It is easy to read a book on marriage, teach a class, preach a sermon series on marriage. Chide the men, challenge the women and then go home and be in a miserable or at best, mediocre marriage.
In fact, lots of pastors do this.
Every time I teach on marriage at a pastor’s conference I’ll talk with countless leaders who confess their marriage isn’t working and don’t know what to do about it. They struggle in silence because, “how can a pastor admit weakness in marriage? How can a pastor struggle? If I get divorced I’ll lose my job.”
This is so sad to me.
I was asked after posting this why I care so much about marriages.
The reason is simple: you spend a lot of time in your marriage, the impact of your marriage is felt for generations (ask a child of divorced parents how it has affected their adult lives), and it is a picture of the gospel (Ephesians 5). A lot is riding on it.
Right before we got married, my mentor who did our wedding pulled me aside one day after class and told me something that has stuck with me:
The longer you pastor a church the more the marriages in that church will begin to look like yours. So, if you look around and see divorces, infidelity, miserable couples, you only have to look in the mirror to figure out why. But, if you pour time, energy and effort into your marriage, you will see the benefits in the people who attend your church.