I hope by reading this I have brought to light some deficits in your life or ministry.I hope you know that your passion for ministry doesn’t automatically maintain your marriage. It’s time to start putting into practice what you preach.It’s time to start asking the hard questions and begin to learn how to love your spouse once again. It’s time to start listening to the pulse of your marriage and giving it the time that it deserves.
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Yet, later that day when your spouse is expecting you home, you call her and say, “Sorry honey, I have another meeting I need to take care of tonight. You are helping others come to know the Lord for the first time and bringing hope back to a broken family. You lead bible studies, you preach on Sunday, you dedicate the first hour of your day to prayer. The second thing I want to ask is this: When was the last time you carved out meaningful time for your spouse? I am asking about the times that just you and your spouse can be together and create new moments in your relationship.
I learned early on in my marriage that this was maybe one of the most important things to my wife and one of the hardest things for me to give.
It’s wasn’t hard for me to give because I didn’t want to, it was because I was busy with things at church.
You remember that book that you read back in college? Soon enough when I was in the workplace, I worked hard.
You sometimes will recommend it to couples who are struggling. Sometimes it wasn’t easy, but I knew the value of working hard.
Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages taught me that my wife received love not by the gifts I bought or the fact that I would unload the dishwasher, but she received it when I spent quality time with her. When God called me into ministry, I paired my passion for people and working hard. She didn’t ask for my job, she didn’t ask for the blogs I write, the books I have written or the hundreds of people who respect me because I am passionate about my ministry, she asked for me.Unfortunately, what came out of the other end wasn’t something my spouse was excited about. I scheduled meetings, bible studies and all that great stuff I mentioned earlier. How can I sit and worship God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, the same God who sent his Son to die for me on the cross and the God who fearfully and wonderfully made my wife and not pour myself into my marriage out of the overflow of that love? When she said “I do” at the alter, she was talking to you.Unfortunately, my wife didn’t need someone who lived in their office. The last thing I want to ask you about is this: When was the last time you actually practiced what you preach about the priorities in your life? It was a promise to put her above your career and all those other things that could get in the way.Last night I read about another tragic story of a pastor whose marriage was failing.Many knew and sat under the teachings of Tullian Tchividjian at Coral Ridge Presbyterian. In those eight years I know how the church can easily become a mistress.I want to share a letter to pastors like him and others who have known or who know the struggle of a failing marriage. Either way, my resolve to help you in your marriage doesn’t change. Early on I struggled with putting my passion for ministry over the needs of my wife.