I've got a secret Ladies. Come closer and I'll whisper it in your ear.
Marriage is hard.
That's right. Three solitary words. Not rocket science. No "OMG!" response required. I think we'd all agree.
Now I've got another one for you...
Marriage in ministry is harder.
If you don't believe me, just ask the young pastor that attends church alone these days. Without his wife beside him.
Just ask the couple bouncing back from the Pastor-husband's emotional affair, the affair that stripped him of his pastoral title and recording deal.
Just ask any man or woman serving in full-time ministry. Just ask me.
The statistics tell the story:
- 52% of pastors say they and their spouses believe that being in pastoral ministry is hazardous to their family's well-being and health
- 57% would leave the pastorate if they had somewhere else to go or some other vocation they could do
- 70% of pastors don't have any close friends; 56% of pastor's wives say that they don't have any close friends
- 80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse
- 80% believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively
- 94% feel under pressure to have a perfect family
- 75% of pastors report severe stress causing anguish, worry, bewilderment, anger, depression, fear and alienation
- 1,500 pastors leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict or moral failure
Ephesians 6 says it this way: Finally be strong in the Lord and in his might power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then... (Verses 10-14)
Our real battle is with an invisible enemy. Not with our husbands. Not with that annoying or antagonistic church member. And the battle will not end until Jesus takes us home. So we must stand.
Stand on God's Word. Stand on His promises. Stand in constant connection to Him. Stand in submission to Him first, then our husbands.
We must stand in the face of adversity and strife and strain. Stand when fellow soldiers fall on the battlefield beside us. Stand as if our very lives depend on it.
I'll end with Donnie McClurkin's Stand. Be encouraged...
Will you stand with me, my Sister?
* Click here to read Carla's previous post and here to read more about her.