A God-honoring marriage is a higher call than ANY other ministry. If my own house is in disarray, I shouldn't lead anyone else's.Marriage is a big deal to me...to us! We work hard on ours. We had the great privilege of moving 7 hours away just after we were married. It was just us. There were no parents to run to when we were upset. There were no lifelong friends just around the corner. Long Distance still cost over .10 a minute. It was just us. We had to learn to live with each other. We had to learn to count on each other. We had to learn to work things out.
— My Beloved Is Mine (@SongSix3) September 25, 2013
I remember year one being so easy and fun. Year two was just plain hard. The honeymoon was over. (Literally!!!) We lived in a 550 square foot tri-plex. We had one car. We had a combined income of $17,000. Dan was finishing a 3 year degree in just 2 years so he was always busy with school. He drove a bus for the Fort Worth School District so he left the house at 5 every morning. We saw each other briefly during the day when he stopped by my office. He went to bed very early each night so he could be up early the next day. Thinking back on those days are almost just a blur in my mind.
But, those days made us who we are. We learned to rely on each other. We learned to live on very little. We learned to prioritize our time. We learned that carving out time for the other one was very important. We learned to cook together. We learned that Dan didn't mind doing all the laundry because he could watch TV while he did it. We learned a lot.
Now, we are many years removed from those days. We are approaching our 15th wedding anniversary in just 8 months. And, I'm more grateful than ever for our marriage. We've watched marriages crumble lately. We've seen infidelity up close. We've seen spouses walk away from the other. We've seen neglect. We've seen disrespect. We've seen drug and alcohol use. We've seen people give up on each other.
So, we fight against that. We aim to put each other first. We try so hard to model a solid marriage to our children because that is the greatest security they can have. We fight for family time. We fight for alone time. I sometimes watch football all day on a Saturday because that is a big deal to him. He obliges me by spending hours at the mall. Oh, and he never complains when I ask for unlimited smiles for photos with our kiddos.
The calling of Pastor is a scary one. There is so much responsibility. There are so many areas of accountability. There is a constant need to be seeking the heart and face of God. When I saw the above tweet, it was just a reminder of one of our primary responsibilities. Just recently, I was told that it is none of the church's business what the marriage of staff member looks like. That is his private business. I disagree. God has called us to higher standard. If we can't lead at home, we shouldn't lead in public!
That doesn't always mean that things are right. That doesn't mean things won't fail. But, if our goal is constantly to be striving (on both parts) for a God honoring, Christ centered marriage, then it will always work out!