Be mindful of your relationships before you get into ministry
By Chaplain Dan Langerock
Some people believe that being in business together as a couple will help their marriage or relationship. The rule here is, if your relationship is good, being in business will probably be okay as long as you are vigilant about watching for warning signs. However, if your relationship is not doing well, being in business will not help it, and probably make it worse.
The same is true of ministry.—and even more so. Your lives are on display 24/7 when you are in ministry. Can your relationship take that constant pressure? Many cannot! Here are three examples of the types of relationships not to have when in ministry:
1. The Competitive Couple
Ministry is not a football game you are in engaged in. This competition is directly from the enemy and human nature. Jesus taught us to live at peace with each other (Romans 12)., and you cannot have a peaceful marriage when you are competing in ministry. Eventually, this will tear your ministry apart and wreck your marriage.
2. The Controlling Couple
When one or both partners are controlling of each other or someone else, your ministry will not be as the Holy Spirit wants it. Attitudes of this nature hinder the Spirit’s work and drives wedges between people. The Bible teaches us not to quench the Spirit. (I Thess. 5:19) When there is mutual cooperation and encouragement in relationships, the Spirit is free to move, and that is the goal of ministry.
3. The Unsupporting Spouse
If your spouse is against your being in ministry because of personality type or whatever reason, your ministry will be hampered. It could be likened to a ship sailing without its crew, with just the captain on board. It isn’t much of a voyage this way.
If you are contemplating a relationship or marriage, bring all these ideas out and discuss them freely—and not with coercion of any kind.
Sometimes, people get into ministry after they are already in a relationship or marriage. If this is the case, make sure you are both in agreement before you take this vital step in your life. You must be following God together before you can do a good job for Him. Children also need to be considered because they will be affected by your decision as well.
If you are having problems becoming agreed on this subject, seek counseling before you “take the plunge” Serving God in this capacity is not something to take lightly, it is usually a life-long commitment. Be wise, and in fervent prayer as you look at being in ministry from all angles. Let the Holy Spirit guide your decision and not your own desires and emotions. God will make it plain if this is where He wants you. Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” (KJV)