In the beginning of seminary, I felt like more of a distraction than a priority. If I needed to talk to my sem hub (seminary husband) about something, I tried to wait until his mind was not occupied with his work, but found those moments few and far between. Once he read the book, “Good Christians, Good Husbands” by Doreen More, he realized that in order to live life well for the gospel, his family must be his first ministry. If he could not minister to his own family well, then he had no business preparing to minister to the family of God outside our home. In the years since, I have felt more cherished, valued, protected, cared for, and prioritized than I ever imagined. Because of this, I am willing, indeed, to support him, serve him, and follow him anywhere. It doesn’t make the life of seminary or ministry any less arduous, but I know we are in it together.
Here are a few tangible things Good Seminarians and Good Husbands can do:
1. Set daily time to connect with your spouse face to face. Ask her the questions, “how is your heart?” or “What is on your mind?” And really take the time to listen. Work, books, papers… they will all be there and get done. But cultivating the heart connection with your wife is paramount to living as one long-term. My husband has an alarm on his phone. 11pm every night is our time.
2. Ask your wife, “how can I help?” Can you take a 10-minute study break? Ask your wife if there is something you can do to help her. My sem hub does this at least once a day and often I say, “just take a break,” but knowing he asks makes me feel like he cares and we are part of a team. Sometimes I do need his help (like trying to cook dinner with a toddler hanging on my leg). Serving your wife pays dividends.
3. Pray for your wife throughout the day. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but is real. Ephesians 6 rallies us to pray at ALL times, with ALL kinds of prayers and requests. Praying for your wife is one way you can cover her, bless her, and help her, even when you are working and studying long hours.
4. Leave her encouraging scriptures or notes for her to find. When my sem hub does this, I feel like it is a dozen roses found in the middle of my day. It just takes a moment, but blesses the heart of your wife.
5. Plan a date night without her having to make the arrangements. You most likely did this when you were dating. Us wives like to still be pursued. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, even a simple walk in a park with some inexpensive ice-cream. The blessing is that you thought of her, took her, and want to be with her.
Love well. For indeed, we are to love one another with Christ’s love. Ministry starts at home.