In a world where the exploitation of the Church seems to be the norm; as scandals involve the Senior pastor and his wife, messy church deacons, unsuspecting church members, and congregations full of strife; it’s high time that you began to hear about the real social norms and lifestyles that are more the norm than the celebrated glamorized lifestyles of so called A-list pastors.
The truth is that the average size church in America has less than 100 members. Most pastors have a second vocation and struggle to meet the demands of a church membership that wants the pastor to do it all. During this season of “love in the air” and the celebration of Black History Month, my desire is to let the world know that there are pastors and wives who are happy, in love with Jesus, and each other.
I have been a Pastor’s wife for 20 years and like most marriages, we have had what I call the Three T’s of Marriage: tests, trials and triumphs. After four children, two churches, fortunes gained and lost, new business ventures, and new friendships; it has been a fun and interesting ride to say the least.
To other leaders who dare to support their spouses in the church, I give you this advice: learn your spouse, learn your church, and know the difference between the two.
What do I mean? Everything that may be wrong in your marriage may not have anything to do with the church at all. For many church leaders, the church can become an easy scapegoat or a barrier to hide the real dilemma that is lurking around the corner. My husband and I strongly suggest that all married couples have a counseling session with a Christian marriage counselor or attend a marriage boot camp as a healthy checkup of the marriage relationship at least every 3 years. Divorce among Christian clergy nearly matches the national average of 52% which is not a good parallel . But more importantly, what does that say about our faith, our God, and our choices in choosing a mate?
As Christians, we must protect our marriage and use the Word of God against those who dare to become the “fourth party poison” of our marriage. Remember there are three: you, your spouse, and God. The three of you are the only legal participants in a Christian marriage union. The entire 35th and 109th Psalms are good scriptures to use for spiritual war against those who desire to see the end of a marriage or ministry. Satan desires to destroy the Church and oftentimes, he starts with the marriage.
I have learned after 20 years of marriage that we should seek to rediscover everything about our mate all over again from time to time. Humans evolve and change, so it’s important to continue to fall in love all over again. Don’t become alarmed if it seems you may be growing apart, but instead use this new depth of emotion to seek to learn and study each other again. Rediscover each body part, each new gray hair, new interests, and also discover challenging things that the both of you can do together.
Remember, we are flesh and we evolve over time. We must embrace God’s love, learn His statues, and surrender to His will to truly know what real love is and how we can demonstrate His example in our marriages. Be careful not to buy into Satan’s strategy of feeling that you “just grew apart” or that you don’t love your spouse anymore. How would we feel if God said that to us? This is why we must embrace God’s love and His example in our marriages.
God allows us to change, evolve, and make mistakes, yet His love for us is constant, forgiving, and unconditional. I write this not as a perfect spouse, but as a Christian spouse striving for perfection, because if I strive for perfection in my marriage, I will catch excellence and one day hear my God say, “Well done My daughter.”