This is a note especially to all you pastors out there, but also to many keen church members. Are you married to your ministry job? Are you married to your church? Well, if you are, do you realize that Jesus is your rival? The church is pledged to be married to him. And you have probably already been married to another woman yourself, in any case.
Have you ever considered that it is possible to commit spiritual adultery by neglecting your bride in favor of Christ’s? You are not so foolish as to think you could please your friend by stealing his wife. Why would you think Jesus would view your zealous over-commitment any differently? Sadly many devote themselves too much to the church precisely because they want to escape a difficult home situation. It sounds much nicer to say that your wife is something of a widow to your service to God than it would to say I am having an affair with the wife of the ruler of the universe.
STOP! Reconsider. Your wife is your responsibility. You are her pastor before you are anybody else’s. When was the last time you really spoke with her? She needs you more than you realize. If she is like my wife, what she needs most is a period of your undivided attention without distractions. Five minutes over a quick coffee while reading email won’t cut it. When did you last take her out on a proper date?
I wish I could say that I always succeed in this with my own wife. She says I do talk with her a lot, but too often it seems like my mind is on other things. For that I am sorry. I have a renewed determination to make pursuing my own wife my top priority. Family responsibility truly should come before our church commitments.
If you are reading this and you know me in real life, any chance you could babysit for us one evening? If you live on the other side of the world, what busy husband could you help in the same way?