Marriages in the body of Christ are burning to the ground—and that includes the marriages of Christian leaders. Is it hopeless? Does God have a plan for our marriages, or will the devil continue to make so many of our ministry marriages look like reality TV? Ministry marriages can survive under siege, in distress, in crisis, and under pressure when we learn to love like Jesus and appreciate the gift we are to each other. My husband and I learned through trial, pain, and suffering how to appreciate the gifts, talents, and abilities God has embedded in each of us, miraculously avoiding the death of our marriage.
Our Differences Are Glorious
Paul compares our roles and responsibilities as husband and wife to a great mystery. Ministering and doing life with a ministry mate, is very much like a good mystery—only God knows the plot, the problems to be faced, and the solution that we will arrive at together. Our differences can be beautiful when we learn to appreciate them. Believe it or not, our God is intentional. He is glorified when we, despite our differences, yield our hearts to him, love each other like Jesus, and truly appreciate the value of each other. I am amazed at how oil and water repel each other, but together they make delicious chocolate cake. Oil and water serve different purposes and have different attributes, but together they can become beautiful masterpieces. If ministry mates will learn that our differences are really part of God’s masterpiece, we can learn to come together and we’ll be dangerous to the kingdom of darkness. It is the enemy, after all, who whispers that our differences are a detriment to our ministries and marriages, suggesting that if we just found a different partner, things would be better. This is a lie.
When we fail to recognize all the wonderful attributes, gifts, and talents that God treasures in our spouse, our marriage will take a hit. Paul eloquently explained how we should view the gifts in our spouses in Romans 12:6: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Having different gifts is self-explanatory, but when was the last time you took notice of and appreciated the differences your spouse brings to your marriage? My husband and I are as different as night and day. He likes to roll the window down in the winter time, and I like to have the heat on “hell.” My husband is diplomatic, me not so much. He is a global thinker, and I think about now. These distinct differences caused many arguments and quarrels until we learned the art of compromise. After years of dancing in life and ministry, we make this complicated dance look easy.