Paul’s admonition for husbands has special significance for those God has called to lead the church. Ephesians 5:25 is a crucial verse in the life of a pastor; how we understand this passage and apply it to our lives sets a standard for the churches we pastor, and for the people watching from outside our congregations.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
For many pastors, the church quickly becomes the center of their lives. They get called to a church and in an attempt to “give God their all,” the work of the church soon becomes first priority in their lives. Because of this, the pastor’s wife often loses her position as first priority of her husband’s life and becomes second to the church.
Brothers, this is not God’s will for your ministry or your marriage. God comes first, then your marriage, then the ministry.
While most of us would say that we don’t put the church before our wives, we should ask ourselves two questions: Do I often cancel or reschedule plans with my wife in order to attend church events? Have I made time with my wife and family a priority in my ministry?
The strength of a pastor’s ministry is connected to the stability of his marriage. We must always remember that the church has a husband and his name is Jesus Christ. The church doesn’t need a second husband, and the pastor doesn’t need another wife.
PRAYER PROMPT: Father, forgive us for letting our priorities get out of order. May we love you with all our heart, soul, and mind; help us pastors love our wives like you love your church, and give ourselves up for her. May we never sacrifice our marriage and family on the altar of ministry. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Adron Robinson is pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Country Club Hills and president of the Illinois Baptist State Association.