Somewhere in the mix of ministry can be the nagging sense that “the mission, the mandate, the calling” of the spouse is separate from what we ourselves signed up for. Unfortunately, ministry couples lose sight of that sweet, original moment when they “knew…knew…knew” in their hearts that God’s Will for them was embarking on the strange, dangerous, and joyous adventure of ministry.
At first the mission is exactly what ministry teams desire. Even though things can be tough there is a common bond of oneness that makes all the effort worthwhile.
Somewhere along the way, the fresh water that flowed out of the work becomes murky, muddy, ugly. Too many people are involved, too many overwhelming tasks, too much to do, too little time, too many demands…It’s all just too overwhelming to enjoy the journey anymore.
It’s at this stage of ministry that the enemy loves to plant the seed of deception. If one spouse can “realize” that this commitment wasn’t their own personal one, then the wedge gets in and the cracks start to form. The moment when the couple as a team decided to “do this” gets lost in the shuffle. She starts believing…”this was your idea, not mine!”
The next train coming down the thought track is, “I’m done.” We go from “this is your baby,” to “you may be in, but I’m out.” This place of hardened heart is not only the demise I see in long-term marriages, but also in long-term ministries.
Moving into a new season from this place is very difficult, but it is also worth it. God is doing a “new thing” and birth is always painful. If couples and ministry couples can make it past this dangerous curve in the road they will be well on their way to finishing strong.