Marriage Pitfalls (by Jim Martin)

My good friend, Jim Martin, VP at Harding Graduate School, wrote this up the other day:

Most of us need at least one of these; some of us more than one.

1.  Beware of ignoring your wife’s spiritual development while you focus on feeding yourself and the congregation.  A ministry couple can easily drift apart spiritually.

2.  Beware of assuming that because you read and talk theology that your work with Jesus is more authentic than that of your spouse.

3.  Beware of dabbling in discipleship while you major in public events.  The first step in ministry is following Jesus.

4.  Beware of demanding that your spouse make you look good even when you behave immaturely or like a jerk at home.

5.  Beware of discouraging your spouse from seeing a counselor or therapist because you are concerned that you might look bad.

6.  Beware of thinking that your role or hard work gives you permission to slack off when you are home.

7.  Beware of expecting your spouse will deal with the kids, bills, the maintenance of the house, and your social life so that you can focus on more “important” matters.

8.  Beware of supposedly innocent flirting with a certain person in your church arrogantly thinking that you are way too smart or moral to do something stupid.

9.  Beware of using your mind as a playground where you can run wild with fantasies and various temptations.  Our thinking really does shape who we are.

10. Beware of speaking to your spouse in ways that are demeaning, childish, and disrespectful.  This does nothing for your marriage but reveals your immaturity.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Andrew Holt

    I appreciate how direct this is, and I think a lot of ministers, particularly Type A folks, would benefit from printing this out and hanging it on their office door.

  • LexCro

    This is a deep, realistic list. Thanks for this, Scot (and Mr. Martin).

  • labreuer

    One of the best ways to evaluate a man is to see how he treats his wife.

  • AHH

    Might one add:
    Beware of setting up unrealistic expectations by implying that both of you are better followers of Jesus because your wife is “smoking hot”.

  • Susan_G1

    Although this is meant for pastors, it is not limited to pastors, for sure. It’s good advice for everybody.


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