(Thursday, Jan 24, 2013) Our Pastor’s Conferences focus on the theme “What God Expects.” We apply that to pastoring and to marriage. The two are woven together and complement each other quite nicely. Spiritual Warfare teaching and prayer always concludes the day, having victory over what would keep us from doing what God expects in these areas. It’s pretty obvious that covering what God expects of pastors would be essential as basic material for pastors with no training. And why I always go over spiritual warfare is obvious as well. But some may wonder why, of all the things untrained pastors need to know, do I put such a high emphasis on what God expects of husbands and wives. Mainly, God has put that deeply in my heart and Pastor Moses’ as well. Let me try to explain why.
God makes it clear that being a good husband is more important to Him than being a good pastor. In fact, if a man isn’t a good husband he shouldn’t even be a pastor (1 Timothy 3:4-5). If a husband-wife relationship isn’t what it should be we can’t grow spiritually (1 Peter 3:7). God’s chosen way of showing the world His love for us, the Bride of Christ, is through marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33; I Peter 3:1-7).
A godly marriage is our greatest witness to the world – a husband reflecting Jesus’ unconditional, sacrificial love for the church and her loving, trusting submission in faith to Him. That is especially needed in India where women are poorly as anywhere in the world. Pastors’ families must reflect the difference Jesus makes to the world around them, to other Christians and to their own children.
Satan works hard to defeat the pastors in India, and attacking their marriage is one of his most successful tactics. He first used it in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) where Eve was used to mislead Adam. Pastors need peace and support in their families. Encouragement and prayer at home is essential to face all they face in ministry.
The testimonies of those who attend bear this out. The material about pastoring and spiritual warfare is recognized as essential and ministry changing, but it is always the training about marriage that they say will change their life. Testimony after testimony says they never heard this teaching before but they see in the Bible it is true and want to lives their lives in this way. It is what is most commented on long after the conferences and the reason they want me to come back and hold other conferences for other pastors in their area. It fills a great need they didn’t even realize they had. It will change their marriages, lives, churches and help them grow spiritually in ways nothing else can.
Perhaps this shows, too, why we feel a small book on marriage is so essential. It will follow up on what is taught, add more details in information, be something pastors will use for sermons be something that can be given to those who weren’t at the conferences. There is nothing like it in Telugu speaking India. Praise God for the opportunity he has given us of being pioneers in this much needed area. We’ll also have video and audio copies of this session available on line as well as for free distribution in India.
God instituted marriage before sin even entered, long before He instituted the church. The church can only be as strong as its families. May God help the pastors in India lead the way to stronger churches through stronger families.
Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. … 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Is your marriage a good reflection of Christ and the church? Even if imperfect, is it moving in the right direction, more godly than it was last year? Is it your top priority or are you letting it drift? What can YOU do TODAY to help your marriage better reflect Jesus and His love for us?