Make or Mar Your Ministry

I don’t think the Lord gives mates to us pastors to frustrate us.

God gives a pastor a wife for life, knowing full well that it will take time to cultivate that relationship. In fact, when we give our time to our spouse, we are demonstrating devotion to Christ. I don’t think we’re missing out on anything God has for us to do at the church.

A passage we’ve read many times—maybe even preached—also applies to those of us who are engaged in ministry:

One who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. (1 Corinthians 7:33–34)

Unfortunately, we live in a day in which people think if our activity is not at the church, it lacks devotion to Jesus. As pastors, we can believe that lie if we don’t continually guard against it.

One of my cherished mentors, Dr. Howard Hendricks, once made a tremendous statement: “Your marriage will either make or mar your ministry.”

It has taken years for me to get my arms around that significant statement . . . and I’m still learning the truth of its implications.

Does spending time with your wife take away from your time with God and your work for God?

In a word: Yes.

And it should.

—Chuck

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