Is Marriage In Conflict With Your Ministry?

Ministry LetterpressMany times couples feel as if marriage is in conflict with ministry. The attitude seems to be: “If I really give to my marriage what all these books and counselors say I should, my ministry will suffer. Marriage is important, but my ministry is for God, and he deserves 100 percent.”

This type of thinking translates into the resolve that “I will respond to anyone who calls at any time other than my spouse. Even if I have promised my wife (husband) that I will stay home, if someone else calls for my attention, my wife (husband) will just have to understand that God’s work comes first.”

Perhaps the bluntness of the above statement makes it seem like something that you would never say. However, this type of thinking can creep in subtly.

The reason for this error is a misunderstanding of how marriage and ministry fit together. Many couples believe and live as if marriage and ministry do not fit together. They view these two areas as being in irresolvable conflict and feel that one must be subordinate. Frequently, this translates into a severe neglect of the family, because “serving the Lord” is more important. Those having this attitude define service to God as “those spiritual things that take place outside the home.”

Other couples believe that marriage and ministry ought to fit together, so they run back and forth between the two. The fit is never comfortable or easy, but they enjoy some success from their juggling efforts.

The first approach, a neglect of the home, is clear disobedience to God’s standards for those who oversee his church. Paul tells us that “[an overseer] must manage his own family well” (1 Timothy 3:4). Obviously, a pastor cannot manage his home if he is never present. The second approach will work when both areas make major demands at the same time. Those who try to take on both equally are prime candidates for burnout.

There is a better way. I have seen it work for people who made a commitment to it from the beginning, as well as for those who first chose one of the above approaches and then struggled hard to change horses in midstream. This third option regarding marriage and ministry is that we view our Bible studies, our singing in the choir, our teaching, or our counseling as a part of our ministry, so we must see our marriage as a viable part of our service to God.

One of the most important assets in an effective ministry is a healthy and strong marriage. Many people in ministry are failing God because of problems in their homes that have been generated by their neglect.

One of the traps that many ministry couples have fallen into is that of separating spiritual things from earthly or mundane things. God makes no such distinction in our lives. We are to honor him and give glory to him in everything we do. Surely God would not have us neglect our families for the sake of his church. Rather we need to nurture our relationships at home so they, by example, can strengthen the body.

An example of this is found in a young pastor who believed that the things he deemed “spiritual” must be treated as being more important than those he felt were of this world. Early in his ministry he worked six long days in the church.

On his “day off” he left his wife and three small children at home and spent twelve hours in the streets passing out Bibles. This pattern was repeated for ten years, and his marriage and family suffered greatly. He said to me, “How I wish I understood that loving my wife and nurturing my children were also ministries!”

How we must grieve God when we neglect the very relationship that is to illustrate Christ’s relationship to his bride. What a greater affront is that we do it “in his name.”

Several years ago I was counseling a ministry couple whose marriage was on the verge of breaking up. This pastor’s neglect of his family was staggering. When I suggested to him that his pattern of behavior was not of God, he replied: “You do not understand. Whatever crosses my path is from God and requires my complete attention. I cannot say no. He will care for my family.”

This minister had defined ministry as absence from home. How sad it is that he never saw that his family had also crossed his path and that his ministry to them was as important as any speaking engagement!

Everything we do is to glorify God, and all that we strive for is to be in service to him. This is as true of listening to and encouraging our spouse as it is of being at the bedside of a dying parishioner. God makes no distinctions: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17).

The idea that every area of our lives is to be considered service to God is powerfully emphasized by Peter’s exhortation to elders. He says that overseers are to shepherd others while also serving as examples to their flocks. Paul reiterates this idea many times when he says, “Copy me” “Be imitators of me.” We are to be godly examples to those we serve. This certainly includes all areas of home and family life as well as all aspects of our church ministry.

A perfect ministry and a perfect marriage are not necessary in order to glorify God. However, obedient hearts that strive to please God in every area of life are necessary if our example is to bring honor to the name of Christ.

This article comes from the book,  Counsel for Pastors’ Wives -written by Diane Langberg, published by Zondervan. In this book Dr Langberg offers sympathetic and realistic answers to 14 questions submitted to her from pastors’ wives —ones that are often asked. All of the answers require acts of faith, renewed patience, and wisdom that must come from God. With these divine resources come healing and possible solutions.


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62 responses to “Is Marriage In Conflict With Your Ministry?

  1. (US)  Me and my husband have been separated (not divorced), will be 2 years in March. During this time we have talked and been with each other a couple of times. Went out to eat, watched movies together, but then all of a sudden he changed to not wating to have anything to do with me and that he no longer loved me.

    Before we separated we were pastoring a church. Somethings had happened that lead me to leave and God has spoke to me since then letting me know that I should have never left. During the 2 years I have told him I no longer loved him and was done, but have found out that I was wrong. During that time he was willing to try and make things work, but I didn’t want to.

    Now I want things to work and he doesn’t want to. What can I do to mend this? I love my husband with all my heart, but the vale of resentment, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, and much more had my eyes covered. I know now that the devil has his eyes covered too.

    He is still Pastoring a church but I feel he should step down. He said that no matter what I do he still has a calling and he is going to do what God has called him to do. I am wondering if I am wrong in thinkng that he should step down or what should I do. We are both Christians that I believe want what God wants for us but so much time has went by and I don’t know what to do except wait on God… and pray that restoration is in process… Help.

    1. (SOUTH AFRICA)  Hi Sue, my heart just goes out to you. My husband and I are both Pastors. He first became a pastor and I knew that it was a calling that he had and I understood that I had to help and support him in his calling. There were many challenges and I have felt like leaving him as well, but I never go by what I feel, only what the Word of God says. I know that could be difficult but you cultivate it.

      I believe that you need to be patient. Since you are the one that left him in the first place, you need to be humble to deal with what he is going through, and no matter what, never stop praying for the restoration of your marriage. Speak life into your situation amd marriage. Speak only what you want to see and nothing else. The enemy is after the ministry he is involved in and mostly he is after your union because that union is powerful beyond words. So refuse to give him room to win. Your husband will come around. God is still in the business of fixing marriage and He will do the same to you.

      He could be facing a lot. Keep talking to him and reasuring him of your love for him. I will keep praying for you. Remember that being his wife is a ministry in itself and it should not be taken lightly… do not ask him to step down, if that is the plan that God has for you. The Spirit of the Lord will direct him. Let him hear God for himself and do not demand it from him. Love you…

      1. (USA) @SOUTH AFRICA- You offered some amazing advice to Sue and I would appreciate your wisdom on a matter as well if you don’t mind. I have been married almost 2 years and at the beginning of this year 2013 my husband has accepted his call to ministry. He is in the studying, fasting, praying, visiting churches etc phase which is completely understandable. Since this is not only my first marriage, but now with my husband being called I am just trying to understand my role in it all.

        We have struggled financially throughout the majority of our relationship, even prior to marriage. I have supported us for most. We are in our late 20s and early 30s, my husband has been married before and has 3 kids from that marriage. For the whole month of January all he did was study. Meanwhile, neither of us have corporate jobs (we are entreprenuers), therefore he has been neglecting the responsibilities of our home. We have rent due and no money.

        We have had conversations about him balancing ministry and home/marriage. I am so confused! I feel like we have struggled so much and now he is doing God’s work and really doesn’t desire the fancy cars, homes and things anymore nor does he really desire to work. So what do I do? We used to talk about dreams and living well now it’s like let’s barely make it so be can focus on ministry. I really need help I am so overwhelmed.

    2. Hi all. All I want to say is that don’t give up just believe that God will restore your marriage and he is a forging God one of the good days he will answer you.

  2. (UNITED STATES)  I recommend you and your husband read 1Cor. 7:10 and 1Cor. 14:1-13. Self is our worst enemy. The devil uses our flesh to tempt us. We fight not flesh and blood. A minister of God should govern his house well and be an example unto the flock. Enough said.

  3. (PHILIPPINES)  Hello, I am desperately seeking for answers to my big questions. I have this calling in my heart since I was a child. It’s very strong and I am convinced that I am called for the frontier mission. When I was in college, I met a person who said he had this passion for the mission frontiers too. Because of this, we enjoyed each other’s company so that our friendship developed into marriage.

    When we got married later, and I reminded him of our promise but he said he is never going to the missions. I never surrendered, I kept on pressing him about this promise but he said he never made a promise and that he felt “no calling’ in his life. This became our source of conflict. I became depressed clinically, but God healed me.

    Later the Lord let me visited the mission field in Indonesia against my husband’s will. I planned to have 2 years but circumstances held me back with my two sons and husband back home. I kept asking why God led me back home when my heart is totally for the ministry.

    What should I do? Today I work as a guidance counselor in a college, I also work in the campus ministry. Still, my husband is reluctant to help me even though opportunities had been opened. Deep in my heart the passion for frontier mission is so strong but I know I can’t live without my family. Please help me.

  4. (UK)  I have been with my boyfriend now for 5 and a half years and we are currently studying God’s Word together regarding marriage. We love each other very much and want nothing more than to get married.

    However, over the past several months, I have become aware that God may be calling me to the mission field. While my boyfriend has eagerly supported my recent short term overseas mission trips and has himself been to Africa, he has not felt the call to go full time. I understand that God calls Christians to take up the call not counting the cost, but I love my boyfriend so much and have felt for a long time that God wants us to be together. I want to please God, but if this means losing my boyfriend, it’s hard to see how I will ever be happy, even if I am living within His will.

    I find it hard to talk about this with my family and church family for fear they will not understand my predicament …why is it easier to seek advice from someone you have never met?! Anyway, if you have any advice, please don’t hold back, I’d love to hear from you. Ruth

    1. (USA)  Hi Ruth, I am on the mission field where my husband is called and I am here with him because I love him and chose to be wherever he is. I did not feel like I was personally called to the mission field but I did feel that I married the right person and I am supporting him. But I will admit that it has been a huge struggle for me to adapt to life here. God is working in me but it has been hard.

      One thing that nobody realizes before marriage is that once all the romantic love wears off -if you do not have the SAME VALUES -there will be nothing left holding you together. This is very, very serious.

      Where we live we know many many other missionaries and I would say that most of them have one spouse who is very, very miserable on the mission field. I am very troubled by this and I always think about it. I think that it would have been better if God had called both of them to the mission field or if they had even met on the mission field and found another person who had already been called.

      My biggest advice would be to be patient. Be very patient. You may want to fast and pray about this and get a very clear answer from God. The last thing you would ever want is an unhappy marriage, a divorce, or for you to be stuck in a marriage and feel like you missed God’s calling for your life. I hope this helps and God bless you!

      1. I had committed myself as a full time missionary but my wife, after marriage, renounced to be in the field. It has completely broken my heart. Some times I read the verses tells “No one who has left their house, father, mother, sister, wife, children will fail to receive 100 times in his kingdom.” I am confused whether to leave my wife for his kingdom. Is that what this verse says?

    2. Hi Ruth, Your post is over 4 years old now and I don’t know if you’re still facing these concerns. However, my response is to you and those in your situation. It is my prayer that saints who are single but in a relationship understand that while you may have been dating for a short or long time the real comment comes with marriage. You said, “I love my boyfriend so much and have felt for a long time that God wants us to be together. I want to please God, but if this means losing my boyfriend, it’s hard to see how I will ever be happy, even if I am living within His will.”

      First of all, he is not your husband, you are not one flesh in the eyes of God. You never stated you are engaged only that you guys are studying marriage.

      You say you want to please God, but you placed an exception on pleasing God, your boyfriend. You have contradicted yourself and it is apparent you love your boyfriend more than God. Who should be our first love? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

      If your happiness is based on a man than you need to go back and examine yourself to see if you are of the faith. How do you know God wants you to be together? Does God say anywhere in his word that fornication is ok?

      1 Corinthians 6:18-20 & 1 Corinthians 7:1-2, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

      God does not change, he is the Lord our Creator. If you want God to compromise his word to accommodate your pattern of lifestyle and beliefs contrary to his word, then you will be waiting. Luke 6:46 And why call you me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? I encourage you and your boyfriend to read Luke 6:46-49. Ask your pastor to give you a Bible study on these scriptures that you can follow with your boyfriend during your personal study together. God grant you understanding and strength to walk upright.

  5. (USA)  Married to a pastor and he treats me like dirt. When we are alone he don’t even speak to me. Please pray for me. He lives two lives and I cannot tell anyone in the church.

    1. (USA) I’m married to a Pastor as well, his attitude sounds very familiar to yours. We are living in two location and no one knows. My husband has great selfish issue but God will deliver me from it all. I know this is a very difficult to times & its hard to smile when your heart hurts so bad. Just keep seeking God words for guidance & comfort, it works.

    2. (DR CONGO) (Sandy) is your husband is willing to spend time with you in prayer? Most of the time we tend to blame others but the problem is us. My advise to you is go back and track where the problem started. Tell God to restore your relationship.

    3. (USA) I have the same issue. The only thing is, I knew it before I married him. He never did anything for me, lied to me about everything including the fact that he was a pastor, still married, was living with a woman who was not his wife and unemployed. I believed with all my heart that God sent me in his path and he has since stop running, got back to his ministry and its growing. We are just married 1 year and now I feel that I have put my life, my hurts, my disappointments, my needs, my money and mostly me, aside and he has grown in confidence, and all I ask is do something, anything for me. He has never taken me out, I have to plan everything or nothing gets done. I really believe he is depressed (only at home) and can’t move, won’t help me at all at home. I work, pay all our expenses and some of the church expenses and he gets a small stipend but wont take $5 to even get me a card. I could go on and on but I’m ashamed. I can’t talk to no one, and for sure, I can never talk to him. I have literally got on my knees and begged him to think of me just 1 time. I can’t even keep writing cause it hurts so bad. I cannot keep going through this, I want to leave now!! He dismisses everything I ask him to do for me and says Im letting the devil use me. I’m so tired and hurt and don’t understand how God can show him about everyone else but not about me. How can you heal the world, when you are killing your wife. I feel worst now that I am closer to Christ, a 1st lady at a Church that actually runs everything behind the scenes and is mistreated. I’m dying inside…..

  6. (USA)  My husband and I have been married for two and a half years. Before we got married we talked a lot about ministry and how it would relate to our family. I have seen so many people, especially husbands and fathers in ministry who neglect their families in their busyness of ministry and I wanted to be sure that my future husband would keep our marriage and family over his future ministry.

    But now that he is in full-time ministry, I feel like I have been side-lined. I see times when he puts ministry over the well-being of our marriage or makes decisions that affect me without being considerate of that. I know that this issue in our marriage is affecting our ministry as I feel abandoned and I feel like I am boring to him compared to the joy he finds in ministry-this is evidenced by what he talks about, journals about, prays about, etc.

    I want to be a Godly wife but I can’t be genuinely supportive, submissive, respectful, or trusting when I don’t feel like he is guarding me above ministry and I am so hurt. I have been hurt by the head pastor in my church and since I haven’t been living where I am for very long, I don’t really have anyone else to go to with this.

  7. (USA)  I feel very weird asking for advice here, but I feel I have nowhere else to turn without a wrong person finding out. I have been married to my husband for 6 1/2 years and have 3 small children. My husband is always neglecting us and has forced me to be a stay-at-home mom so that I have no time to do what I’m passionate about or an outlet outside of the home.

    Before we were married, I said I didn’t want to marry someone in ministry because family life was very important to me and I knew it was common for pastors to neglect their family. He assured me his family would be his #1 ministry, but that has long been forgotten and when I bring it up it only starts another fight. I’m thinking of leaving him, but I know it is not what God wants. What do I do?

    1. (USA)  Tamara, I wish I could reach through the computer and put my arms around you. I am a pastor’s wife, and also a pastor. I have a heart for pastor’s families that are in crisis. In fact, next week I am holding a conference for our regional (6 states) minister’s retreat. The focus is on the pastor’s family, and basically giving pastors ‘permission’ to invest in their families, and also permission to take a Sabbath and have rest and renewal.

      So many times pastors get confused as to what their responsibilities in the church really are. Ephesians 4:12 states the the ‘job’, if you will, of the pastor is to “prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Unfortunately, church boards, congregants, and even the unchurched put expectations upon a pastor that he feels he must meet. Sometimes pastors themselves put expectations upon themselves -and their families -because they feel it is the correct way to minister. If only church boards and pastors themselves would consult the Bible for their job description.

      For instance, our church feels that my husband and I need to attend every public school sports game (we homeschool), which usually figures out to 16 hours per week, and we should also be cleaning the church and mowing the church lawn. Ummmm, no. The church (people, not building) is the body of Christ. We each have different functions and callings and responsibilities. The pastor doesn’t do it all (or shouldn’t). What pastors should be doing, however, is setting the example of how husbands should treat their wives and families.

      If your husband is neglecting you, or if your marriage is hurting and suffering, I would seek Christian counseling. Your denomination may have counseling service especially designed for pastors and families. If not, you may check with Focus on the Family. I think they also have services available for pastors and their families.

      I do believe that it’s important that your husband understands how much this is affecting you and how serious this is. He also needs to understand that his family is his first ‘church’, the congregation is his second. As such, you and your children are his first priority after his relationship with God. Praying for you!

      1. Thank you Adra, very well said. I love your heart and appreciate your reaching out to Tamara. May God richly bless your ministry and your marriage.

      2. (USA) To Andra and all, GOD comes First, everything else is last. GOD comes BEFORE your family, friends, and anyone or anything else. GOD DOES NOT COME AFTER! We must always put GOD FIRST, above all. He put us first so we must put Him first. GOD is our everything.

        1. (USA) Nicole, you are correct. God does come first but you seem to lack understanding of what Andra is saying. God’s word gives instruction on how a family unit is structured and how it is to operate in ministry. If you are not taking care of home then you are out of order. Ministry begins at home. The love of God is shown in how you treat your family. Please read Eph. 5:22-33. Remember, the marriage should represent Christ!

        2. (USA) I just wanted to say that, this is what Andra said. She said family first AFTER your relationship with God meaning God is first.

        3. (DR CONGO) I have been reading some advices given here and I come to understand that so often we cast out the pastors (Male). I can tell you that some pastors’ wives are a stumbling block to the ministry of their husbands. My simple solution if you think your husband is giving priority to the church, why not sit and talk to him and tell him that you need more of him at home or do the work of God together. May God help us all!

    2. (USA) I feel your dilemma. My girlfriend recently left me. Part of the reason is because of God’s call on my life to pastor. We aren’t married yet, but had hopes to be soon. We had other issues in our relationship that we were working on the past years, however we are members of a traditional church. Which means courting has to be done, not general dating. This limited time we could spend together, which created tension, frustration and resentment toward each other. Now it’s to the point she no longer wants to be a part of my call to pastor. She feels the church is too controlling and she stated she no longer wants that kind of life. I think she identifies more with your end. I think it is unfair because I told her years ago what God’s plan was for me, and she was excited. Now years later, after so much has been invested in the relationship, she changes her mind. It’s probably best we didn’t go onto a marriage and then she changed her mind.

  8. (USA) Please pray for me; I am so confused my husband and I have been married for 2 years. When we met I was in the ministry and he supported me, but now it has been a conflict between us. All he wants to do is go to work, come home, shop, eat, and watch boxing. But he says that my ministry is to him, but sometimes I feel like he wants me to minister to him and him alone. Help!!

    1. (USA) I will be praying for you & your situation. There was story I heard where a man said he was jealous of his wife’s attention to the church & not him. Be all you can to him ‘ God will make room for your gift to others. Life is a test & we have all the answers in his word, but emotions take control of our vision.

  9. (USA) Hello, my husband is a Pastor. We’ve been married for seven years and pastoring for five years. We both went to Bible School together, and had a calling to ministry. I love the Lord, and my desire has always been to serve him and serve the church. I support my husband, and serve in the church in different areas of ministry. However, I must admit that these past five years have been very difficult. It seems as though the church is my husband’s priority. He’ll say that his family is before the church, but that’s not true. We have services Sunday in the morning and in the evening, and also on Tuesdays and Thursdays at night, but every other evening that he should have off, it seems like he always finds something to fill them with. You name it, Bible school classes that he has to give, or a home Bible study, or baseball game with the youth or the men, but pretty much he’s gone during the day, and also schedules things during the evenings.

    His day off is Monday, but I can seriously say that during the five years that he’s been pastoring, maybe 25% of the time he’s really taken his day off, which he uses to sleep. We always have arguments because I let him know that he should have his evenings off to spend with his daughter and me, but he always finds a way to let me know how he thinks. I just want to manipulate him, and have him do whatever I want him to do.

    I’m really dissappointed at all this, I’m frustrated, angry, and tired. Many times I’ve wanted to just leave, and have felt like an obstacle to him instead of a help mate, but I honestly stay because I do not want my daughter to have to go through the separation of her parents. I don’t want my marriage to end like this, and honestly feel like there’s nothing I can do but just put up with this and leave it in God’s hands.

  10. (CANADA) Hey… I go married last October. 8 years ago the Lord placed a burning desire to serve him on my heart. During those first 6 years I chose to date several women that led to much shame and dissapointment. When I met my wife 2 years ago I loved her “shy” low key attitude and willingness to attend my church and interact with my family (she had just got out of a 3 year “godless” relationship). Since we’ve been married I’ve been filled with many regrets about marrying her. I know we both feel unsupported and misunderstood at times.

    I lead a ministry of many young men; discipling them on a weekly basis. Recently it feels like we are both being stubburn in what we want to do. Often times she pushes me away saying “it’s better for you” or “you’ll have more fun with them”. My wife has serious self-confidence issues. This is so hard on me. It’s so hard to lead any person in the truth with this going on. All I want is to make her feel loved and for her to love and support me. Please pray for me. I know I’m not alone, but I really want my marriage to work out.

  11. (USA) I find this website encouraging even though I’m not a pastor’s wife but the wife of an entrepreneur. It’s all about obedience to God. He will come through with His best plan. STAY IN THE WORD OF GOD AS MUCH AS YOU CAN… personalizing it with your name and His as if you were talking to each other. BE 100% committed to obedience to God. God loves you and your spouse more than you do. Glory to God! Hallelujah! And amen.

  12. (USA) My son is a youth pastor (not a paid position) at church and holds down a full time job. I am afraid that he is letting church get into the way of his family. The pastor of the church expects him to be at every function that the church has and also they are doing a program at church and he has to be at church every night for 3 weeks to do this. He is gone from home from 7 in the morning until 10 or 11 every night.

    The pastor is able to go and spend time with his family at any hours but my son is not able to just go away from his job and spend time with his family. He and his wife have a young child and I can see that this is having an impact on his wife. The pastor feels that the church and God should come first before family. I believe it is God, family and then church. I try to stay out of things but do not want my son to get so involved in doing church stuff that God is left out along with his family. Am I wrong for thinking this way. Please help me pray about this situation.

    1. You are so right Lynne, to be concerned. When your son made his wedding vows, he vowed that he would no longer approach ministry in the same way that he was able to, when he was single. If you read 1 Corinthians 7, you will see that he has to consider his wife (and family) above even being involved in ministry. Being married he is “concerned” as it reads in the Bible “about the affairs of this world –how he can please his wife –his interests are divided.” If he isn’t making his first ministry his wife, then he is disobedient in his priorities. She became his main ministry the day he said, “I do.”

      I’m not sure how you can approach him though. Having grown, married sons myself, I know that I can’t say the same thing I could before to them. I have to be much more careful so I don’t step on their “adult” toes. I would pray about this, asking God to help to your son rearrange these mixed up priorities. Your son means well –I don’t doubt his heart, but he’s under the illusion that he can neglect his wife and family and all will be well. It won’t stay that way, I can assure you. Eventually his marriage and family life will come unraveled. If your sons reads through this web site he will see time and again where comments come in where the wife (sometimes it’s the husband) will stuff and stuff and stuff her feelings of discontent and sometimes even bitterness to the point where something explodes. Either she ends up in an affair because some man woke up her unmet feelings of romance and made her feel like she actually is important (even though she never “meant for it to happen”) –those feelings her husband shoved aside to go do “ministry” attending to the needs of others, or the marriage explodes, or it simply withers away where they become distant roommates. I’ve seen it time and again. Sadly, this is predictable if your son doesn’t do something to change this, while he still can.

      I can tell you that many wives (and sometimes husbands) will stuff and stuff their feelings of resentment and then one day, she hits a wall in what she can take and she is done with the marriage. The husband (or wife) will be “shocked” saying, “I never saw this coming. I thought everything was okay… why didn’t she (he) say something … why didn’t she (he) let me know how serious this was?” Two things could be in play here, either she (he) was a stuffer and didn’t let all of it come out into the open until it was “too late” or she (he) did say so, but the other spouse was oblivious to realize how serious things were. He (she) thought, “my spouse will come around… this will go away.” But it doesn’t.

      I would hate for your son and his wife and family and for you to have this happen. It’s devastating –not only to all the immediate people involved but also for ministry. How can one witness effectively of God’s love when it’s not being lived out in it’s full form at home and the ministry happens to be the reason for a fractured family and/or divorce? We are to communicate the gospel with and without words. What does this fractured home “communicate” to a world who needs to see a living picture lived out, of God’s love for the church?

      Honestly Lynne, I would do a “Queen Esther” prayer time. Even though this concerns your son and his wife (where Queen Esther’s situation concerned her husband) this is something to pray and fast about and ask God if He would please open your son’s eyes at “such a time as this” to save his family from relationship death. And pray that if you are to say something, He will give you the words and timing in which to do so. This is serious stuff. It may not be (or may be) serious right now, but it sure leads to a pretty predictable path, as I’ve seen over and over and over and over again. You can’t neglect your vineyard and expect it to keep bearing fruit. Eventually weeds or animals and vermin will take over and a mess will prevail instead of a harvest. And what does this say to this child about God? Doesn’t it say that he or she isn’t important to Dad –that he just joined in on the birthing “event” but after that, he or she is as important as an end table that can be shoved aside? I could go on and on… but I know you get the point. My prayers are with you, Lynne, and with your son and his wife and his child. I pray that there is an awakening BEFORE they get to a point where the wife declares, “This is the point of no return; I’m out of here!” May God have mercy!

      1. Hi, I need prayer. My husband and I are in our early/mid twenties and have been married close to 2 years. Recently, my husband became a youth pastor and has been asked to commit more of his time in ministry. This week has been hard as we’ve been arguing a lot, mainly because he’s spending less time at home. At the end of the month our church is having a youth conference so he told me that his extra commitments would only be until the conference is over. I’m just worried that the extra commitments will continue as he’s now a youth pastor, as I know more is expected out of him.

        He asked me if it was okay to go after work to church and I said sure because we both didn’t think he would arrive at 8:30PM. I was hurt and bothered because I was hoping we would have dinner together and told him before I’d want to take a walk with him – to spend time and makeup for the argument we had the day before. Ugh. All of this is just draining. I don’t know if I am asking for too much. He’s just confused and drained as well because he feels that we spend enough time together but I don’t.

        I asked him if he was bored with our marriage or just didn’t want to come home but he said it wasn’t any of that. He wants to seek counsel but I’m just hurt and afraid the church will say I’m in the wrong and that it’s okay for him to spend all this extra time at church. I’m afraid what it’ll look like when we have kids.

  13. (UNITED STATES) Hello! I have been reading all of the above comments. The reason why I googled this, is because I myself am engaged to be married to a minister. There have been so many doubts and fears in my heart because of the same reasons that I have been reading about. I am a woman of God myself and want and desire the will of God and is ministry myself. I also desire to be married and sexually involved with my husband as well, because I have prayed and asked God to deliver me and to allow my flesh to die until I get married.

    Since we have been dating we have been very much abstinent, but I am like the rest of you all, this man is never spending quality time with me. He is always praying, always talking about God and the church. He never talks about us and our relationship. We are due to get married in March of this year. Deep down in my heart I am so scared and confused. I am really thinking about not getting married to him.

    1. Vanessa, If he isn’t making a point of spending quality time with you now, before marriage, you can count on it even getting worse later. We usually put our best foot forward before marrying. Please count the cost of leading this type of life within marriage, if you decide to marry. It sure sounds like you have warning flags flying high for you to consider.

      1. (USA) I am 33 years old and have been married to a minister for 11 years now. We have been pastoring for three years. My husband and I served God in the ministry before we met each other. We can honestly say to each other that we love God before we loved each other. We are not offended by it, because we know that if we will serve God whole heartedly we will treat each other right. That gives me confidence. Our desire to serve the Lord and similar family values has been the glue in our relationship. We don’t have many other things in common though.

        Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. We have endured many hard trials. I had relocated two hours away from home to marry my husband to discover that I would barely have time with him. He worked 60 hours a week and we attended church at least three days a week. He always paid home visits to other people during his down times. I really felt bad about not getting quality time with him. It took me years to discover that I am entitled to find happiness and emotional fulfillment from developing a teaching career, reconnecting with family and old friends.

        My husband and I both had to overcome sexual distrust due to both of us being sexually abused as minors. It took years to accept that sex is a gift from God to his people. It was part of God’s command to Adam and Eve “be fruitful and multiply.” We have had cold seasons and hot seasons. We are able to work through through open and honest communication and sacrifice.

        We did not have children for the first 4 years of marriage. I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Our son is a miracle child. The umbilical chord was wrapped around his neck 5 times. He was not coming out of me. I had my daughter shortly after that and then the PCOS returned.

        We experienced the loss of five close family members and additional friends. Him losing his dad and me losing my mom was really heart breaking. My mom died from lung cancer and brain tumors. She suffered from severe mental illnesses as a result. We could not save her life. I had to make a decision to take her off life support. This caused us to grow emotionally distant from each other because no one can really replace a parent (even if they weren’t church goers). There will always be an emotional void for my husband and I.

        He ended up in a car accident and lost his job due to his injury. He was unemployed and I attended work on a full time basis while he took care of two children for 3.5 years. We were highly criticized for breaking the traditional role of man and woman. I believe God allowed my husband to be at home with the kids to learn about loving God’s people.

        Our old church that we served in closed and we pioneered our own church ministry. I was busy working 60 hour weeks and dedicating 23 additional hours to the ministry. I never saw my kids and husband. Quality time with my kids was having them sit on my lap during the preached message in service. I led the music ministry.

        We worked hard to lead souls to Christ. We sacrificed a lot for the people in the church. We did not force people to attend church and give donations. We gave money to congregants and held over night prayer meetings to see God perform miracles in the lives of broken marriages, physically ill children/ adults and homeless families. God did move on their behalf. He answers prayers.

        Eventually I lost my good paying job that helped support the church and keep my husband ministering. After that my husband went back to work but he made less than half his old salary. We could not live on it. He did not have as much time to pay home visits etc. Sadly, when the congregants watched us go through financial trials they criticized us instead of helping us. They thought we were getting paid a salary from our Bishop. That was not the case at all. They gossiped and passed judgements based on tradition or superstition and not on the actual Bible.

        Now we are very discouraged. Both of us work at several per diem jobs and side jobs because we cannot find full time work. I have a masters degree and can’t find a job that offers medical insurance. Our kids are 5 and 7. Our son’s school wants us to evaluate our son for special education. We are under so much stress. We have no time to enrich the children or do home visits to our church congregants. There are a good number of people that we know who have been negatively impacted by Hurricane Sandy and we want to help them but can’t afford to. There are a lot of little things that have been happening that have been draining our finances and energy.

        It’s amazing that God has sustained our home and provided our needs over the past 4 years since my husband hurt his back and lost his good paying job.

        We have been spiritually broken and beaten up by other so called Christians. It’s not easy acting like your life is perfect. Only God is perfect! We all need the grace and mercy of God. How can pastoral families continue to put up fronts that their lives are perfect? Congregants need to understand pastors are not God. Jesus is God! I realize that we pastors can be real with the people concerning our circumstances. But we need to maintain a good attitude otherwise we will discourage the people. Good people suffer too. However, it is part of the molding process.

        Today I was driving my car to work and thinking… wow it took me 20 years to realize that God is with me even if I don’t feel His presence. Five minutes later I hit someone’s truck and broke their tail light. The man got out of his truck and yelled at me. I looked at him and said “It’s my fault!” Immediately his attitude towards me changed. We became very friendly and he followed me to work so I can check in then call the police. I had to teach a three hour class to adults. My co-workers saw me maintain my cool and said “You have a great attitude. You are a hard working woman.”

        I recognize that we Christians need to be realistic about things and get help when it is necessary. Pastoral couples need to get counseling, prayer and support when it is necessary. Super spiritual people need to see doctors and take care of their mental health. Spiritual health depends on physical and mental health too. Feeling God’s presence is actually a physical phenomena because it effects hormones in the body that one feels. Sometimes a hormonal imbalance or physical ailment can cause stress that will make someone feel less spiritual and depressed. Christians need to stop blaming the devil for everything and start taking responsibility for their own actions.

        If God is for us. Who can be against us? Trials come and go. We get beaten up by life. But, when God is on the inside working on the outside oh what a change in my life! All these trails have caused me to trust in God more and more. I believe God is able to perform more miracles now than ever. Through all the tests I have many testimonies not to glorify myself but to encourage you sisters to be proactive about maintaining Hope, Faith and Love. But the greatest of these three is LOVE.

        God loves you and your families. He will not let you down if you just HOLD ON!

        1. Dear Diane, Preach it sister! As I read your comment, I can see God’s hand in your life leading you and your husband to learn things that you couldn’t learn any other way than through this difficult journey you have traveled and are traveling. My heart cries for you and yet rejoices. There is both sadness and satisfaction at times, tears and yet joy that is experienced as your eyes open up to see things that you never realized.

          Pastors and spouses and their families have it hard in so many ways and most congregants don’t get it. They seem to think because you are anointed you don’t hurt the same way and bleed when you are cut –especially emotionally. It’s actually the opposite… yes, there is an anointing, but there is also a bullseye invisibly put onto your lives together where the enemy of our faith wants to bring you down so many others will fall, as well. The pressure is all the more, because you live in “glass houses” where others see more of your lives than they probably should, but they don’t see the extra portion of tiredness, heart-ache over the troubles you see in other’s lives, and just the “normal” pressures of living a high-demand life. I could go on and on… but you know.

          All I can say is pull together. Make things as good as it’s possible behind closed doors between each other and God… and you will be strengthened to do what you can when you are out in public. You can’t do it all. God doesn’t expect you to… people do. Even Jesus Himself didn’t heal every person here on earth while He was in human form. He did what He could and yes, tongues wagged, but He knew that He wasn’t ultimately accountable to them, but to His Heavenly Father and His mission while He was in human form. Many people didn’t understand Him, and they won’t understand you. It comes with the territory of ministry.

          Lord knows we get criticized here at Marriage Missions. Some days it’s as if people think we can’t do anything right. But ultimately, we know we are doing what God empowers us and leads us to do and we have to rest in that, whether others understand or not. I pray that for you and your husband –that God leads you to do what you can and that you see that you can leave the rest alone. If tongues wag… that is their problem. You must keep on task of first honoring God who loves you whether you “perform” or not… and loves you despite your imperfection. He knows that. All He wants is your love and worship and the rest is all dessert, but not if it destroys who you are created to be in the process.

          Diane, it seems to me that you and your husband are doing the best you can with what has been handed to you in this fallen world. Whether you lead the life of a “traditional man and woman” or not, it’s ok. You love God and are doing the best you can and I have no doubt that God is pleased.Please know that my heart goes out to you and my prayers go out for you. I pray the Lord helps you, and guides you, and comforts you, and speaks to you, and works in and through you in this situation. I also pray God infuses hope into your heart that you will eventually experience better days –ones that will bring a smile to your heart.

          “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ –to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)

        2. (UNITED STATES) Diane, your testimony just help me in the very place that I am in and so many others who are in ministry preaching the glorious gospel of Christ. I shared your testimonies with some other friends of mine and it touched them to the core. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is on this. Woman of God, you have a story that will touch the WORLD and many believers in it. Thank you, Crystal

  14. (USA) I have met and fallen in love with a wonderful Christian man. We are both older and have been through marriage before, yielding children for both of us that are over the age of eighteen. We have found a church and follow God’s word in our lives. We became engaged several months ago. This past week my fiance’ informed me that he felt God was calling him to the mission field and that if called, he would have to go and that I could not go with him because I could not leave my house, job, or children. I am devastated, what do I do? How would God call someone away from the person He brought into their life?

  15. (ANGUILLA) The scriptural principle is this. Unless the husband instructs or leads the wife into that which is sinful she is obligated to her Lord Jesus to submit to his leadership and direction. What I am seeing here on this blog is a high degree of a spirit of rebellion on the part of wives. An unsubmissive spirit. Selfish attitude. Unwillingness to step out of themselves and into the purposes that God has infused into their husbands.

    There is a reason why God had given the biblical structure for marriage and family. Two different yet complementary roles so that each has their objective part to play in the ordering of their home. If you’re married to a man called to missions then it’s the biblical conclusion that you share in that calling whether you got the personal call or not. Your connection with your husband is the maIn consideration. To reject it or kick against it or to treat it as something you can disconnect yourself from, is to act in rebellion against God. And my question is, why do we have so many wives that are willing to rebel against God? Something is desperately wrong.

    1. You’re right. Wives aren’t people. We’re just property. We don’t matter. Our husbands should be able to drag us wherever they want with no consideration for our health and safety. Men reign supreme and they have right to sacrifice their wives and families for the glory of God. God doesn’t care if a woman needs medication to function, or if she won’t be able to get the medication in the part of the world the husband wants to go. If a woman dies or if her body is permanently damaged, it will be for the greater good.

      I am being treated for lupus and I have had a stroke, along with a couple more health problems, but my health conditions shouldn’t be of any concern to my husband.

  16. (PA) First of all, It’s God, family, then church. The problem is that some Pastors need to be reminded that there wife want to feel loved and have that compassion that a wife need. Just because you are a pastor’s wife doesn’t mean that you want to spend all of your time in the church with your husband. A pastor’s wife still loves to be romance by their husband.

  17. (UNITED STATES) My husband has been a pastor for eight years. We came to the ministry after a career in business and with all of our children out of the house. I love my church family and I am very involved with the community. My problem is that my husband is restless and feels like he is being called into the mission field. What about the mission field that exists in our own town? The depression, extra marital affairs, children without fathers who are crying out for Godly adults to lead them?

    When my husband was called it was in a very dramatic public way and it was very apparent that the place where we got called was where we were supposed to be but the demands and the seemingly thankless aspects of ministry are chafing on him. Going on long mission trips he gets to practice his calling in a way that he feels he can’t here. While I am glad that he has a passion for Christ and a burning desire to spread the gospel abroad, what about this congregation? How do they deal with the feelings of abandonment? They feel they called a pastor, not a missionary and I am the one who is having to deal with their feelings.

    Has anyone else had to deal with this? Yes, I am praying about how to respond to inquiries about my husbands missions and I am holding down the fort while he is gone by preaching, visiting the sick, doing the business of church and I am frustrated by being treated like I only exist to allow him his globe trotting. Pray for me, I need to stay strong in the Lord because I serve Him.

  18. (SMITH) I am also a Pastor’s wife of 7 years. My husband treats me like crap; when we got into the church he made it all about himself. I only get to say something if I’m lucky at Bible study. I’m also a teacher and preacher of God’s word. He tries to preach about me on the sly were he doesn’t think anyone will realize it’s his wife he is putting down. It took me 2 yrs to realize he doesn’t really care for women in ministry; he finally had to admit it. He will also throw rocks at other pastors. He ignores me like I’m not in the room or I’m negative or talk too much; he looks straight ahead when I talk to him. The only time I’m special is on Wednesday and Sunday…he lies to the church. I’m not acknowledged at home. What should I do?

  19. I think this entire thread is critically important. When we look at the Bible, great men of God did have horrible families:

    – Noah – whose son seems to have sexually abused his drunk father?!
    – Righteous Lot – it seemed his family wasn’t ready to leave Sodom.
    – Jacob (several of Jacob’s sons sell their youngest brother into slavery– God used it for good but… did it have to be that way?)
    – Judah’s family – Two wicked sons, killed directly by God, ends up siring a twins via his daugher in-law’s ruse as a prostitute.
    – Samuel (two sons whose oppression of the people led to the establishment of an Israelite King –which God clearly says was a rejection of him to “be like the other nations around us”)
    – Aaron (Moses’ brother –two of his sons were killed by fire for callously ignoring God’s specific commands around worship in the sanctuary)
    – David –his family life reads like a real life Greek tragedy –fratricide, patricide, rape-incest, sibling rivalry in political intrigue.

    All of these were given to us for an example of how badly things can go if no one’s minding the home fires (no matter what they’re out doing… from the work of God to fighting with the “living armies of God” to administering a priesthood devoted to Godly worship).

  20. My husband decided to go into evangelical mission work in 2009, three years after he retired from the military. It was then that I ceased to exist. It just took me a few years to figure that out. I’m just the cook, dog-sitter, and errand girl, and a bench-warmer wife to an absentee husband.

    In 2011, our church pastor announced to the congregation that my husband was thinking about moving and starting a planter church 1200+ miles away. That was the first I’d heard of it. All my husband would say to me is that he thought that the conversations he’d had with our pastor had been in confidence. My husband pays very little attention to me. On the nights when he has nothing to do outside the home, he goes in the den and closes the door. We haven’t had sex in over 3 years. At this point, I don’t care anymore. I might vomit if we did have sex.

    In January, my husband decided we were going to move to another church. He also decided that “we” were going to move 260 miles away so that he could finish his degree from a Bible college on campus. He didn’t tell me that he’d planned to move either –I happened to overhear him tell our new pastor on the day that we requested that our membership be transferred. My husband didn’t have the guts to tell anyone at our old church where my family and lifelong friends are members. And, never mind the fact that my entire family is here; we have a farm and a house here; and I have tested positive for lupus and if we move my health insurance will change for the worse.

    Apparently, my husband believes that decisions that will alter my life drastically are none of my business. Most of the time, when I try to talk to him, he just ignores me. Sometimes he will say two or three sentences –whatever he thinks it will take to shut me up –and then he just goes on about his business. He decided to leave me here at home while he lives on campus to finish his degree. Due to a drought a few years ago, the foundation on our house was damaged and he has refused to have anything done about it. The walls are severely cracked and the exterior door to the kitchen will no longer close –I have to prop it closed with a kitchen chair. The last time I tried to talk to him about the house, he said, “If we get the house fixed, I’ll have to get a job, so I won’t be here. If I’m not going to be here anyway, I might as well go on to school and go into the mission work!” I assume that letting the house fall apart fits into a plan to force me to move.

    My husband’s mother died of cancer a few days ago. Last week, my husband cut classes and drove to be with his mother, 1500 miles away. He didn’t even tell me that he was going. After he got to his mother’s home, his sisters guilt-tripped into calling me to let me know where he was. This may have been the straw that will break the camel’s back. There’s more, but I think I’ve said enough for you to get the idea and then some.

    Did the Apostle Paul mean that if a wife isn’t happy with her husband’s decisions, she’s just supposed to keep her mouth shut and obey orders? I know that God made woman with the intention of her doing whatever she has to do, short of sin, to make a man happy. But does it matter at all if woman is miserable? What’s left? Am I just supposed to melt down and morph into whatever he wants me to be? Am I supposed to abandon my family and move to parts unknown so that I can have the pleasure of being completely alone with a man who has abandoned me emotionally? I don’t think I can do that. Please help. I’m on the verge of just throwing in the towel on a 21-year marriage.

  21. Hi. I live and do ministry in a country opposite the Pacific from the USofA. My wife and I have been married for 15 years and our ministry started at exactly the same time.

    I was reading this email chain with great interest because I just didn’t know how to fix a problem smouldering at home. Thanks for being so honest about yourselves. I feel I’m in good company and feeling better already.

    I guess I’ve been one of those villains in your stories. A few years ago, my wife confronted me and I had to face my part of the problem head-on. I’ve been through personal and marital counseling, psychotherapy, spiritual direction, both at a
    book-knowledge and therapy level. I thought I’ve improved as a person and my marriage improved. But I can tell that my wife never forgave me for my neglect of her. Even though I feel I’m a much better husband now, she will stomp on me for any
    sign that I’m abandoning her again.

    My ministry is all about traveling far and wide, and yet how can I keep her happy without quitting? I don’t know. My supervisor is an experienced man and he wants me to do anything humanly possible to keep my marriage intact. I’ve also made a commitment to reduce my travels.

    I guess I’m coming to you because I have no where else to turn to. I can’t let people in my small circle know, or else… Please pray for me that I’ll continue to do the right thing. May my wife see that I truly love her. I hope she will forgive any offenses incurred. I’m somebody who doesn’t know how to have fun. I hope that I can start by taking her to this special lunch this Friday. Thanks.

  22. I’ve just told my husband of 8 years that I want to end the marriage even though we entered this marriage prayerfully. Since our courtship period, he has never really given us quality time… the reasons kept changing…. work isssues, financial stress, too tired, ministry. Before we got married, we spent time in prayer and worship to work out his anger issues, him neglecting me etc. Things got better for a while. After we got married, he began to prioritize ministry over me, and he’d promised me he’d never do that. I’d painfully put behind a lot… indiscretions prior to marriage, emotional abuse, and I’ve always helped him financially.

    The last 4 yrs were actually quite good… but he just got into a new ministry, which has been taking up a lot of his time. I had barely been seeing him anymore over the last 2 months… at a time I needed him most. I’ve had a spate of health problems for 2 yrs… anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts since 6 months. He’s a pastor and has suddenly got fed up of being there for me. He’s been mean, insensitive and snappish. I called him to come over and pray for me on 2 occasions when having a meltdown and was considering ending it. And on both occasions he seemed rather flippant: once, he said he’d finish his prayer set and be there in 15 minutes…and came over an hour later. On another he said we’d spend time in prayer after a couple of days since he was busy with “children’s sun practice.”

    It’s like I suddenly no longer know him…ironic as it may be, given my state… I was keeping my calm for quite some time and he seemed to snap over the most trivial things. One day I told him that I really didn’t need this and needed him to be supportive at such a time. He just yelled at me & said he refused to take responsibility for my state any longer. He said a lot of very hurtful things: “I don’t care what happens to you”, and said I should inform others to share this burden so he’s not blamed if I end it. He wanted idemnity for himself and his family… even several days later, no regret, no remorse. He called me demanding and said I shouldn’t expect anymore from him.

    I couldn’t take it anymore… the constant rejection/refusing to help in my darkest moments. I’ve walked out. I’m not happy, but strangely at peace. I don’t want to end the marriage really, but I’m afraid I can’t handle being in that environment of constant rejection/being made to feel like a burden anymore. Spiritually, I’m quite confused. My pastor didn’t really seem too interested in correcting him either. I think he can’t digest that my husband has really done all that. How do I handle this?

  23. Hello, I stumbled at this page in my frustration not knowing what to do. I have been married for 19 years. I love God and really wants to make heaven. My husband is born again and has even pastored a church previously but is not now due to job relocation. I feel I need to have more care, love and concern from him. I feel I need to have more commitment to sharing our dreams together, pray more together, show more care and love for those things that concerns me directly, but I scarcely get it. I feel there is no romance, and love in my marriage and when I complain, he always has a point to weaken what I am exactly saying. Our discussions are mostly arguments because of this. We are not good communicators.

    My pain now is that I am not working now because of relocation, living in a strange land with no friends and family members. This is also affecting my joy and making me sin against God by being frequently upset. The thoughts of leaving the marriage comes to me easily, but that is a great venture because due to the word of God I know and the experiences of others, I don’t even have the stamina to do so normally.

    But I am concerned now that I could be upset one day and just travel away from him just to be separated. The feelings are hurting me and it paralyses every other thing I would love to do to improve myself and my family. Please I need counsel. Help me. Thank you in advance.

  24. I have just read inspiring stories in this page. Both me and my husband are Christians. In 2010 our marriage was going through a rough patch and we did not receive any help at the church we were attending that time. We moved to another church in 2011 and God did wonders to our marriage as we got to learn more of His word and our marriage turned around and was beautiful all over again. We decided to serve in the church, I joined Intercession and he joined ushering and we became Home Cell leaders, as well. We were really committed.

    In 2013, a branch was opened and a Pastor assigned to the new branch; she chose me and my husband to go with her to the new branch. But at the main church they refused to let my husband go because they wanted to give him responsibilities at the Main church. Now we did not know what to do, and I was told I must decide whether to go to the new branch or remain in the Main church with my husband. I was at crossroads and angry as to why everything is being thrown at me.

    But my husband suggested that I go and help the new branch, since we had done the planning and everything for the new branch. It started well and after a year, we became distant with my husband and tension. I am not always at home. He is not always at home as we are both working fully time so the kids are being neglected. But it felt wrong to say NO to going for Outreach, Overnights etc and thus was never at home most of the time. Our kids range from 16-6 years. I did go until 2014 December. My husband asked that I return to the main church. I told the Branch Pastor and she said I must not go because I’m one of her strongest leaders.

    What I don’t understand is what about my family, marriage? Or maybe they are taking advantage that we’re committed to serving God without asking questions. How can I handle this situation? Please help. We love this church because they really teach the word of God and has helped us grow spiritually, but now I do not know what to do. Please help.

  25. Hi, We have been married for 5 yrs. We were both divorced before. Its been a tough road for us. My husband who is a pastor now says that our marriage is not real in God’s eyes and that it is an adulteress marriage. He has also said that he wants to divorce me because he feels God is maybe saying that he should so that our ministries can be fully fulfilled and that he feels maybe then God will also heal me from SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus) that I was diagnosed with in 2011.

    My question being, Is this really what God would want? He also says that Katherine Kuhlman, an evangelist, did this many, many years ago. Because she did this and left her husband her healing ministry took off. Does God really say this? Would He not prefer we stay in our current marriage as both of us are believers and work things through instead of trying to find loopholes in the word and via sermons and teachings to justify him to leave me?

    We have really been through a lot but I don’t feel I should discuss all the details, but please be assured no adultery has taken place from either side. Please help. Blessings to you all.

    1. Matthew 19:9 states: “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” (KJV)

      Here, Jesus prohibits divorce, except in a case of sexual misconduct — Jesus here deviated from Jewish law, which said that a man could freely divorce his wife.

      Mark 10:11-12 states: “…Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

      Luke 16:18 states: “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” These gospel writers record Jesus as having taken a different stance on divorce. He said that it is unacceptable for any reason at all.

      God did not intend for his people to change spouses like we change underwear. Marriage is a covenant between God and man. You stated, “My husband who is a pastor now says that our marriage is not real in God’s eyes and that it is an adulteress marriage.” Apparently, he now recognizes since “This” is a second marriage, it was out of divine order in the first place.

      You stated, He has also said that he wants to divorce me because he feels God is maybe saying that he should so that our ministries can be fully fulfilled and that he feels maybe then God will also heal me from SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus) that I was diagnosed with in 2011.

      It appears that your husband wants you both to get back in right standing with God according to the word. He is apparently trying to repent from sin and move forward into right standing with God again. At least I hope this is his desire.

      You asked, “Does God really say this? Would He not prefer we stay in our current marriage as both of us are believers and work things through instead of trying to find loopholes in the word and via sermons and teachings to justify him to leave me?” I ask you do you believe this scripture: Matthew 4:4 But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

      As the wife of a pastor you have been studying the word of God daily. Therefore you should have a good understanding of James 4:17 (KJV) which says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do right, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (Gods Word Translation, “Whoever knows what is right but doesn’t do it is sinning.”)

      So, I ask you who said in your comment you are a believer, meaning you are sustained by every word that comes from the mouth of God, does God really want you to stay in this marriage built on adultery. Because the word from God’s mouth in Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:11-12, and Luke 16:18 clearly confirms that you are in an adulteress relationship. The Bible says, who the Lord loves he corrects. You should be glad for the correction and do like Jesus told the women who was caught in adultery and was about to be stoned until Jesus intervened, John 8:10-11, “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

      I encourage you to take Christ advice my dear, go, and “SIN NO MORE”. God does not change, he will not accommodate your life style patterns and beliefs contrary to his word. God grant you strength and faith to walk upright before him.

      1. You are both adults. You both knew what you were getting into before the marriage oath. This is similar to the story of David and Bathsheba. He saw you taking a bath, not literally. How many more women he is watching taking a bath. Let me clarify when I say taking a bath I mean your vulnerability.

        It appears now that he is ready to move on to another and is using the scriptures as a way out. God’s light is exposing you both. You, who are walking in blindness to the truth that your marriage is right, and him who is using the scriptures to cover up deception to further his ministry. It was good when you helped him start the ministry and get it up and running. Now he doesn’t need you and wants to kick you to the curb, by any means possible.

        If you believe this is God’s will then put it to the test and give up the ministry and get counseling ASAP! It appears your ministry was not built on “THE ROCK” but deception and you both should not be built on this path. If he believes you will be healed if the marriage ends, then vise versa, he will be delivered by walking away from a deceptive ministry.

        WHAT DOES THE WORD OF GOD SAY: It is apparent he has entered into the sheepfold through deception and has contaminated the office of a pastor.

        John 10; 1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

        Romans 16:17-18 — “Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

        2 Corinthians 13:5 — Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

        You both have some soul searching to do. God grant you strength and faith to walk upright before him.

  26. Thank you for the guidance, I recently turned 50 and I have decided that I want to serve the Lord. I’m married but me and my husband do not understand and believe Christianity the same way. He believes that he is the one who should do everything for God and I will be blessed by that. I do understand that he is the head with respect to teaching and serving God. My challenge is that I feel empty and I have a strong character that I want to apply for God like I do professionally and academically.

    I don’t know; maybe I’m asking for too much. The church we are attending does not fulfill me, I want to be active in the activities but women are allowed minimum activities, and they are not allowed to take leadership roles, I’m a leader professionally; possibly that’s why I’m frustrated. Should I just relax and continue as it is? My wish:
    One day before come a minister of which my church does not allow, be a community worker especially serving children and even adopt children of which my husband does not support. I have so much energy that I’m not using and it frustrates me

    1. Nkina, My wife and I just had a conversation about this two weeks ago and we are responding to you as one flesh. She pointed out something to me that really opened my eyes. She said if God is a “whosever God” this means that anyone or anybody who does his will has been given the authority to work in the Kingdom. She went on to ask me why would God give us gifts and expect us to not use them to further the Kingdom of God on this earth. Why would a husband who say he loves the Lord, not support his wife’s gift or gifts but expect her to support his gifts is that scripture? She asked me to show her in the scripture where God expects that.

      She is correct because we are taught that God is neither pro Jew nor pro Gentile, pro male nor pro female. This means the Church should take the same position as God. If a husband believes Gods word, that the two has become one flesh, then why is he having beliefs contrary to himself. How can two walk together except they agree? Amos 3:3. How can one part of you conflict with the other part in saying “He believes that he is the one who should do everything for God and I will be blessed by that. “ Is that scriptural. That is saying that the women is not part of the body of Christ.

      If this belief is taken to be true, then it is contrary to 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 which states, There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes’.

      If the Holy Spirit is the one producing gifts and distributing them individually to each person as he wishes, than who have the right to override the Holy Spirits giving and who have the right to decide who can and cannot participate in the ministry. If a man feel he has that right, then he is acting contrary to the works of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus designated as the one to teach and lead all men into truth.

      Furthermore, anyone who understands the teachings of Jesus would already know that unbiblical traditions were not required. It is without controversy at least I would hope it is that Jesus is the word made flesh and dwelt among men. Without a doubt this means that the four gospels containing his teachings is what we should be preaching as the standard in the Church. I believe that everything in the Bible is a statement of truth, on the other hand, there are statements made based on opinions and need to be tested to determine if it falls in line with the teachings of Christ in the four gospels. As an example, Paul makes it clear in the following sections of 1 Corinthians 7 that what he is saying is not a command from God but his own opinion:

      “But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

      Many churches use this section as grounds of premarital sex. However, does Paul’s opinion conflict with Christ teachings in the four gospels? Yes it does. Jesus said divorce is only permitted in cases of fornication, which is defined as having sex before marriage.

      Again, we see in the next verses where Paul injects his opinion. “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.”

      This letter certainly contracts what Paul says in his 2 Corinthians 6:14 letter; Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? Many churches have used 1 Corinthians 7:12-17 as grounds of permitting divorce. I believe because of this opinion given by Paul, the Church has seen the number of divorces increase astronomically. However, does Paul’s opinion conflict with Christ teachings in the four gospels regarding divorce? Yes it does. Jesus says divorce is not permitted except in cases of fornication. Why would Paul encourage believers to marry unbelievers who beliefs are contrary to one another?

      There are those would say, it maybe the writer’s opinion but the spirit of the text and the moral lessons are from God. My answer to them is how can it be the moral lessons from God, if the impression is not God’s but Paul’s by his own admission? Then there are others who believe God inspired Paul to write those words in his letter. If Paul said it is his opinion and not God’s how it can be inspired?

      Nikina, this was said to address your desire as a women who want to work in the Ministry. Men in general look to the letter of Paul in formulating their views regarding women’s works in the ministry. It has become the battle of the sexes so to say, when women want to serve the Kingdom of God with their God given talents. However, men have taken the position that the role of ministry solely belongs to them based on what Paul wrote in his letter in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

      In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, Paul wrote: “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church” (vv. 33-35).

      Now this is the same Paul who wrote in Romans 10:3-4: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Where is it in Christ teachings that says, women are not to share their gifts in the ministry for the edifying and building up of the saints? This belief is contrary to what God intended in the body of Christ.

      God being a, “whosoever God”, is against mindsets that says, ethnicity, gender or your status in life makes you more spiritually endowed than another. This mindset, that men are more spiritually endowed than women is not from God. If that was true, than God would not have allowed Debra to be a judge or allowed women to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen. Matter of fact, there are several places where Paul gives credit to women who used their gifts in the ministry. Acts 21: 8-9, and the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him; 9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

      Acts 18: 24-26, “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” Notice it was Aquila and Priscilla who expounded which means explained to him about God.

      In Romans Paul mentions several other women who were doing their part in the ministry. He even stated two women had a home church. Romans 16:1-6 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.

      We believe what Paul wrote in his letter, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, was not only his opinion but was the views of men during his time. Why do we feel this way? God has given us salvation and he said, in God 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

      The word “whosoever” is used to dispel bias and division in the body of Christ who believe that salvation is based on entitlements. God want us to know that he looks at us equally, absent of gender, ethnicity, and status. This is clearly stated in Galatians 3: 28-29, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

      Jesus said, “for whosoever shall do the will of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and mother”, Matthew 12:50 and Mark 3:35 respectively. He clearly intended for everyone to be involve in the ministry doing Gods will. When Jesus ascended into Heaven he charged the disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them everything I have commanded you…” No where does Jesus say, make disciples of everyone except women.

      Let me end by saying again, God being a “whosoever God”, is against mindsets that says that ethnicity, gender or your social status in life make you more spiritually endowed than another. The best thing to do in your situation is to ask your husband to confirm his position based on God’s word. My wife certainly had me do this and I have come to the understanding that we are all called to worship and serve God regardless of gender, ethnicity, or ones social status. To think otherwise, would be establishing your own righteousness and that leads to strife, contentions and getting in trouble with God.

      We pray that God will bring understanding in your marriage that a husband and wife is one in the sight of the Lord and using God given gifts is the will of God for the edifying and building of the saints, and to remember what Jesus when the, The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at Jesus’s disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:30-32) To do the will of the God is to be imitators of Christ and be a testimony of the power of God in our life who when we were sinners were called to repentance. God bless (:

  27. I’m grateful for the information shared. Only this morning a pastor’s wife called me on the issue of not being able to balance ministry and family life. She indicated that because of tension in the home she is not comfortable sitting under her husband’s ministry. Some years ago, one pastor’s wife actually became the member of another Church because of similar circumstances.

    I am looking for information to help my sister. I will share my own experience but what works for me may not necessarily work for her. So I welcome information shared in this article.

    My experience is that in my earlier years in ministry I felt that my opinions were not valued until I saw them being implemented after someone else may have suggested them. I waited for an appropriate time with true examples and discussed my feelings. This of course was met with denial. I resorted to letting my husband know exactly how I felt. I noticed efforts being made over time to correct this and things have been getting better.

  28. Hi. I’m a member of a church where the founder transitioned the church over to her daughter who is separated from her spouse. They have been separated on and off for years for what reasons, I don’t know. But it has effected the body tremendously. Most of the congregation have left because of it. I, myself, am feeling this tug to move on. Because I don’t believe in church hopping, I’m praying to God to intervene and convict the pastor’s heart to reconsider her ways and please God, by getting her home in order so that the body becomes strengthened. Please stand in prayer with me that God will deliver my pastor from this “disillusion spirit” that is causing her to feel ill will toward her spouse and I truly need prayer for myself in making the right decision.

  29. My husband is called to lead a ministry while we are on vacation in a different country. Our vacation turned out to be a mission and we’ve been striving really hard to stay and help the church plant but our status as tourists has taken a turn that we’re supposed to return to our country. Along the way, God also gave him a job to sustain our stay here to help out and he has blessed us so abundantly since we have committed to the church plant but now with our tourist status, I feel that we need to go home first and hold on to God’s promise that he will bring us back here to see His work done.

    My husband’s employer sponsored his work visa and the immigration is asking for my husband’s status before they make a decision. The clear option is to let the immigration know we’re out of status as tourist, go home, and wait for the decision so we can come back. The problem is, my husband doesn’t believe this is in his calling’s best interest. He says that if we go home then we’ve lost faith in God’s promise to him and our family.

    But I’m seeing it differently. I see it as God’s test for us to obey man’s laws and trust that he will bring us back where we are called. My husband wants to push the boundaries of the law and spend money that we don’t have. As a mother of two toddlers, a work at home mom, the family’s treasurer, I know that we’ll suffer greatly in our finances and most of all we’re breaking the law by overstaying. I also feel like we’re jeopardizing our children’s future by overstaying since they will be banned to come back. But this is all a risk my husband is willing to take, saying I have no faith in the Lord and his mighty hand over all things in our lives. We are both torn and honestly, we are running out of time to make a decision together because we keep fighting and we do not see eye to eye. Am I seeing things wrongly? Am I not submitting to my husband? Am I disobeying God for wanting to protect our children’s future?

    1. Hi Angela, I’m sorry it took me this long to respond to your questions. These are difficult ones, to say the least. First off, I LOVE your husband’s enthusiasm in doing Kingdom work. That is great, and your being as supportive, and do what God has called you to do is great too. I sure love your heart and his.

      I showed your posting to my husband Steve (because I was the one who posted it on the web site and he hadn’t seen it). I wanted to see if he saw the situation as I did (without me telling him my opinion before he formed his own. He does see it the same way — we both agree with the way you are seeing it. Again, your husband’s Kingdom mentality is great, but when you start skirting the laws of the land (particularly when it comes to immigration), the enemy of our faith can eventually find a way to cause us to trip over them (whether our intentions were pure or not). It’s not a matter of losing “faith in God’s promise” but rather doing as Jesus did… he followed man’s law, so God’s miracles would shine forth all the more. Can your husband trust God that He will bring him and the family back if he follows the immigration laws of the land? That is the question you posed to him, and we agree.

      As far as “submitting” to your husband, God gave you a voice too. By respectfully and prayerfully using it, that doesn’t mean that you’re doing what you shouldn’t, but rather, you are using the God-given wisdom to “speak the truth in love.” There is a time to talk, and a time to be quiet. Right now, it would seem to be a time to give voice to some very viable concerns because your husband has not gone forth completely yet. I’ve actually been in the place where I kept voicing what I felt God was telling me over and over, and eventually Steve saw the wisdom… and later, we thanked God that it went as it did because it would have been disastrous the other way (and the same is true in reverse, where Steve has given me wisdom… I’ve listened, and the results were MUCH better than they would have been).

      Keep praying, keep seeking God’s wisdom in this, pray for your husband (who can sometimes do things with his free will that God wouldn’t have him do), and trust God that He will bring to light that, which the darkness is trying to hide. May His will be done.

  30. The first institution in the Bible was between a man and a woman, thus the institution of marriage. Church gatherings came later. Our most important ministry is to our spouse and our children, along with other relationships with extended family. They will be with us from the beginning of our lives to the end. We should be faithful in our churches, ministries, etc…but our first loyalty is to God, then our families. I’ve heard of a local pastor and his wife that will not attend the grandchild’s baby or wedding shower, a family birthday party, etc…if there is something going on in the church at the same time. Even though the grandchild begged them to attend, they would not, even when they could have rearranged things to allow them to attend those events.

    I think anyone can act holy in church, but how they act with their families in their home is how they really are. How those young grandchildren must look at the church. I have two friends whose husbands abused them at home, but acted spiritual in church. They are both divorced from those men.

  31. I met my husband in a backslidden condition; prior to meeting him I was married and divorced and in ministry. Then I fell into alcoholism daily, and drug use. We met at this time and he was into drinking and drugs too, so we got married. I told him I am called to the ministry so he said he understood so God thrust me back into my ministry (prophetic,deliverance,etc.)

    God delivered me from alcohol and drugs overnight and I have 2 meetings a month. It is going well but my husband has changed he is doing even more drugs being disrespectful. It is just a mess. I have the call, it is my life and I cant go back. I feel like he wont be able to support me like I need. It’s hard because I love him, but he has changed and I know what I have is spiritual and I realize I feel a disconnection. Just need prayer for Gods will to be done.

  32. I am a pastors wife. My problem is my husband is so involved in church we are growing apart. When I try to discuss this I am either ignored or told the Church and God come first. Or I should pray about it and get myself right. Then he becomes angry and spends more time at the Church. I am tired. My husband chose to be a pastor without my blessing. I feel I have lost the life I had. I am a Christian. I love The Lord. I don’t feel this is my calling.

  33. I would like to find out if it can work where a couple are pastors but they are ministering in different denominations? Is it a must that the wife should follow the husband? I feel it is a challenge because of the church politics the churches have.