As a leader in fatherhood and family ministry, are practicing what you’re preaching? You and I must continually be on guard, seeking to build a healthy life by loving our families well and being strong spouses in marriage.
Our ministries as leaders will follow—for good or ill—how faithful we are with what God has given us with our spouses and families. Here are 3 foundation builders for a healthy marriage and family.
3 Foundation Builders for a Healthy Marriage and Family
#1 Pray Together
Research shows that couples who pray together have the happiest marriages. If you want to have a happy marriage, pray together. I’m not talking about three or four hours of praying. I’m simply talking about 3 to 5 minutes. When we pray, God brings us together in a way that only He can.
#2 Read God’s Word Together
When we read the Word of God together, we develop spiritual intimacy. We get to know each other better. This intimacy covers everything we do. It overrides our communication and how we treat each other. Trust me, everything will improve if you read Scripture together.
#3 Be a Pleasure to be Married to
I often speak for FamilyLife conferences. One weekend, I was leading with two other couples, and my wife wasn’t at this particular event, so I was the “odd man out.” Since my wife wasn’t with me, I was scheduled to speak four times on Saturday. As much as I enjoy speaking, it can also be draining.
I was tired, and I told one of the other couples sitting at the table with me, “I have to go get psyched for my last talk.” Her husband heard me and immediately went and did the next talk for me.
I looked over at his wife and said, “I can’t believe he did that.” Her response was, “He’s a pleasure to be married to.” Her words about her husband kept running through my brain. The rest of the weekend, I kept wondering if my wife, Brenda, could or would say the same thing about me.
Would Brenda say I’m a pleasure to be married to? It was on my mind so much, once Brenda picked me up from the airport after the event, I asked her, “Do you think I’m a pleasure to be married to?” She looked at me, smiled, and said, “You’re all right.”
One More Idea
If and when I ever get down or don’t feel like serving, I tell myself, “I’m doing this because I love my wife.” You should know, when I finally met Brenda, I was praying to get married. I had spent years looking for her. God gave me this beautiful woman. But there was a time, after being married almost 20 years, I would find myself talking to my wife in a way that didn’t honor her. No, I wasn’t using profanity or calling her names, but I was talking to her in a way I would never have talked to her when we were dating or in those early years of marriage.
God convicted me. It was as if God told me, “Your wife is my gift to you. The gift you prayed for all those years. I’ve given her to you and you’re mistreating my gift.” God basically told me, “How you treat Brenda is a reflection of how you love Me.” Or “How you love Brenda is a reflection of how you’re worshipping Me.”
As leaders, I think we easily can get so involved in the ministry that we forget what’s most important—our personal relationship with God. As a husband, God has given you the gift of a wife. How you treat your gift from God will either qualify—or disqualify—you.