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Learning to Serve the Lord as a Married Couple

on September 18, 2013 by Jolene Engle 9 comments

By Jolene Engle, Contributing Writer

I didn’t always know how to serve the Lord.  Ministry was not something I was exposed to when I was growing up.  It wasn’t until after I started working at a Christian organization which ministered to homeless people that I was exposed to ministry, also known as, serving the Lord.

During this time of my life I was a single woman who spent countless hours serving Jesus.  But then I met my Beloved and well, he wanted to be with me 🙂 so he joined me.  He gave up his Saturday mornings as we handed out school supplies and shoes to kids in need.  He spent his Thanksgiving morning with me as we fed the homeless, and then at Christmastime he put aside his schedule so he could hand out Christmas presents to kids who were less fortunate.

Learning to Serve the Lord as a Married Couple

Ministry during this time of my life was simple, and in my mind, I thought our married life would always consist of something like this.  But I was wrong.  Dead. Wrong.

So what happened?

We got married and our babies entered in the world and that’s when things really changed.

For one, I became very ill for a good decade.  They idea of raising kids, tending to my home, keeping the passion alive in my marriage and then doing outside ministry on top of all this seemed like a ridiculous notion to say the least.  Goodness, I could barely get out of bed in the morning!

But looking back I could see we were always serving the Lord together.  The only difference from when we served before marriage was that we were serving outside of the home and now we were ministering in the home.  My husband poured into me and the family and I did the best I could to pour into him and the kids.  After all, a Christ-centered marriage should reflect Jesus and His love for us.

Sometimes I think it’s easy for us to not feel like we’re serving the Lord when we’re only serving our spouse and children. ( only?  scoff!) But this pursuit should be first and foremost.  It’s biblical for our marriage and parenting to take precedence over outside ministry.

Now can a couple add more to their plate and serve outside of the home as well?  Absolutely!

When your marriage has harmony (not perfection) and your children are being guided and trained (but not perfect) then, yes, venture on out of your comfort zone and serve the Lord.  Better yet, try to serve the Lord as a married couple because when you can do that, it’s awesome because the two of you are being the salt and light together.  But awesomeness takes time, a healthy marriage and the right perspective in life.  I had to learn all of this over our 15 years of marriage.

Ministering to your spouse should be your first ministry

Ministering to your children by raising them, training them and teaching them to serve others is something God requires from us as parents.  This is so important because the Lord desires Godly offspring. (Malachi 2:15)

When these two areas are balanced and functioning in a healthy manner then seeking to serve outside of the home is what a couple should do.

I found that outside ministry ebbed and flowed throughout my marriage.  For a few years I led Bible studies at my church and then based on the circumstances of my health and the needs of my children, I stopped serving in that capacity.  And then there was a period in our lives where we ran a home school group, but at the Lord’s leading and because of our circumstances, we closed the entire thing down.

Go through your life with a Colossians 3:2 heart and when you do, you’ll soon realize you are always serving the Lord no matter if it’s in your marriage, or in your parenting, or by being involved in an outside ministry.

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  ~ Colossians 3:2

 

Tips on Learning to Serve the Lord Together

  • Continue to work on building a Christ-centered marriage.  This is vital!
  • Forsake outside ministry if you start to see cracks in your marriage.  Now mind you, your marriage won’t ever be perfect, so you’ll have to discern when it is best to serve outside of the home and when it’s best to take a break.  But the goal is always to be the salt and light.
  • Ministries that aren’t gender-specific are the easiest place to start serving together. A few examples would be children’s ministry or missions.  Ask your local church where they need help and pray as a couple to see where you can get involved.
  • If the interest from one spouse is a gender-specific ministry, for example, maybe the husband has a stronger interest in a particular ministry than you do and the ministry deals with all men, see if you can come alongside of him so you can be together.  Maybe you offer to open your home for Bible study and your man leads the group?  Or you invite his buddies from men’s study over and you have a night of couple’s fellowship?  Work on ways to connect within the ministry.
  • In my marriage, I minister to women so you might be thinking it’s kind of hard for my guy to be involved, right?  Well, this ministry suits us perfectly.  I’m more social than he is and he’s the one behind the scenes helping me with some theology, or helping me counsel a woman in regards to her husband (since he’s a man), or he’ll help with some technical aspects since the ministry I do is on-line.  I ask for his help, his input, his thoughts, his leadership and because of these things, he feels needed.  The result:  we serve the Lord together.
  • Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.  Ministering with your spouse will bond you in an emotional, mental and spiritual way.  That spiritual way is where the awesomeness comes from, friend!

What are some areas of ministry that you and your spouse serve the Lord in?  I’d love to hear your answers.  Who knows, maybe what you’re doing will spark some interest in the other readers here.  Share in the comments.

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

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  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers
  1. I have a question. You said you were very sick for about a decade. I have been as well and up until this year, I have been in bed that long and through the first two years of our Marriage. I have gotten off of major medications only to find out I have some crazy raw emotions going on. We were going to try starting a family this month and then another auto immune disease hits and I’m down again. Thankfully, I’m seeing a holistic doctor who points me to alternative things. I’m having to take an RX right now to get rid of infection but only temporarily. I guess my question is, how did you get to where you are able to function again? We serve together in our church’s Youth group right now but it isn’t easy on me. We are so ready to start a family, it makes me crazy. I just want to feel well.

    Blessings,
    Heather

    • Oh Heather, I just want to cry for you because I truly do understand your pain and frustration! How did I get through it…well, we chose the path of Natural Medicine since lifelong drugs were something I didn’t want to be on for all of my auto immune diseases. The natural path is not a cake walk! It’s extremely expensive and requires strict diets and discipline but I knew my body was on the road to cancer so I did what I had to do in order to be well. If the doctor told me to stand on my head and cluck like a chicken, I would have! I still battle with all of my issues to this day but they aren’t as severe as they once were. I’m mindful of what I eat, what I commit to, and I make sure I take my natural supplements. The journey was long and hard and I often fell into despair but I kept reaching for Jesus’ robe like the woman with the issue of blood. Sometimes I had no answers and nothing seemed to work but I kept on searching. I knew the Lord could heal me if He wanted to but I’ve come to realize that He deems it best for me to live with a thorn in my flesh. Keep reaching for Him and He’ll guide you into the life He wants for you.

  2. I have auto immune as well. Idk what to do. Husband is called to preach. We had a church but because of my sickness and us moving we closed it. He iswanting to reopen but i don’t think I’m physically able to help him. I’m on meds now. Can’t afford naturaltreatment and good food.

    • Anissa,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your health condition. I know it’s not easy! Let your man know your concerns, limitations and the fact that you think you can’t help him build the church. Perhaps he feels he could pastor the church without your assistance??

  3. Good post :). The best blessing to my marriage has been a book called Daughters of Sarah. It’s a Biblically wise book that sums up a lot of what you’ve said & it’s surprisingly short. God bless!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this, maam! I feel blessed even im still young and not married yet. I hope me and my future husband can serve the Lord together like yours.

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