Jump directly to the Content

Is Ministry Killing Your Marriage?

Pastors reflect on building a harmonious relationship between their ministries and families.
Is Ministry Killing Your Marriage?

A pastor once told us, "I was at a board meeting where we were examining potential elders. One candidate was asked, 'Are you willing to make sacrifices with your family for the sake of the church?' And it was a weird moment because I asked myself, What's the right answer to that question?"

Over the past seven years, we've gathered pastors and their spouses into peer cohorts, which met repeatedly in multiday retreats called Pastors Summits where we facilitated heartfelt discussions about the challenges of vocational ministry. During one of our summits, a participant shared the following story:

A few years ago, I asked my wife what it felt like to be married to me, after 20 years of marriage and 18 years of ministry together. I was optimistic of her positive response. She said, "I know that I would never divorce you. And I certainly would never kill you. However, I can't help but think the boys and I would be better off if you were not alive."
My response? ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

September
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Organizational Pain
Organizational Pain
Symptoms that your group isn't functioning well—and treatments for the deeper problems.
From the Magazine
Americans Forgot How Long Refugee Resettlement Takes
Americans Forgot How Long Refugee Resettlement Takes
One year into the biggest US refugee wave since the Vietnam War, Christians are trying to buy Afghan immigrants more time.
Editor's Pick
Rebuilding Church Community: What’s Actually Working?
Rebuilding Church Community: What’s Actually Working?
Pastors respond.
close