Tim and I have been married for 25 years. That’s a quarter of a century with the man of my dreams! My high school sweetheart. That good-looking guy who swept me off my feet also became the man who has been the most incredible father to our three daughters.
Our beautiful, messy life together has been filled with craziness and fun and love and laughter and a new house and babies and even a super cute puppy dog named, Sammy. The Seidler life has always really been radically incredible and amazing.
And then church ministry.
It changes things in a marriage, you know?
Church ministry requires things of a marriage that you’re usually not prepared for as you venture in. The challenges and sacrifices and tension and stress of leading and serving in church as a couple–there’s nothing quite like it.
Have you experienced it?
I have. First-hand. And Tim and I truly make an attempt everyday to overcome the pressure and strain that ministry takes on our marriage. Sometimes we do it well. Sometimes we fail miserably.
Today, I’d like to share 3 practices that have helped us in times when we do it well, and I hope will also help you to keep your marriage strong in the midst of church ministry.
#1) Stay reminded you’re on the same team.
When life gets tough, we tend to battle those closest to us. So remind each other often that as a couple, you’re in this together. God has called your husband AND you as a team, and great teams have a mentality that emphasizes unity, encouragement and support. Mark 3:25 says, “…if a household is divided against itself, that household will not last..” And neither will our marriages! We should never lose sight that we’re on the same side of the battlefield–fighting together to keep strong and united and standing ready together for what’s coming our way.
#2) Set aside alone time with each other.
A top priority in my marriage book. Find a date and time. Mark it on your calendar. Set a reminder. AND DON’T LET ANYTHING TAKE ITS PLACE! Time “away from it all” with your spouse is time well spent. It’s important to be intentional, focused and also uninterrupted. Tim and I love going to out-of-the-way places where we can spend valuable face-to-face time with no one else but each other. It keeps us strong and complete as a couple. And one of the best things we can do for our church is to stay connected and refreshed so we can encourage each other and lead stronger together.
#3) Continue to support and encourage each other.
Over time, complacency can rear its ugly head and be an enemy to a successful marriage, especially in ministry. After 25 years, I’m continually reminding myself to keep complacency at a distance. Complacency can easily work its way into your marriage, so it’s critical to continue to embrace the excitement and vibrance in your spouse’s ideas today just as it was in years gone by. Continue to support and encourage each other in times of success as well as in times of failure. A stale marriage can easily become a thriving marriage when we embrace each other’s dreams and goals and spur one another on to greatness. “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Please share with us! What practices do you use to help your marriage stay strong in the midst of church ministry?