To minister means to serve. God put you where you are to serve — to be a blessing. It is a mistake to think of “Christian ministry” only as being a pastor or missionary, etc. Any time a Christian is serving (helping) people it is “Christian ministry.”
Your ministry is not limited to your spouse, but it certainly includes them.
God has not left you to struggle in this ministry on your own. He is with you, and in you, to work through you. God will help you. But you must allow Him to do so.
Building up and encouraging your spouse will also be doing yourself a favor. They will be more pleasant to live with when they are blessed, loved, and encouraged.
We spend lots of time trying to figure out how to be better spouses and have better marriages, but what for? Do we refine ourselves and our marriages to simply have better lives or is there some grander purpose we need to tune into?
I would certainly argue the latter: we aren’t called to follow Christ simply for our own pleasure. In fact, when we signed up to follow Christ we actually gave up all hope of normalcy as the world defines it (Matthew 16:24-25). We are called to follow Christ for two reasons: to experience his grace, and to extend His glory.
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
William G.T. Shedd
We need to un-dock our ships and get out on the open sea; the storms are greater but it’s what you’re made for!
So how can we minister through our marriages?
Begin with prayer. Ask the Lord to give you a vision for ministry to marriages that aligns with God’s word. Ask the Lord to reveal other lay couples who could join you in providing leadership.
Develop your vision for a marriage ministry. Your vision should answer the question, “Why is it important for you to minister more effectively to married couples?”