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What Your Spouse Isn't Impressed With

what your spouse isn't impressed with

I was hanging out with a friend recently working on what he and I believe is a really important ministry initiative. We both believe it could change lives in powerful ways.

But as our meeting moved on he got a text from his wife. Then another. He stepped out to take a call from her. He came back to our meeting an announced to me and the other leader that he needed to go home.

Naturally we said that was great and he went home to simply be a husband and a dad for a few hours before coming back to the project we were working on a few hours later.

Then it hit me: our work doesn’t really impress our wives.

Don’t get me wrong. His wife (and mine) love the ministries we’re involved in. They pray, support, give and care passionately about it.

But there’s something deeper at work here. I have spent too many years coming home hoping to impress my wife with what I have accomplished. She’s always excited to hear about it. She’s genuinely excited for it.

But as a guy I’m tempted to settle for her just being proud of me, as though that was the purpose of our marriage. There needs to come a point for those of us who love what we do and think about it 24/7 to put it all aside and do what God has called us to do: be there, love her, love the kids and be available.

For a guy, there isn’t the immediate reward in those things that we might find in an increase in ministry, in solving a personnel issue or preaching a message that people can’t stop talking about. It’s more difficult to sit on the couch and be fully present. But in the long run, it’s so much more rewarding. To miss at home while hitting home runs at work is to ultimately miss what matters most.

As a husband, I have to remind myself that wife isnt nearly as impressed with my work as I might be.

And that’s actually a good thing.

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  • Great post Carey. What I love about ministry compared to home is the wild diversity of it.

    For example, last night’s board meeting is important, complicated. My husband probably lost sleep over it. But when gets home today he’ll flip the switch and enter into the blissful distraction of our 13 year-old daughter’s musings on animal feelings.

    “The bunny’s got feelings dad, see”, she’ll plop the animal on his chest, and that will begin a meaningful, animated, and amusing conversation on the inner workings of a creature whose main priority is sleep.

    Ministry/home gets way easier as children get older. Maybe I feel that way because I finally get to have sleep.

  • mike officer

    And there is a difference befween being ‘fully present’ and just being present. We need to be engaged during those precious times. Something I and probably others need to improve on.

  • Phil Miller

    Well said, Carey. There always comes a time (daily I might add) that we need to put aside what we do and BE who God called us to be first…a husband and father. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings

    • Carey

      Well said Phil. Thanks!

  • This works both ways. I love projects and the praise that comes from achieving great things. It’s so easy to throw myself fully toward that purpose instead of be a fully present mom and wife. My husband notices when I’m preoccupied.

    • Carey

      Andi, Thank you for the perspective. Appreciate it! I guess it does work both ways. 🙂

  • Eric

    I don’t know about the “immediate reward” part, Carey. Incredible joy arises when I look at my kids, and you need to be there to watch them…; brings me immediately closer to the reality of the “pleased”-ness of God with me (like at Jesus’ baptism), when I feel that joy and pleasure just watching my kids have fun….

    • Carey

      Awesome to hear Eric!

  • Eric

    Very likely the reason that 1 Tim 3.4-5 is on the books.

    Sadly, the Church has been more evangelized by the world on this respect, than the other way ’round….