Senin, 15 Agustus 2016

3 Allies For Your Marriage

3 Allies For Your Marriage

Couples Laughingby Jesse Rincones
“There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies and that is fighting without them.”
That quote has been attributed to Winston Churchill; however its truth can speak directly to the battle for the pastor’s marriage. You may feel that having people overly concerned about your marriage is a recipe for disaster. You may imagine marriage allies as nosy people asking questions and injecting themselves into your marriage life.
But it could be worse. Apart from you and your spouse, there could be no one interested in the welfare of your marriage. There is nothing more devastating to a marriage than having no one on your side championing and caring for your relationship.
Nations have allies. Militaries have allies. Corporations have allies. Why shouldn’t your marriage have allies?
Allies serve a defined purpose, battling a common threat. If there is something that is shared among all married ministers, it is the ever-increasing threat of attack against the marriage.
The Threat
You already know about the existing threats to all marriages. You’ve seen the consequences in the families in your church. You’ve counseled the couples in your office. Now add to that the threats that are specific to ministry marriages.
Ray Carroll, in his book “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” shares the following insights about the pastor’s marriage:
  • 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses are discouraged and dealing with depression
  • 77% of pastors said they felt they did not have a good marriage
  • 81% of pastors report insufficient time with their spouse
  • 80% of ministers believed pastoral ministry affected their families negatively
  • 30% said they had either been in an ongoing affair or a one-time sexual encounter with a parishioner
As a pastor, you know that the threats to your marriage are not just relational. They come from a spiritual angle as well. Your greatest enemy is described as a prowler. “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Your marriage is on his menu.
Without proper protection, the thief will enter your marriage with a singular purpose “to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
Here are three allies that you can cultivate to help champion your marriage.


The person that is your marriage’s greatest ally on the planet must be . . . you.
Before describing the prowling enemy, Peter showed us how to deal with the threat of a devouring devil.
“Be alert and of sober mind.” 1 Peter 5:8
No one around is more privy to your desires and intentions than you are. Who, more than you, knows when your mind may be spending more time thinking about someone else rather than your wife?
You know when that distinct line is crossed between a glance and a gaze. You’re the first to know when someone has entered that physical, emotional or relational space that belongs only to your spouse.
Do you trust yourself as an ally for your marriage? Be alert. Know the weaknesses of your defenses. Heed the alarm bells. Listen to the Spirit.
Determine today that no one will champion your marriage more than you.
Church Leaders You Can Trust
I recall sitting with the elders as we discussed the possibility of me answering the call to pastor our current church. When they asked me what I would need from them, I knew immediately how to respond.
I had heard another pastor make a bold request of his leadership. When I heard what he had asked for, I knew that if I ever had the chance, I would ask for the same thing.
“I love Christ’s bride, the church. And if you let me, I will work myself to death in the ministry. I need you to protect my marriage, my family and me. I will take care of the ministry, if you will take care of me.”
They have. One elder may pull me aside and ask me, “How are you doing?” I know it’s not a regular “How are you doing?” that I can dismiss with a simple “Things are good.” When he has that look on his face, I know that he wants to know how things are going on, deep down inside of me, my marriage and my family.
Other elders have blessed my children at very special times in their lives. Early in the ministry, during a very lean Christmas season, one elder arrived with a car load of gifts. At other holidays, another elder and his wife show up at our door with all the snacks and sugary delights that our kids don’t get the rest of the year. When your family is strengthened and blessed, your marriage can’t help but be solidified too.
These church leaders have been persistent about making me take quality time off with my family, often up to a month or more at a time. Many times they’ve provided the resources to have a night out or a getaway with my wife.
Your marriage needs allies like that in your church.
If you don’t have them right now, seek them out. Ask for them. Create them. They are critical for the success of your marriage in the midst of ministry.
A God You Can Trust
Jesus warned of the stealing, killing and destroying thief. That same thief has been chasing your marriage as a potential target.
However, remember that after that poignant warning, Jesus immediately followed with his declaration – “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
As readily as the warning of John 10:10 applies to your marriage, so does the promise. Jesus came that your marriage might have life. That you may live your marriage to the full!
You already know that your God is your marriage’s greatest ally. You know that truth, both biblically and theologically. You know it as a pastor and a teacher.
But, do you know it as a husband? Do you know that truth as someone who is frustrated by the ministry and his marriage suffers because of it? Do you sense that reality when you are in the midst of a heated argument because of the pressures at church and at home?
God’s promise in John 10:10 is not a key verse for Sunday’s sermon. It’s not for you to simply pick it apart in exegesis for a church Bible study.
That Jesus came to bring life to the full, is God’s reminder and promise that He is your greatest ally for a thriving marriage.

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