Should a minister consider the ministry work a priority over the marriage covenant?

Marriage plays an important role in the life of the minister. In the very beginning, the Lord instituted the marriage covenant and blessed it “and the two shall become one flesh” (Matthew 19:5,6; Genesis 2:22-24). These words express the deepest physical and spiritual unity between a man and a woman.

The Bible teaches that God comes first in the life of the minister. All of his heart, soul, and strength is to be committed to our loving Father. “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

But as Christ’s priority—after obeying and glorifying the Father—was the church, likewise the married minister should love and honor his wife. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 4:22). A married minister is to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). And also a woman’s husband is second only to God in her priorities.

The minister is to imitate Christ who gave Himself for the church to save her. Likewise the minister should give himself for the salvation of his wife, ministering to her spiritual needs, and she to his, in a spirit of mutual love. Also, he should properly provide for his wife’s temporal support (1 Tim. 5:8),  ensure her happiness (1 Cor. 7:33), and give her every honor (1 Peter 3:7).

If a minister is not married, then he is encouraged to marry because the Bible teaches that the marriage covenant plays a big role in the success of his ministry. In fact, religious leaders are preferred to be married (1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:12; Titus 1:6). Paul includes this in his counsel regarding bishops because a married minister would be more adequately prepared to understand many of the problems arising among the families of the church. It should be noted that Paul’s statement encouraging men to live as he lived, that is, without a wife (1 Cor. 7:7, 8) was only due to the “present distress” of persecution that led him to urge caution to marriage (1 Cor. 7:26, 28).

Also, marriage aids the spiritual growth of the minister. Paul, in his writings (Eph. 5:22–33; 1 Tim. 4:3; Heb. 13:4), presents the divine order of the home, which God instituted in Eden and he teaches that the companionship of husband and wife is one of God’s ordained means for their proper spiritual development.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

 

 

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