We spend much time discussing how we can magnify the callings we receive. Often, the callings we have are quite demanding and the efforts we put into magnifying those callings are sacred efforts.
But what do you do when your spouse is called to serve in a leadership role in your ward or stake? What about when your parent is called? What do you do when you aren’t the one who will be busy, or stressed, or gone, etc.?
As years go by we will have both chances to serve in demanding ways and opportunities to serve our loved ones as they serve in demanding capacities. Also, depending on employment and/or public service, there are numerous chances outside of the church effort to support our loved ones in these efforts.
Here are a few ideas:
- As the calling starts, have the required conversations. What worries your spouse about this new assignment? What will change in their schedule? What will be your plan going forward, for both of you?
- Marriage is often an effort in balance. When I served as bishop, my sweetheart worked even harder in our home because I would be away more than usual. When she served in our young women’s presidency, I tried to find more time to be home and help our family when she was away. Look for ways to fill in and assist your spouse in their responsibilities in the home. We are in marriage to help each other.
- Speak positively about the chance your family has to serve. I’m not saying that it is wise to ignore the hard parts of church service, but dwelling on those hardships and verbalizing your feelings about them often and publicly makes it very hard to focus on the wonderful and almost countless blessings that arrive right along side the hardships.
- Make it a habit to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Some meetings go late. Some families need your spouse’s attention, and a lot of it, during particular times. Sometimes your spouse will be preoccupied with thoughts regarding their calling. Assume they are doing the best they can.
- Be someone your spouse can talk to. Of course, there are times when information can’t be shared in order to save the feelings of those involved, but most of the time your spouse will need someone to talk to, vent to, and bounce ideas off of.
- Pray for your spouse. The power of praying for others has been discussed on this blog in this post.
- Arrange appropriate “time off”. Sometimes a busy spouse will forget that they need a break here and there. Plan dates. Plan vacations. Plan exercise time. As they feel some pressure to be anxiously engaged in the good cause they have been called to, you can put some effort into helping them have some down time that will rejuvenate them and you.
Well, there’s more, I’m sure. I’ve used the example of a spouse assisting a spouse in callings, but the same basic principles apply to children supporting their parents, roommates supporting roommates in callings, etc. There will be times when we’re really busy with our callings and other times when we have a little extra time because our callings aren’t as demanding. During those times, we can be anxiously engaged in assisting those we love as they strive to bless those around them in their callings and assignments.