Last week Sarah and I celebrated our seventh anniversary.
My wife and I met at our church.
Both of us doing ministry.
So when it came time for me to propose, it just made sense for me to do it at one of our KidzWorld Family Experiences.
Add to the fact that her dad (my father-in-law) was my boss.
And it made perfect sense.
So I started the FX in my pajamas.
And I ended it on one knee with an engagement ring.
It was a fun way to surprise her and with our church being such a big part of each of our lives it made perfect sense for our relationship.
The other day I posted the memory of my engagement on my Facebook page and I got this comment.
Did you catch that? Because I didn’t.
I missed it the first time around.
To get the engagement ring out on stage, we actually hid it in the goldfish box. And as I grabbed that ring, and got down on one knee, the only thing going through my head was how nervous and excited I was.
Which is completely normal.
But the fact of the matter is we, quite literally, had an audience.
When it comes to your marriage, whether you are in a big church or a small church, you have an audience.
And I think we know that in the ministry so we might tend to gloss over things, put on a show, or be less than genuine because we know people are watching.
I think that’s the wrong approach.
But prioritize your marriage.
Because more than your ministry, your marriage is a ministry.
I didn’t realize it but the second I slid that ring on my wife’s finger, I was setting an example for every boy and girl in our church about what marriage can and should be.
One that they would talk about for years to come.
I was making a life-time memory but not just for me.
I think what’s heartbreaking is sometimes in ministry, we can care so much, we can have so much passion, we can see the pressing needs all around us and we can compromise on our marriage.
Because there’s ministry that needs to be done and we need to do it. So the ministry takes precedence. The ministry comes first. The ministry matters.
And while it comes from a position that is trying to make a difference, it easily ignores the bigger picture.
Your marriage IS a ministry.
Your marriage comes first.
Your marriage matters.
Because in the big and the little moments your marriage is ministry.
As pastors many of us have probably taught Ephesians 5:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”
But have we realized that if we are willing to do more for our church than we are for our marriage we’ve failed this commandment before we’ve even began.
So don’t marry your ministry.
Ministry is awesome.
Most likely it’s the only thing you can see yourself doing.
It’s something you feel divinely called to.
But if it’s something that causes you to resent your marriage you’ve missed it.
Don’t marry your ministry, see your marriage AS ministry.
You have been divinely called to serve it.
It is the thing ONLY YOU can do.