Help! My Pastor/Ministry Husband Works Full-Time Part 2

When a man is called to a ministry and needs to have a full-time job to meet the needs of his family then it changes the family dynamic. We’re continuing on with Part 2 with things we, as ministry wives, can do to be able to think about and do if our husbands are divided between work and ministry. (You can read Part 1 here.) In this article you’ll find three more points to help you be able to not only survive, but thrive, Lord willing in times when time is compartmentalized between church, family, and our husband’s job.

Make Family Time Golden Time

Treat your family time like it is the “golden” hour(s) of the day. Plan your day around the time of the day in which your husband will be home to spend the bulk of his time with you and your children. If he has time around a specific meal of the day, then have that meal ready to go so you can all sit down and enjoy your meal together. Make your schedule revolve around keeping your family in tune with their father’s influence and ministering to each other.

Unify your family unit during times he is available by shutting out activities that would separate you from having a hearty conversation. Limit TV and devices also. Engaging in productive conversation will tie heart-strings together even when time is limited. Don’t settle for junk when you have time to be together, focus on making your time the shiniest  “golden” time you can have.

Continue to be his helpmeet

Ask yourself this: “Did God bring us here to this church for my husband to be the pastor?” If the answer is yes, and you can confirm in your heart you knew His calling was bringing you to serve in your current church then let go of your desires and just be at peace. If you are where God wants you then there are lessons to be learned. You know the old adage, “Bloom where you’re planted?” While you’re learning to grow and bloom in the strain of time with your husband, continue to be his helpmeet.

True fact: Every husband is lacking in some area of their life (with or without these circumstances). AND one of the roles of the wife is to be his helpmeet. You might be wondering, “Well, I’m the one who needs help, my sink is backing up and my kids are driving me bonkers! How can I help him!?” Somehow even in those unmet needs (like the sink) God will fill in the gaps with solutions, you just need to talk to HIM about them and see where He will open doors to take care of the problems. Another thing to ask God is where He wants you to help your husband. It might be that you will just have to put aside some of your dreams and desires in this season of your life so you can focus on helping your husband do the things where he falls short. It’s not a sin that he needs help, it’s a place of blessing that you will have the discernment to help his needs be met.

In the year that we lived with my in-laws my hobbies (including blogging!) had to go to the wayside. My beloved beads, craft papers, glue, scissors, sewing machine, and even greeting cards were all in a huge storage shed baking in the summer sun without me. The crafty part of me had to be put on the shelf to cultivate and really work at making a multi-generational family work. Meeting my husband’s needs with clean clothes and a lunch every day, maintaining my in-laws’ home, homeschooling the children, and tend to the needs of a little baby all wracked up a ton of my time and energy. I’m not gonna lie, it. was. hard. Everything in me some days screamed “This isn’t right!?” because we were feeling a strain on our family and marriage. I hear ya honey, I know, somewhere in the midst of all this to-and-fro, pass-and-go ministry life we want to still be able to claim something, anything that resembles “normal.” The lifestyle of making things work for your family often is a demonstration of active self-denial to be the helpmeet he needs in this type of season of life. (If you’re needing help with specific things see the section about communication in Part 1).

Does he need you to be his secretary taking phone calls and messages, ordering flowers for people who are in the hospital, or taking care of the church website? Or is he in need of you to iron his clothes and have meals ready before his mad-dash to the mid-week service? Perhaps your accounting and budgeting skills can come in handy to help with managing your money or the church finances? Or being the one to organize the janitorial work to be done at the church every week?  It may be possible you would need to teach and train your children at home in skills where your husband would normally be able to do but now cannot. You might have to work alongside your children to teach them responsibility in chores or foster the lines of communication between your husband and your children.

Side note: Just because you may be involved in many areas of church life does not mean you’re the boss of them, you’re the mediator/helper. All questions and authority on decisions comes through the proper channels, make sure you follow procedures and policies just like any other person would when it comes to church work and being in submission to your husband’s desires. We don’t trump our husbands on decision-making because we’re helping. Too many women run rough-shod over people when they are supposed to be the helpmeet, not the boss.

Guard your heart & Your Marriage

While life is hard and time is short and your Stretch Armstrong husband is being pulled like taffy, remember to guard your heart and marriage. Yep, I’m talking about the ooey gooey part of your relationship. Bloom where you’re planted here too, find ways to keep the love alive in your marriage! Dress up for your man even if he’s off to prayer meeting or a hospital call. Let him know you’re still thinking of him when he’s not there because that will be the draw for him to continue to come home. Find ways to communicate with your husband that will help you keep an open relationship; sweet I’m thinking of you texts, warm greetings, phone calls when possible. Go to a couple’s retreat, or have a sitter come in overnight and go to the next town over for a little night out, at the very least have date night regularly even if it’s after the kids go to bed.

When he’s gone you keep your heart right before the Lord and guard your heart. Satan still seeks whom he may devour and lonely women are easy snacks for the taking. Needy women are also easy prey, don’t lean on another man to solve your problems just because your husband isn’t around. If you do have someone to help you with your busted sink put precautions in place to help remain blameless and pure in your relationship. In other words, don’t be alone with another man. Monitor yourself on the internet, talking to other men about your difficulties will not build your marriage either. Forsake any thoughts that life could be better if…God placed you here, continue serving Him faithfully, and using your creativity to keep your marriage not just afloat but thriving.

Problem Solving with prayer

What if I do everything necessary to making things better for us, including talking to my husband, and we are still strained for time together as a family? Or what if our church is suffering because of my husband’s job? Our children never see their father?

Ministry Mama, I do not know the answer for your particular family on what specific answer you need to see the results you’re wanting. We do know the One who does. God knows, He sees all, He cares. He knows you may be scraping the barrel to get by as a family. Keep on your knees Mama, humbly cry out before the Lord asking Him to change the heart of your husband, or arrange the circumstances needed for your children to spend more time with their father, or for the church members to step in and help him.

Don’t quit asking! Don’t quit problem-solving in prayer! The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man {Ministry Mama} availeth much, (my emphasis) James 5:17.

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