My wife and I were happy to be traveling north for the weekend, anticipating a couples’ retreat with complete strangers. We love the opportunity to meet new people and stay with local church leaders that we have never met and learn from them. What we “learned” was less than hoped for. As we sat with this leadership couple they began to take advantage of these “outsiders” and opened up to us about their marriage. What they revealed was jaw dropping.
It seems that as a pastor his primary goal was to be a “success.” Success to him was a large church and to grow a large church, he believed, would mean sacrificing his marriage and his family. “After all,” he reasoned, “Jesus wants us to put Him first and if sacrificing your family to serve Jesus is what one must do to be a successful pastor, then so be it.” What was left after thirty some years was a broken wife and distant adult children who had no relationship with their dad or their dad’s God. This leadership couple was now totally separated emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. His wife hated her husband’s mistress, the church, and decided she would no longer be a pastor’s wife but a schoolteacher. They were divorced in every sense of the word, living single under the same roof. ”He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church.” (I Timothy 3: 4,5) In this New Year, take the time to clearly hear from Jesus what He has called you to sacrifice; your spouse and your children are not one of them.