You, as a ministry wife, have an ability to be able to get in behind the scenes and see the real man your husband is and hear his heart in his lowest of times. All of them face times in which they feel like they are a ministry failure.
You and God can make a difference in helping your husband see he is NOT a failure just because times are hard or there is opposition. This is a list that I found that I had written for my husband when he was disheartened over a year ago and thought it might be something worth sharing. When your husband feels like a failure then please encourage him in a special way – share this blog post, or write your own list, or do some of the other things the other ladies suggested below.
This is what I wrote:
5 Reasons Why You Are Not a Ministry Failure
1. Your calling is fulfilled by obedience, not numbers.
2. So much of ministry is not about being busy, but loving God’s people. You have a unique ability to love people and make them feel cared for.
3. Your lows give you humility and a launching pad for future goals – they do not define you, your ministries, or your God.
4. God is not finished with you yet. God won’t be done with you and your duty to follow Him (your ministries) until you see His face.
5. God’s Word accomplishes His purposes – Sown into the hearts of people through the songs the choir sings, your preaching or teaching, or the children’s ministries you have worked in. Make it your responsibility to keep sowing, not weight yourself down with making it grow. God gives the increase.
Encourage yourself in the Lord.
“The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 115:14,15
To expand this thought this question was asked on the Ministry Mamas Facebook page:
If your husband were discouraged today and felt like a failure and you were going to give him a reason why he was NOT a failure, what would that reason be?
This is what some of you had to say:
“He’s doing his best to faithfully follow the path that God has placed before him with the knowledge and experience that God has given him so far, and that’s the best thing that he can do.“
“He has me who is head over heels in love with him as a person not a title, and four healthy happy adjusted children that adore him! …followed by some spontaneous planned affection.”
“When you truly live for God, no one is a failure. Yes we miss the mark but we are never failures in Christ. ”
“God alone is the author & finisher of our faith. He sees the beginning, the ending, and everything in between. We have to focus on the Master of all our circumstances, whether it’s in good times or bad. He works all things together for our good – even when it doesn’t feel like it. We’ve been down this road several times and it’s not ever easy, but in the end…always good.“
“I do believe this is a tool the devil uses to get to our men serving in the ministry. I have had to deal with this a few times in our marriage and these are some things I did to encourage my man: Pray, listen when he wants to talk, be silent when words will only sound like nagging, be there (women are not the only ones who need held sometimes), love him, tell him you love him, show him you love him, write little notes and leave them in places only he will find (underwear/sock drawer, suit coat pocket, wallet, etc.). Knowing you are there at his side through anything will help him get through anything. If he doesn’t ‘thank you’ or acknowledge your acts of encouragement, keep it up he will in time. God might be using this time to not only make him stronger, but you both stronger in faith and your marriage and love for each other.”
“I always think about when David was in such despair after his wife, children and fellow townspeople were taken captive and the people wanted to kill him and he wanted to die. The Bible says he encouraged himself in the Lord. One of the best things for our husbands is to sit together and talk about all the things the Lord has accomplished through them, remember the good times, the lives changed, the blessings He has given us. Just naming the blessings of the current day can help lift the spirits even a little.“
“I read this out loud to my mom and my six-year-old piped up ‘Only Satan wants you to believe you’re a failure but God made you special,’ I think that pretty much sums it up.”
These ladies have good comments and I love to get other perspectives from ladies who have served for different lengths of time in ministry. For yourself, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you when you have the discernment to see that your husband really needs encouragement. Make sure that you’re sensitive to his sensitivities (in words, things you do, and etc.) and as the Lord leads you, encourage him to keep serving the Lord.
If you have some other ideas, thoughts, or advice on how to encourage your husband when he feels like a failure please leave them in the comments!