Marriage and Ministry|
Marriage can be a rewarding, blissful and fulfilling part of life. But, it can also be difficult, challenging and strained when ministry is incorporated if not properly balanced. When God calls a person to the ministry, He calls them to minister to His people without respect to gender. He invented both marriage and ministry and He knows that they are able to co-exist. The problem is people not incorporating His divine plan, not relying on His leading and not having balance. As women, many perceive the balancing of marriage and ministry to be an expected duty that should always succeed. Its failure or success is solely viewed as the woman’s responsibility and should failure occur, it is perceived that the reason is because the woman was out of place. Women, in particular, are expected to maintain overwhelming responsibilities and often, forced to choose between being a homemaker or God’s chosen minister. Many married women in ministry are labeled as someone who has forsaken her God-given duty to stay home, raise a family and tend to her husband’s every desire. They are viewed as being too aggressive when they are in ministry or leadership roles and are even branded as a woman who contradicts biblical teaching. There are several conflicting perceptions and understandings about women in ministry, particular married ones. Yet, God calls married women to feed His people with His love and His Word. Ministry and marriage hold great challenges but, they can be successfully productive and flourishing with the right ingredients. They both require much prayer, prioritizing and a unified mission to fulfill God’s calling. And it requires balancing and blending of both roles.
God has called many women to fulfill His will through ministry. Although, there are many challenges, there are many rewards for bidding His will. Yet, married women are stereotyped as home care-givers only and are expected to maintain and fulfill the role of the housewife and a minister, and caregiver of their husbands and children rather than be involved with ministry outside of the home. It can be a very controversial subject among women and men. Some believe women have a right to work in the ministry and that the spouse is to share the load of maintaining the home. While others take the stance that ministry should be left to the husband and women should learn at home. This conflicting view has caused many marriages to end in turmoil and divorce. They never learn the art of balancing marriage and ministry. As Jeanna Floyd, author of 10 things Every Minister’s Wife Should Know, stated, “Balancing time, family, and church will always be a tension in ministry life”. (Floyd, 2010) (p. 69). Marriage requires much work. And ministry demands much dedication and time as well. Combining the two can be very difficult and draining. Yet, through appropriate balancing and God’s help, uniting marriage and ministry can be successfully achieved. “Marriage and ministry can peacefully co-exist if we devote equal or enough time to both and do not neglect one for the other”. (Markland, 2009) (p. 83). This paper will address some issues that many women are confronted with in ministry, God’s requirements for women in the ministry and how balancing marriage and ministry can be obtained. Issues Women Ministers Face
For many, in our culture, when a woman has an interest, seeks to partake of the ministry or declares to have been called to the ministry, she is perceived to be out of order. Women in ministry can be a very controversial and complicated subject. “This topic is broad and complicated enough that sincere people disagree sharply even when they share similar mind-sets.”. (Doriani, Women in Ministry, 2003) (p. 15) Subsequently, women in ministry face many challenges. And the traditional teaching in our culture has...