For a multitude of reasons, balancing the demands of ministry while prioritizing your marriage can be so hard. If you're in ministry, you've likely gone through many seasons where you've felt this.
This week on the podcast we're connecting with Mark & Jill Savage, long-time leaders in church and parachurch ministries. They have an incredible story of redemption in their marriage after an affair and now spend their days investing in marriages across the world.
If you're familiar with Mark & Jill's ministry, you likely know how much wisdom they have to share. So I hope you'll take some time to listen through this conversation as we discuss why pastors struggle to invest in their marriage, how Mark got to the point that he had an affair, and a slip of the tongue that had all of us laughing.
Here are some key takeaways:
It's so easy to live like ministry is a higher priority than our marriage. It's often simpler to say "yes" to people in the church and "no" to our spouse because we think they'll be more understanding. Left unaddressed, this inevitably leads to long-term relational strain.
Oftentimes things are okay on the outside, but not on the inside. As Jill says regarding their situation, their "hearts were being pulled apart one quarter inch at a time." I love this imagery. It's not all about the big things we do or the dates we go on. It's about the little decisions we make everyday that communicate where our priority truly is.
Ministry is not worth losing your marriage over. Many in ministry are wired with a type of "buck up" mindset regarding difficult seasons. When it comes to something as important as your marriage, that doesn't work. Whether an honest conversation needs to happen or marriage coaching needs to be pursued, we need to take actual steps towards a healthy marriage.
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Dale is the Executive Director here at 95Network. He has been in ministry for almost 40 years and is dedicated to helping small and mid-size churches get healthy. Dale has served in nearly every role of church leadership (except Worship Pastor), and has had a wide variety of coaching and consulting experience. He and his wife Gina have been married for 37 years and live in Greenville, SC.