One of the observations Deb & I have made over our years in ministry has been that as ministry responsibilities have increased our marriage has had to grow to in parallel to meet the new challenges. This recent series has summarised some of the lessons we have learnt over time.
My encouragement to all of us would be – continue to invest in your marriage and to read widely together on the subject. We have recently read Mark and Grace Driscoll’s Real Marriage and I am planning to read Tim and Kathy Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage over the summer. Deb and I would say that at the very least a weekly date night is important and should be protected. Also, ensure there are no ‘no go’ subjects between you, and further, that you regularly ask each other these questions:
- Am I meeting your emotional needs?
- Am I meeting your sexual needs?
We would recommend the book The Five Sex Needs of Men and Women and the companion book The Five Love Needs of Men and Women by Dr Gary and Barbara Rosberg - both are worth reading, as are two books we have previously recommended, Men Only and Women Only by Geoff and Shaunti Feldhahn.
As a leader you are an example and a model to your church. It would be true to say that the strength of the marriages within the church leadership will be reflected in the community you lead. By investing in and prioritising a good marriage for yourself you are building a foundation for the young couples who are in your church. It’s a vital investment! I would also encourage you to preach annually on the subject of marriage – here at King’s we also run the excellent HTB Marriage Course once a year.
All this can sound heavy and weighty – I would also say that you need to prioritise having FUN together! Marriage is a gift from God, to be enjoyed and that enjoyment has got to include some fun! Deb and I celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary this week. The longer I am married to Deb, the more I realise God has been amazingly good to me. I am incredibly fortunate to be married to such a beautiful, intelligent and godly girl and to get to spend the rest of our lives together!