Draw Me a Map that Leads Me Back to You: The Traps of Ministry

This is part three in a series entitled: "Draw Me a Map that Leads Me Back to You."  It is a series about a difficult season in my marriage and how my marriage was restored and strengthened to better than ever.

I've entitled part 3: The Traps of Ministry
As I mentioned in post 1, about the time my husband started a crisis of faith was the same time my individual ministry began to take off.  His crisis of faith was not unfounded; there were various stressful events within the extended family during this time.  I started getting involved in various types of ministry and it started to lead me farther and farther away from home.  At times, my husband would ask me not to go somewhere or do something and I would justify my refusal to follow his lead with thoughts like, "I don't have to listen to him because he is just jealous of God.  My first duty is to God."  I thought his leading was preventing me from doing all the things God wanted to do through me so I chose to rebel against the design of God but I tried to cushion my rebellion "in the name of God." At the time, the words: prideful, self-absorbed, self-righteous didn't dawn on me.

I didn't know how to translate all that was happening in my "God sphere" to him, and often times his questions and doubts would only aggravate me more and more.  After months and months of conflict we finally came to a long, tearful argument where I insisted we meet with a pastoral couple for advice.  I excitedly attended that meeting, hoping that they would convince my husband that God was indeed real and that he needed to suck it up and become a better husband.  Thankfully, God brought us to the right couple and their gracious and guiding words started us on a path to healing.

Their response to my husband's crisis of faith? He was right where he needed to be, in fact he was in a beautiful spot!  He was looking for genuine faith, not anything fake, and God could handle that.  I left their house very humbled and changed.  I don't know what else was said that night, but those words resounded so true in my heart that they began to change me and how I operated.  See before that my Christianity didn't provide room for doubt or questions.  I thought my husband needed to get his act together - on his own.  However, these words released him and I from the responsibility of "fixing his faith."  It instead made room for God to be God and for me to be his wife.  I began to accept and love my husband on the journey that he was on, and I began to appreciate the heart he had; a heart that only wanted what was genuine and true. I realized that my reactions of fear and anger had actually been rooted in a doubt that God had the ability to show himself as real, to my husband.  I have since realized, that God can meet anyone right where they are at.

I also realized that my ministry was actually causing pain and trouble in my marriage and so I made the choice to  step away from all ministry during that time.  I realized that I couldn't be in ministry if things were not right within my home. This was not an easy thing for me to do, ministry was how I was "measuring" my relationship with God and I no longer had a way to measure (this stepping away also did a healing in my relationship with God, that I didn't realize needed healing).  I realized I needed to invest in my marriage and in my husband as a person.  I needed to learn how to love him, right where he was at, without an expectation that he would ever change.  I had no guarantees that my stepping away, would lead to changes in him, and so I truly stepped away in complete surrender.  I asked God to teach me how to love and respect my husband and He was so faithful to teach me how. 
I realize now, how very fortunate I am that God was able to capture my reluctant heart and teach me that He could care less how many people were ministered to by me.  He had blessed me with an amazing man, amazing children and He wanted me to learn how to love Him and them well.  We have all seen or heard of people who have amazing ministries but then their marriages fall apart.  I have seen first hand how easily that could happen and I've tasted the lies that help lead down that path.  Please realize the importance of investing in your spouse, over "ministry" any day, everyday.

In Christ,

Photos courtesy Melanie Guest Photography


  1. Rjyoung1976April 24, 2012

    I would love to talk to you. I am going through what you did and I am so confused. How can my heart be so burdened to serve the Lord and Him blessing the ministry abundantly yet my husband feel so bitter about it all. If there is any way we can get incontact it would be such a blessing!!
    You can contact me at rjyoung1976@gmail.com

    1. Feel free to email me at forhisgloryalone@ymail.com.


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