This time of year, many ministry wives send our husbands off to do ministry while we stay home and do laundry.   

Our husbands back their cars out of our driveways and head off to share the gospel, serve the community, reach the lost, preach to new crowds, or attend classes or conferences. We wave until we can’t see the back bumper anymore, then turn around and load the dishwasher, move clothes to the dryer, water the garden, and fix the kids a snack.

Around here this week, Lee is helping with VBS while I work from home each evening. At the end of July, he’s helping with a sports camp for the community while I stay home with our younger son. And in August, he’ll head down to seminary for a week of doctoral classes while I’m home with both boys. It’s not easy feeling like the one left behind. The one stuck doing the same old – same old.

But how does God see our staying home? In His kingdom, is going more important than staying?

In Acts, Paul preached in Ephesus and said, “I do not account my life of any value, or as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (20:24).

Paul reminds us how important it is to do the ministry God calls each one of us to do. Your ministry calling will be different from your husband’s. The  purpose for all of us is to testify to the gospel of the grace of  God. We can do that when we load the dishwasher, move the laundry, water the garden, and feed the kids.

Here are a few tips when you’re feeling left behind:

  • Find ways to do the same type of ministry your husband is off doing. Is he on a mission trip? Reach out to your neighbors with the gospel. Is he at a conference? Listen to the live-stream or download preaching podcasts from the speakers he is learning from. Is he doing a service project? Involve your kids in meeting a need for a family in your church or in their school.
  • Pray for him. Pray specifically and often. Be his support and encouragement.
  • Remember there seasons of ministry callings. When your children are young, you will probably stay home and focus your ministry on their needs and discipleship. As they grow, your calling may shift away from the home. Focus on what God is calling you to do right now, and give Him thanks for His plan for you.

The goal of ministry is the same, no matter what opportunities we have. We are to share the gospel of the grace of God. And that applies even when (especially when!) we need to extend that gospel grace to ourselves.

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