Rodney Wilson is a regular guest post writer on Selma on Leadership. Rodney has been a marriage and family pastor/counselor for almost 20 years. Rodney and Selma have been married for 40 years and they have spoken and written on marriage and family issues for most of their married life.
Blog Post by Rodney A. Wilson
Before we had any kids, Selma and I had moved to a new town and church staff position for me. Unemployment at that time was sky high. We had also agreed that she would stay at home if and when we were blessed with children. Finally, after searching for NINE MONTHS she got a job. We celebrated that night and NINE MONTHS later our first was born. She searched for nine months, then worked for nine months. #canyousaytiming?
3 (or 4) Ways a Husband Can Support His Wife in Her Job Search
1. Pray for her.
Do not drive by or underestimate this one. It is probably the best thing you can do for her. A good practice would be to ask her specifically each morning how you can pray for her. Asking her this question makes two statements to her. 1) I believe in prayer; and 2) I want to take your concerns to the Almighty on your behalf. Your wife might even be at the point where she cannot pray right now. Don’t preach to her. Ask her how you can lift her heart to the Lord.
Note: As with anything we ever say to our spouses, how you ask this question speaks volumes more than what you ask. If she has lost her previous job, your question can come across as parental or badgering. If she is entering the market for the first time or has been out of it for some time, your question might also be taken as condescending. You don’t want either of course. You are trying to support her so check your tone of voice, your timing, all that. She needs to hear that you want to speak to the Father about her search. Tread carefully here but tread. Your own personal walk with the Lord can help your question to be received as genuine.
2. Affirm her gifts and abilities.
Being out of the job market can challenge even the most secure self-esteems at times. Everyone else can seem smarter, quicker, better networked, prettier, more all together than your wife who is on the outside looking in. Your wife doesn’t need your magic wand but she does need your observations as to what is good about her. She literally needs an affirmation a day from her closest supporter. So when you get to day 4 and it is time to affirm her yet again, that is where you pray, “Lord, open my eyes to the mate you have given me. What else can I share with her to encourage her?” Then as it did in Exodus, let the manna fall daily. And as it does, share it with your wife.
3. Remind her that God has a plan for her.
Jeremiah 29:11 couldn’t be any clearer about this:
For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
In times of low self-esteem and days of uncertainty, your wife needs you to lead spiritually. No, that doesn’t mean she needs a sermon from you. Nor should you quote Proverbs 31 to her every day. However, when you are being challenged in life it can be difficult to remember some of the spiritual basics. Here are a few assurances that you can offer her throughout her search:
- None of where she is surprises God.
- He knows how it will all play out. That “Jeremiah plan” for her will happen.
- Yes, these are uncertain days for her but we can always trust that God will never leave nor forsake His children. (Hebrews 13:5)
Bonus: How about one more?
4. Be very clear about this – she is not alone in this journey!
Make sure she knows that you are in this with her for the long haul. You two are one, so in a very real sense, her search is your search. You are her cheerleader, encourager and co-celebrator when that job is finally landed.
Whether it is the wife or husband looking, the job search process can be an amazing opportunity for your marriage identity to develop as a team, and therefore grow stronger in the process. Your support during this time can say “I love you” more emphatically than the best crafted poem ever could. But you had to go through the hard times to get there. I say this a lot when counseling people going through hard times that “This is a great time for 8:28 to kick in!” Romans 8:28:
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
So be consistent in bringing up the topic of your wife’s job search. Be careful how you do it, and lead her spiritually in these days. A stronger team and marriage await!