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7 Similarities Between Marriage And Ministry
by Pastor QT Nyathi
6/18/2013 / Marriage
Yesterday evening I was chatting to a married lady who is a dear family friend. She said to me, "I'm from work and am so tired, I just want to sleep." I quickly retorted, "Don't sleep before you minister to the man of the house." Moments later the depth of the statement I had made to her struck me-marriage is ministry. Let me give you just seven similarities between marriage and ministry.
#1. Marriage like ministry is servanthood.
The word minister means servant.
A great ministry offers great service to its people. A great marriage consists of two lovers trying to out-serve each other every day through acts of sacrificial love.
A servant's only concern is to please his master.
A good marriage partner's only concern (besides pleasing the Lord) is to please his spouse through acts of loving service.
Marriage must be serviced through acts of service.
#2. Marriage like ministry has very little to do with feelings.
If every minister in God's house was to follow his feelings there would be chaos.
There would be no usher to welcome you by the door, no choir to sing on the stage, and no preacher to preach on the pulpit. Every minister knows that many times (actually most times) you have to minister in spite of your feelings not because of your feelings.
This nonsense of saying, "I'm leaving because I know longer have feelings for him or her" must stop.
Just keep on serving, loving, and cultivating your spouse and the feelings will eventually come back.
#3. Marriage like ministry is a team sport.
Lone ranger ministers are frustrated and depressed people.
Because real ministry is a team effort with each team member fulfilling his role which leads to the success of the team. Ladies like to say, "I am carrying him" or "I am carrying the marriage."
Baby I am sorry, you can't carry him. He is too heavy. He is a big boy. That's why you are always tired, sickly, irritable, and have a tendency to explode at the slightest provocation. It's because you are carrying a heavy load.
Put him down and tell your big boy to rise up and do his part if you want your marriage to work.
Don't keep on making excuses for your partner.
Doing so only delays your joy in marriage. Only Jesus' shoulders are strong enough to carry people, yours and mine are too weak to support a person's weight.
So throw the ball to your spouse and urge him to play ball with you-that way you will enjoy your marriage, not endure it.
#4. Marriage like ministry is empowered by God's grace.
Any minister who is trying to minister out of his own strength and resources will soon dry up.
It takes grace for a minister to deal with difficult characters and stubborn situations. It takes grace to keep on smiling and serving when your partner is being impossible over nothing or when the kids want to drive you crazy.
Without grace in a marriage or ministry forgiveness is impossible and joy is improbable. Without grace marriage becomes a heavy load and the atmosphere in the home is always tense.
Marriage like ministry is a grace-based industry.
Grace is both the fuel and oil of marriage. So to succeed in marriage (or is it ministry?) rely on God's unfailing grace not the gimmicks of man.
#5. Marriage like ministry requires total devotion.
Devotion simply means total and unchanging commitment.
A properly trained soldier who has an undying love for his country never deserts his post. He would rather die than flee. So it is with marriage. It saddens my heart to see many people leaving their marriages when their spouses are critically ill or when the going gets tough.
Marriage (like ministry) is not for cowards, it's for the committed.
Because of your unswerving devotion to your partner sit out the storms in your marriage and go through thick and thin together no matter what happens.
Without total devotion your marriage will always be tottering on the precipice of a deep dungeon.
#6. Marriage like ministry requires intensive training.
Serious ministers train for years in earnest preparation for ministry.
After the initial training is over, they continue to equip themselves with on-the-job training and refresher courses all in an effort to polish and perfect their craft.
Tragically the majority of people prepare for a wedding not for marriage.
As a result many marriages are collapsing because people are ill-equipped for it. A wedding is a one day drama but marriage is for a lifetime.
Train yourself in marriage matters.
Study good books on the subject, seek marriage mentors, and attend marriage seminars. Follow a great blog on the subject.
It's a shame that the church the originators of the institution of marriage has the same divorce rate with the world.
Worse still, we are seeking counsel from the world when in fact we should be teaching and training unbelievers how to love.
#7. Marriage like ministry has no retirement age.
In ministry there is no retirement, only repositioning.
So it is with marriage. We don't stop working in marriage. We just keep going until Jesus comes back or our spouse goes to be with the Lord.
Marriage is for life.
It's a life-long covenant not a seasonal contract.
As far as marriage is concerned, you don't retire my friend, you rebound.
So next time someone asks you if you are in the ministry, say with a naughty knowledgeable chuckle, "Yes of course."
Pastor QT is a published author, copywriter and speaker. His sincerity, wit and candid style have endeared him to many hearts. His book DELIVERANCE UNPACKED has been warmly received globally. He conducts spicy marriage and singles seminars with his feisty wife Bonani.
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