife whom “my husband has full confidence in,” (verse 11), and who “brings him good, not harm, all the days of my life” (verse 12). As I’ve read and meditated on the Scripture and sought God’s answer, three things have become quite clear:

♥ Pray continuously...

...for your husband: it’s essential to his outreach. In ministry, we are always working toward the goal of bringing people closer to Jesus. Whether that’s sharing the gospel, walking with someone in discipleship to help them learn more about God, or serving people directly, you (and your husband) will always be fighting against “the powers of this dark world” (Ephesians 6:12). That may look like getting a flat tire on a way to a retreat or suffering from a debilitating illness—but I think we forget that even little things, (such as being in a bad mood for no reason and having a hard time focusing on tasks) might very well be little darts from the enemy, meant to poison our purpose. As I’ve prayed for my husband, I’ve found myself becoming more forgiving of him in situations where I would usually be annoyed. I’ve found myself seeing more opportunities to love him in tangible ways (like making his lunch for him, or getting errands done so he doesn’t have to do them.) Start setting aside time to pray bold, specific prayers for your husband—I promise it will have an enormous effect on not only his life, but yours, too.

♥ Listen to him...

...when he’s sharing with you. We all have different love languages—but whether we feel love through physical touch, words of affirmation, or acts of service, we all have a deep need to be heard. By listening to your husband tell you about his day, talk about the ins-and-outs of ministry, or even just tell you a funny story he’s been wanting to share, you’re loving him with the act of listening. My husband is so good at listening to me that sometimes I forget he needs my listening ear, too. Today he came home, sat down on the couch with me, and told me all about his day. He had such valuable things to tell me about his ministry and about the study he’s doing through Romans, and I was blown away. We miss so much when we’re not listening.

♥ Create a restful environment... knowing when he needs to take a break, step away from a situation, and take a breath of fresh air. Ministry is not a 9-5 job—and it shouldn’t be! However, working 60+ hour weeks and pouring into other people can become exhausting if your husband isn’t taking adequate time to recharge. I think there’s something so significant about this verse at the very beginning of the Bible, Genesis 2:2: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” It’s so interesting that God chose to tell us that he took a whole day to rest. Made in his image, we need to rest, too. Recharging can look different for everyone. Nathanael and I like to explore the Ozarks, set up our hammocks and hang out, or watch Parks and Recreation or The Office. Whatever your habit of recharging and reconnecting is, make time for it, and help your husband prioritize rest when he needs it.