Balancing church and family responsibilities is a reason Paul cautioned wannabe pastors in Corinth about getting married.
Depending on the source you’re reading, there are varying views about divorce rates among couples who profess to be Christ-followers. The rates are either growing at the same rate as non-believers, greater than that rate, declining from that rate, or were never as high.
Assorted denominations have particular perspectives whether couples should divorce and what roles those who do divorce should have in Christian ministry, particularly leadership positions. Whatever the numbers, whatever your opinion, these facts remain:
- children of God divorce;
- they have done so since the time of Moses;
- divorce is not God’s desire.
Of the numerous verses in Scripture about divorce, the best perspective is Matthew’s gospel account of Jesus’ conversation with Pharisees.
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
(Yes, we switched from the New International to the King James for the last verse for readers who may have heard the words at weddings yet didn’t realize these are the words of Christ, not just the preacher.)
The salient exchange is this:
The question 20 centuries later, then, is, “What causes hearts of married couples to become hardened today?” Moreover, “How do Christian couples become hardened?” For our purposes, one more reflection: “What happens if one of those hardened Christian spouses is a pastor?”
Keep these questions in mind when listening to Family Priorities, today’s audio installment from “Who Prays for the Pastor?” In this segment, author Frederick Ezeji-Okoye recounts the testimony of a pastor whose zeal for evangelizing produced fruit, not all of which was sweet.
Before you start, discuss or journal about the following:
- What does the phrase “God-First Ministry” mean to you?
- What does Family-First Ministry mean?
Pray for the health of your pastor’s marriage as you hear the following testimony. Ask God to improve communication between both spouses and their offspring.
LISTEN TO THE 1-MINUTE AUDIO DEVOTIONAL
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Look into Kingdom Impact Theater Ministries Leadership Workshops
- “Practicing What Is Preached:” Steps to apply weekend sermons to daily communication.
- “The Roscoe P. Love Love Clinic:” Practical relationship communication for men, for women; couples, singles; adults, teens.
For maximum, on-going impact, we recommend purchasing the paperback or the audiobook, or both. Each is available at amazon.com.
This essay is one in a series of devotionals on coping with stress in ministry, and is based on the book, “Who Prays for the Pastor?” written by Bro. Frederick Ezeji-Okoye. The accompanying discussion guide was written by Michael Edgar Myers, who also narrated the audiobook and 1-minute devotional excerpts. If you have any difficulties accessing the material, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
#SDG #Shalom #AndAmen