As a young woman, I knew God's will for my life was to minister to my husband's and my children's needs. I knew God would not call me to a ministry that interfered with my primary calling as a wife and mother.
I ministered at the local level, serving in the church nursery and teaching Sunday school. Today our children are grown, and I am able to accept ministry opportunities on a broader basis. I know that my obedience to the Lord during the early years pleased God and prepared me for my current ministry.
Another woman I know made a decision early in her marriage not to leave her husband behind spiritually. She was concerned that the spiritual distance would create competition or separation between them on a natural level.
Instead, she determined to wait on the Lord to touch her husband so they could then journey together in the spiritual and the natural. Her obedience to the Lord brought blessing, as Deuteronomy 5:29 promises.
She prayed mightily and kept loving her husband unconditionally. Today, 10 years later, her husband is a deacon in their local church, and they are serving the Lord in ministry together. God is faithful!
Of course, some situations are extreme. Personally, I have not known many marriages in which the husband completely forbid his wife to go to church, bake cupcakes for a bake sale, help a widow or orphan, cook for a sick neighbor, read the Bible, pray, or speak words of godly encouragement to others; but they do exist.
If you are living with an abusive spouse under that kind of control, talk with your pastor and seek professional help. More than the spiritual aspect of your relationship is suffering.
PREPARED BY LOVE If that's not your situation, however, you can be sure your husband's heart is being prepared right now for spiritual growth and maturity as you and God love him with perfect, unconditional love. Remember, the Lord desires fellowship with your husband more than you desire it for him! And God wants your spouse to love and serve Him, just as you do.
God has a plan for your life and for your marriage. If He has indeed called you to a specific ministry, He is working out the details; you don't have to force it to happen. Your life, your marriage and your ministry are in His capable hands.
Julie Roe, Ph.D., is a Christian counselor whose practice is based in Sanford, Florida, where she lives with her family.
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