Friday, 21 November 2008

Marriage, Sex and Ministry 4

A strong marriage is so important in ministry. There is so much at stake - if you fall morally, you can lose your wife, children, job and calling. Behind each story of a failed marriage there will be huge pain caused to families, churches and most importantly, to God. Why not make a commitment now to take some action to ensure you and your wife build a strong and healthy marriage? Here are a few suggestions:

1.Take responsibility for your sexuality and your marriage. Make time to talk about how you are doing. Ask your wife if you are meeting her emotional needs? Be honest with your wife if she is not meeting your sexual needs!

2.Take responsibility for your love life. Deb and I have agreed that we will read a book a year on marriage. We would recommend for starters ‘The 5 Sex needs of Men and Women’ by Gary and Barbara Rosberg.

3.Invest time in your marriage. Do not allow ministry opportunities to take vital time away from your wife and family. Prioritise them when planning your diary.

4.Remember the biblical principle of example. Whether we like it or not, we provide a role model for those we serve. I call this the ‘goldfish bowl’ of ministry; people are always going to be looking at you! Although this can be hard at times, we must not dodge the biblical exhortation for leaders to be an example to others. What you model in your marriage will be seen by those in your church; the strength of your marriage will have a direct impact on the strength of the marriages in your church. Challenging, but true!

5.Teach regularly on the subject of marriage.

In conclusion, do I agree with Driscoll on this one? (That pastors and their wives should have sex daily.) In all honesty, I am always wary of being too prescriptive on these matters. I would prefer to talk principle and promote an attitude of generosity towards each other. If we apply the teaching of 1 Corinthians 7 - ‘Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time’ – then we will not go far wrong. Simply put, discover each other needs and, with sacrificial love, meet them. If all married couples did this, they would probably make love more often.