I would like to share some things that I think might be helpful in the husband and wife relationship for the preacher and his wife. I read an interesting book several years ago called Finishing Strong by Steve Farrar. He tells about a survey Dr. Howard Hendricks conducted of 246 men in full-time ministry who had experienced personal moral failure within a two-year period. In other words, Hendricks was able to find nearly 250 men who derailed within 24 months of each other. That’s roughly ten a month for two years—ten guys a month in moral failure. And each of them started strong. In the Christian life, it’s not how you start that matters. It’s how you finish.
The most oft repeated verse in the Bible dealing with marriage is found in Matthew 19:5, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” Then comes the statement which says, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” With that admonition, even if things are not the best in your family, it is God’s will for you to stay together, so perhaps there is something that needs to be done to “fix” or reconcile things.
God is the One who invented man and woman, and what a wonderful invention “woman” was!! I think we could all say, it was a fantastic thing He did, not that He needs our validation! God is also the One who invented marriage. As we all know, He designed it to be between a man and woman. He said in the verse I just mentioned that we are to cleave to our wives. He also said regarding our marriages, “Let not man put asunder.” So divorce is not an option.
Some might say, “Well maybe you just don’t have it as hard as I do.” Everyone has struggles from time to time, either in their marriage or in their mind. We are engaged in a real warfare.
Solomon put it this way, and I remind you, he was a well known expert on women! He said, “Love is strong as death.... Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it” (Song of Solomon 8:6–7).
We never have a right to walk away from our marriages. Leaders are problem solvers, and each of us must have the attitude that, by the grace of God, I will work this out.
Unfortunately, over the years, and especially more lately, I have heard all kinds of excuses that alleged Christian men and women have made as to why they were leaving their spouses. Please mark this down: THERE IS NOTHING THAT JUSTIFIES WALKING OUT ON YOUR SPOUSE. If the other person is involved in adultery or fornication, they, by their actions are the ones walking out.
I would like to suggest five things that can help each of us to never walk away from our wife.
1. Develop the conviction that you would rather be dead than an adulterer.
2. Fall in love with God. Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment is: “Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart.” Before any man walks away from his wife, he walks out on God first (Psalm 73:25–26).
3. Ask God for a caring and genuine love for your wife. God’s love is selfless and never ending. By the way, you don’t love God or your children if you don’t love your children’s mom.
4. Make a covenant with your eyes. We are being bombarded every day by the media to lust after women. Pornography is everywhere, and it will take a covenant on your part to not cast your eyes that way. Your computer may just be the greatest tool the devil uses against you.
“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”—Job 31:1
5. Walk with God, daily. “But what about my past,” you might
say. Perhaps you’ve been involved in adultery, pornography, cheating, lying,
etc. Seek the forgiveness of God. Be washed in, and by, His blood.
If you have done these things, you need to ask your wife for
forgiveness. It will hurt, but it will hurt in order to help. If you are in the
ministry and you have committed adultery, you will need to step down from the
ministry, seek godly counsel, and remember, divorce is not an option for any of
us. Seek counsel if you are having a difficult time or can’t get problems
resolved in a matter of a few days. Your marriage is worth whatever trouble it
takes to rectify it.
Remember also, that you CAN be victorious through Jesus Christ our Lord. Never, never, never walk away.