I am rediscovering a ministry passion that I have. That is of the importance that minister’s wives take great strives in supporting their husband’s ministry. Through reading this blog you may or may not have noticed that my husband is a chaplain in the Army. Before that he served various roles in church ministry, and was even the pastor of a small church for a couple of years. I see the support I give him and his ministry as my own personal ministry.
When I was a senior in college, I was called to serve the Lord as a full time missionary. At the time I didn’t have a clue as to what that meant. I thought I needed to drop everything and run off to Africa…the doors never opened to do that, because I met Keith soon afterwards. I have now come to realize, as he is serving as a chaplain that I am fulfilling my call by supporting him and his ministry to the soldiers and families here.
Â I believe that wives are to love, support and respect their husbands in being submissive. That is what we are all called to do. I believe that God has created us to be helpers to our husbands in whatever they may do.
I recently received a comment on this blog from a wife who’s husband is considering joining the Army to become a chaplain. That comment has inspired me to post on the topic of being a chaplain’s wife. It took a few days of formulating my thoughts in my head and a dose of bravery to actually sit down and write this. Before now, I have kept this blog very light, and I will continue to do so, but I am also feeling the urging to begin sharing more of myself, more of my heart, so here goes…
Â - ARMY LIFE. The Army life is extremely unique. There are things that you will experience in the Army that will not be experienced in any other walk of life. It can be frustrating at times, dealing with the ups and downs of living in the Army community. But it can be SO MUCH FUN!! Especially if you don’t take yourself too seriously and learn to find humor in it.
- SUPPORT YOUR HUSBAND. The chaplaincy will effect you and the entire family. It won’t work if you aren’t completely backing your husband and supporting his ministry. I was fortunate in that when Keith was interviewing I went along with him to two of those interviews and the chaplains he interviewed with made it clear to me that it was necessary that I was in support of his decision to become a chaplain.
Â - THE CALL. Know what you (your husband) is called to become a chaplain. The Army chaplaincy demands a lot and sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is knowing that my husband has been called by God to do this.
- MINISTRY. It has to be a ministry, not just another job. Yes, the pay is good, especially if you’re coming from the pastorate of a small church, and the benefits are good as well. But your heart has to be focused on the MINISTRY rather then the pay, benefits, and travel opportunities.
- DEPLOYMENT. Your husband WILL DEPLOY. This means that he will be away from you and the children for anywhere from a couple of weeks (training) to 12-15 months at the time. Chaplains are in place to provide religious support for the soldiers and soldiers deploy. As a chaplain you are not (nor should you be) exempt from the hardships that the soldiers you serve have to face.
- CHAPEL. Military installations provide chapels for religious services. Chaplains serve in the chapels. In order to support your husband’s ministry, you will need to attend and support the chapel. Chapels are not divided by denomination, they are divided up into Catholic and Protestant services. Usually the Protestant services are divided intoÂ traditional and more contemporary services and there are often even separate gospel services. This means that you may worship with those from a different denominational background than yourself and the quality of services may be different than what you would expect in a civilian church. But I believe that you need to set that aside and support the ministry of the chapel as a support to your husband’s ministry.
- SOCIAL LIFE. Get involved in the social organization of the Army. You will have to interact with non-believers, but how else are you going to minister? There are Family Readiness Groups, Coffee Groups, Hail and Farewells, Balls, and other social functions. Attending these with a “happy heart” and enjoying them will enable you to build relationships among the people that you and your husband are serving.