By H.B. Charles, Jr.
In 2008, I traveled to the other coast of the country to fill the pulpit at a church over a holiday weekend. When I returned home a few days later, that church asked me if I would consider being the next pastor of their congregation. At the time, I served in the church where I grew up and where my father had pastored. I had no desire to leave, much less move to the other side of the country where I knew no one.
However, it was God’s will for me to make that transition. A key part of discerning the will of God was my wife. She cared for me. She was open and candid in her advice. Her words were wise. Though I was initially convinced I was not the man to fill this church’s pulpit and planned to tell them no, my wife said, “I need you to know that whatever you decide, you have my complete support.” Her words challenged me to follow the call of God and transition to this church.
This experience reminds me that I would have no ministry without my marriage. Too many men sacrifice their marriage on the altar of ministry. Beyond the congregation that you serve, your primary ministry is in your home. You must guard, protect, and develop your relationship with your wife.
Three Ways to Guard Your Marriage
Here are three ways to guard your marriage in ministry.
Give your wife time. Quality time is still time. Show your wife that she is your priority, not merely receiving your leftover time. Commit time together in prayer, in caring for your home, in raising your children, and in simply being together. Spend time with your wife.
To build up, nurture, and protect your marriage, you must spend time talking to your wife. You should be in an ongoing conversation with your wife where you are both listening and sharing. I often advise young couples that you avoid the big “we need to talk” through a lot of little conversations and open lines of communication.
Trust takes a lifetime to build but only minutes to destroy. Once trust is destroyed, it may be impossible to rebuild it again. Live in a way that guards the trust your wife has in you and love your wife well.