An Open Letter to the Spouses of Support Raisers

By on September 1, 2006   /   Leave a comment

Scenario 1 : A man with a stable, high paying position has a spiritual renewal in his life and feels called to a full time ministry that will mean leaving his current job and raising support. As he excitedly shares the news with his wife, she sits and stews in stony silence before blurting out, “When I married you, this wasn’t part of the bargain!”

Scenario 2 : A couple has been accepted by a mission agency, gone through the support training, and began having appointments with potential donors. After several frustrating rejections, the husband turns to his wife and says, “You’re better at this than me. Why don’t you just raise the support we need?”

Scenario 3 : A dynamic young campus worker marries a businessman from her church. As she goes out to build a support team, people raise their eyebrows and say, “Why are you raising support? Your husband has a good salary”, thus making her feel like she and her ministry aren’t legitimate.

These are just three samplings from the myriad of obstacles couples can face as they engage in the challenging task of support raising. If you are the husband or the wife of the primary support raiser in your family, then this letter is for you:

Dear Spouse of a Support Raiser,
You may be thrilled that your spouse has chosen to go into ministry and raise support—or you may not be! Don’t feel alone if you have questions, struggles, or fears about raising and living on support. We all do. If any family or friends look down on you or your spouse for the ministry path you’ve taken, don’t let them discourage you. In spite of how our culture pressures us to conform, you are—by living on support—being obedient to God:

“The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”
(1 Corinthians 9:14)

     My hope, though, is that you will not view yourself as simply the spouse of a support raiser, but rather a co -support raiser—a team mate standing shoulder to shoulder. So, whether or not you are officially involved in the same ministry your support-raising spouse is, here are some ideas on how you can help:

Set up appointments. Go on appointments. Keep all the support raising information and records organized. Pray for/with your spouse. Pray for your supporters. Put together newsletters. Make/send gifts to supporters. Periodically call supporters and their spouses. Host supporters in your home. Create and maintain a website or blog about your ministry/family. Remember birthdays and anniversaries of supporters, and their children. Encourage and reward your spouse for their hard work. Take on their chores. Help stay on budget.

Bottom Line: Attitude is everything!

     Maintain faith and hope during the tough times. Ask God to give you a heart full of desire, not just duty. Your spouse will be overjoyed if they sense you have moved from the “ought to” to the “want to.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 is so true: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.”


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