After twenty-three years of being married to a minister, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned to not always say exactly what’s on my mind, to be the first to smile and say hello to someone, and that on those not-a-stitch-of-makeup-hair-in-a-ponytail Wal-Mart trips when I’m just going to run in and grab something I will always, always, always see someone from the church. Perhaps the most important thing that I have learned, though, is that I need to do what only I can do.
You see, I can teach, I can cook, I can clean, I can sing a little, play piano a little, organize ministries, and on and on, but other people can do those things, as well. However, there’s one thing that only I can do. I am the only person on the face of this Earth who can love my husband intimately.
(Uh-oh, she’s talking about intimacy! Yikes! We all know what that’s the code word for!)
The most important thing that I have learned, though,
is that I need to do what only I can do.
This seems like a crazy thing for me to write about, but I have talked to ministers’ wives who have not learned this valuable lesson. They want to help their husbands. They want to support him, to do whatever they need to do to help the church. They are willing to get their hands dirty and clean the church, if necessary. They are willing to overcome their fears of speaking in public and teach a class. They are even willing to lead the children’s ministry! Yet, they fail to see the importance of intentionally keeping the romance alive in their marriage.
The enemy loves to attack ministers with sexual temptation. He loves to bring down ministers with sexual immorality because it creates a salacious story people will want to repeat all over town, eventually damaging the reputation of all ministers. As a minister’s wife, I am the only one who can help my husband be fulfilled in his marriage and help him resist temptation.
Please do not misunderstand. I am not saying that, when men cheat on their wives, it is all the wife’s fault. Absolutely not. However, I have learned after many years of marriage that men do have fleshly desires and that a wife’s attentiveness is very important in every marriage, especially a ministry marriage.
Here are a few suggestions for keeping the romance alive in your ministry marriage:
Set boundaries for when you will not discuss church matters. Perhaps it would be a good idea to not discuss church matters after ten o’clock at night, or while you are on a date night.
Have a regular date night. When our boys were little, it was much harder to go on dates. I do remember the days of having to find a babysitter! Make it a priority to figure out how the two of you can get out of the house and do something fun together.
Spend time together every day. This will be different for every couple. Some couples like to do crossword puzzles together, or exercise together, or watch television together. Find something enjoyable that you can do with each other every day, even if it is only for a short time every day.
Be sexy. (Oh goodness, that was hard for me to type. I’m a good-girl-raised-in-church-pastor’s-daughter, so this is kind of difficult for me to write about!) Find out your husband’s favorite perfume and wear it, send him sweet and romantic texts, wear clothes that he has told you he likes, etc. Make an effort to remind him that you are still the girl he married!
Be adventurous! Men crave adventure. Be willing to try new things and have fun together.
...our most important ministry is in our home.
As ministers’ wives, let us not become so busy working in the church that we forget our most important ministry is in our home. As I’m writing this, I’m praying for you, fellow minister’s wife, that you will receive this in love and make certain that you are fulfilling your calling to do the one thing that only you can do.
Doing What Only I Can Do is Part 2 of our January 2018 series, If There's One Thing I've Learned, from the Sanctuary leadership team. Stop back by next Monday for Part 3.
Martha Fouts and her husband, Kevin, of 23 years have three boys, ages 17, 16 and 14. Her primary passion in ministry at Discovery Church (Yukon, OK), where the couple are lead pastors, is to serve wherever she is needed, from women's ministry to hospitality. But her personal passion is to write. With four books to her credit, as well as a blog, Martha has a wide variety of offerings for the female reader. When she manages to find free time between her taxi services to three active boys, Martha loves to go shopping or snuggle up with a good book. Looking for a new book to read? Find her works at Amazon or your favorite e-book retailer.