My burden for someone else’s marriage- the joy and challenge of church work

What are your sufferings? We all have them.
Even when life is going well, we look around us and there is cancer, disintegration of morality, addictions, false gods and other lies, hurtful words and broken relationships.
The church work family bears these burdens and suffering in a unique way. We have our own sufferings, we bring them to Christ to help us carry the load, and we wonder why life just seems so heavy so much of the time. We forget that often we are bearing the sufferings of those in our care. There are burdens on our heart for someone’s marriage that needs healing, or the member going through treatment; the suffering of the family who has had a miscarriage or the widow living alone. They are wide and varied in our work and in our congregations. And then there is the big one- there is people who do not know Jesus and so little time, who will tell them, how will we tell them? We suffer with the weight of the world on human shoulders frail and weak.
Paul gives us words of encouragement here, as if to say, “Imagine what Christ has in store!” God has a place prepared for us with no more tears, no more sorrow. There is singing and praising all the day around a throne and King worthy of every praise. His glory is so bright and magnificent that the sun is not necessary for light.
God also offers us glimpses of this glory revealed in His Kingdom work here on Earth. We see healing in sickness and hope in sorrow. We get to be messengers of His peace and joy and all the bounty that He offers us in Christ Jesus. We see children grow and faith blossom. We share Jesus over coffee and pray with people as good as strangers, who suddenly become family.
His work is hard and a struggle, a wrestling match between God and world, but His glory- Wow. His glory being revealed and to be revealed- oh, how worth it.


Looking for Life in ministry and marriage

 Life.

What a great word. Let it seep in. Life. It is in our homes. Life is in our marriages. Life is in our congregations and institutions we serve.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded that there is Life. So much of the time we feel tired, we feel drained from ministry and the daily-ness of keeping a household running smoothly, whether with two people in it or 20. We understand that it’s not really about our feelings, we know Truth and stand on it.
But feeling drained and lost and dead can translate to burnout in ministry and marriage. So we need to address it.

But…just when we feel like we’re at the end of our rope, we’re drained, and dead on our feet, we can’t serve one more person and certainly that person can’t be our spouse, God sends us His Word. God breathes the breathe of life
into us. This same God breathes the breathe of life into our marriage and our families and our ministry.  

God is Life. And that God is in us. Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the Life.” (John 11:25) This promise is for us and for our children. 

Look around your home- where do you see Life? 
Look around your church- where do you see Life? 
It’s there. Thank Him for being Life in us and through us each day. 

Devotions and the clergy marriage

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…
Colossians 3:16

I read a study* of over a thousand clergy, only 26% of who reported having a private devotional time in the course of the day.

This led me to wonder how many clergy couples are in the Word together each day. I couldn’t find any studies on this, maybe there are some, but let’s bring it down to the individual level. My husband and I have an on-again-off-again relationship with couple’s devotions. As James writes on another topic…brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Is it any wonder that there is no difference in the trend of divorce among clergy than there is in the laity?

I want my marriage to be more. Many of us want to uphold what marriage should look like, as a representation of Christ and His Beloved Bride, the Church, to the best of our ability. We often fall short. We experience falling short as a couple, in our Christian walk, not just as individuals.

That can weigh heavy too.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband, He loves me. We pray together, we worship together (sort of), and we have deep and meaningful theological conversations. But there’s plenty of our marriage that reflects our sin, and mostly our sins of omission. Omitting time together, omitting His word together, omitting compassion for one another.

So, this Lent, we’re going to spend a little extra time doing inserting something, instead of omitting something- intentionally. We’ll set a time to remember grace where we fall short; time to reflect on Christ’s grace in our home; picturing His grace filling our marriage up.

Join us!

Get your spouse and a cup of coffee or a piece of chocolate and dive in.

Our lent devotions will meander slowly through Romans 8, one verse at a time for 40 days. These devotions can take 5 minutes or 30 minutes of your time, depending on the discussion you create while reflecting.

Get the link to the PDF of the devotions at this link!

*http://www.intothyword.org/apps/articles/?articleid=36562