I ministered at a marriage conference a few years ago and I noticed a gentleman sitting in the back. He seemed so uncomfortable as he sat through the message, but my attention was continually drawn to him. (nothing lustful, this was spiritual) I ministered on the importance of marriage in ministry being balanced and how priorities and boundaries have to be set in place to preserve the marriage. I talked about the importance of sex from the husband’s point of view and I talked about why women shy away from sex at times in marriage.
The message was a blessing, even to me, but afterwards I felt led to speak personally to this gentleman. He introduced himself and asked if I knew him. I said, No. He said he was a frequent speaker on TBN. I told him that I don’t watch TBN. Anyway, he said the message blessed him but he had wished he had heard it earlier. He said, “I wish someone would have told me how ministry would have impacted my marriage.” I said, where is your wife (I noticed he was alone and everyone else in attendance were coupled.) He said, We are divorced. She left me because I was on the road too much and she felt as if I abandoned her. I was deeply saddened because this man (and I won’t name him) was evidently in love with his wife but his busy-ness in ministry caused her to turn another way. The sadder part is that there are children involved who had to grow up without daddy in the home because daddy was never home and momma made it permanent.
He went on to tell me about who all he ‘ran’ with and all that jazz, but here was this man, ‘successful’ as many would deem him, but miserable. Here he was at a marriage conference, divorced and alone.
Listen, marriage has stress like NO OTHER relationship on the planet, but ministry places demands on a marriage like you would never believe. I talk about this in my book, but I have to say that what we are seeing ministry become in this modern time is not how Jesus wanted it to be. People are like crabs in a barrel, climbing on top of each other, snatching titles and positions trying to make a name. For what? What does it prosper you to gain the world and lose everything else? There are a lot of preacher’s kids today who HATE THE CHURCH because of their parents. There must be balance. When it’s time to help your child with homework or take them on family outings, get off the phone, assign someone else to the prayer line, and close your preacher appointment book and spend time with your family. If you don’t, you will regret it. And the time you lost, you CANNOT get back.