Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Importance of a Great Marriage

Steve: I think it is vital that church leaders should work at their marriage, aiming not just for a good marriage but a great one! The growth of the church at King’s and the increased demands that came with such growth showed Deb and I that our marriage needed to grow in parallel – a great marriage provides a strong foundation from which to serve God together. I would say that marriage is a vital partnership – and as such is worth giving time and energy to. This wouldn’t be a hardship as far as I’m concerned! Deb is the love of my life so any excuse to spend time with her is fine for me!

When I see leaders who seem to prefer ‘doing ministry’ to being at home I recall that early in our marriage, young and ambitious, I could be out six nights a week – not a healthy way to live! It all came to a head about nine months before we moved to London and centred on a ministry trip to India which required me to fly out on Christmas Day. While there I was challenged by God that I needed to prioritise Deb more.When I returned home I told Deb what I believed God had said to me, repented of that attitude and sat down to take practical steps to adjust my work/life balance. I had to re-order my priorities in order to put Deb and the boys above the demands of ministry - and it’s an on-going process, one that requires regular attention.

The first five years at King’s saw us not only building a church but also a marriage that would be a place of mutual support and rest – vital if we were going to achieve all God had called us to. The personal life and the corporate leadership of a church leader are totally linked together – I believe our culture makes a great mistake in separating the private and public aspects of a life; integrity is always an issue of character.