Today I want to invest in your marriage by giving you an opportunity to learn from some of my mistakes. I have almost thirty years of marriage malpractice we can draw from, but for sake of your time and my ego, I’ll stick to just three stupid lines I have used on my wife.
“I am sorry, but…”
Dude – stop at “sorry.” If you use the word “but,” you may have not only cancelled out the apology, but also have virtually guaranteed another round in the ring. Don’t ever use the word again, unless you are leaning into the apology for clarification instead of minimizing it with excuses.
“I can listen to you and watch TV at the same time”
Of course this applies to any vain attempts at multi-tasking, not just TV. Ministry marriages can absorb only so many “urgent” interruptions at home before resentment raises its ugly head.
I genuinely believed that I could multi-task successfully when we were first married, which was way before social media. She never bought it. In a nutshell: unless you are looking at her, you are not listening to her. And her perception will be your reality.
When you get home, put the Bride of Christ on airplane mode for at least an hour and give your wife your undivided attention.
“The one who gives an answer before he listens – this is foolishness and disgrace for him” (Proverbs 18:13).
“This is an investment, not an expense”
I spend a lot of time and money on hunting stuff. ALOT. To be honest, I spend a disproportionate amount to what she spends on backpacking or shopping. That used to bring unwanted tension into our marriage (preacher-spin for arguments).
I know I am not alone.
Our solution was to create a spending plan that we both felt good about. We also started working closer together on calendaring for both our lives and ministry, which led to less surprises and conflict. The longer we are married, the more unselfish we have both become about our time and money.
Healthy Pastors + Healthy Marriages = Healthy Churches
I hope you will learn from my stupid lines and make a few less mistakes than I have since Janet and I tied the knot in 1988. If you are not married, I hope some of this will help your dating life and prepare you for future marital bliss.
The key to a healthy church is a healthy pastor. The key to a healthy pastor is a healthy marriage. I hope you learned something from my mistakes. Please share something you learned the hard way at home in the comments section of this blog.
This blog was originally posted markdance.net
Published April 1, 2017