Spring is wedding season, and boy are we ever in the thick of it. We have 5 weddings in 4 weeks, and Allen is officiating 4 of those. Well, he's already done 2 and has 2 more to go. In one of them, I'm a bridesmaid, so we'll be pulling double duty on that one in another week and a half.In addition to the numerous "I do's" we're involved in, our church started a marriage series last Sunday that will last thru the first week of April. I suppose it goes without saying that we're neck deep in matrimonial accoutrements, so this got me thinking about how marriage works (or doesn't as the case may be) in ministry.
Marriage can be tough anyway, but when you add in a career that more or less requires your spouse be available to a lot of people 24/7, conflict is bound to arise. If nothing else, you'll get annoyed at some point.
I don't know if this is the case for everyone, I can only speak for myself, but I've gotten used to it. There have been some other factors that have come into play as well. I grew up with a pastor dad. He was worship pastor, which did give me a taste of what was to come, but is definitely different than a youth pastor. Also, there's a lot, A LOT, to be said for communication and compromise. Allen does a great job of balancing work with family, and we're blessed to have a senior pastor who wholeheartedly believes in family first. Yes, there have been times where Allen has had to leave at midnight to go minister to a student or a family. Yes, there have been evenings where he's had to miss dinner, or I've had to go without him to meet friends because something came up that he needed to take care of. BUT, I know that when those circumstances arise, they're serious. He loves his students, and his youth workers, and the members of our church. No doubt. But he loves his family more, and because I know that, I'm OK with him missing things here and there to go deal with church related stuff.
There are times when a student, or former student will want to come by and just sit and talk. This usually means we're giving up some family time to have them over, but in these cases, our family becomes involved in ministry, because our kids get to see us loving on someone else, even if that means just sitting in the living room talking about life.
There are also times when Allen will get a text (NEWSFLASH: Teenagers love their phones and use them at all hours, even to the detriment of sleeping pastors' wives) at 1:00am because someone can't remember where "that verse is that says…." It's in those moments I say, "Seriously?!? Tell them to go to sleep, and next time I see them I'm going to punch them in the throat."
There are other circumstances that come into play that don't even have to do with ministry in and of itself. Marriage is a beautiful picture of the union between Christ and the church, and Satan hates that. He started attacking marriages from the get-go with Adam and Eve, and he's still at it today. We need to remember Ephesians 6:12 -- "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."(NIV)
Your husband is not the enemy. The church is not the enemy. Ministry is not the enemy. There's a battle all around us that we can't see, and Satan wants so badly to bring division and bitterness into your marriage. Don't let him win.
Romans 8:37 -- No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (NLT)
Ministry can be hard on marriage, whether full time, part time, bi-vocational, or something else altogether.
Communication is so important! Share your heart with your husband. Pray for him. Pray for your marriage.
Have a safe and trusted (lady) friend to talk to.
That's what this is for! Email me or leave a comment. I love hearing from y'all, and thank you so much to those of you that share with me.
We all need encouragement sometimes….just not via text at 1:00am, please.