I was talking with a friend the other day about pastors who have moral failures in their marriage when he said something incredibly insightful, “A man who has an affair with ministry makes himself more vulnerable to an affair with another woman.” The demands of ministry can be draining, but they can also be addicting. When we succumb to any addictive behavior we become enslaved by that behavior and begin to make illegitimate sacrifices to meet our perceived need. As I pointed out in yesterday’s post there are some things that God never asks us to sacrifice. Our health is one, but our marriage is another.
#2 God doesn’t ask us to sacrifice our marriage. Cindy shared a static with me the other day that claims 80% of pastors wives wish their husband had chosen a different occupation. God designed the husband wife relationship to complete one another (Genesis 2:18). Yet many couples find that the demands of ministry actually drive them further apart. God never asked us to sacrifice our marriage for the sake of the Gospel. in fact, in Ephesians 5 Paul tells us the demonstration of our love for our wives should reflect Christ love for the Church. We can easy begin to view our marriage partner solely as a ministry partner, and when we do we begin to use them instead of love and serve them. Our role as husband and leader of the home is to make sure our wives are walking in the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose for their lives. But there is a lurking temptation to continually plug them into roles outside their gifting for the sake of “our church”, strap them to certain expectations for the image of “our church” or neglect them for the calling of “our church”
Self-Evaluation: Am I sacrificing my marriage because of the demands of ministry?