Gary Thomas wrote the book “Sacred Marriage” several years ago, and the subtitle is worth the price of the book, ”what if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy.”
I believe that my responsibility as a pastor given to me by God is to teach, preach, counsel, lead, and admonish people in my church so that they become holy, at least they are moving towards being like God in character. Paul declared that to be true of himself in Colossians 1:28-29 “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.”
So, if that is true of me as a Pastor, and it certainly was true of me as a parent, I believe it is also true of me as a husband. I have the responsibility given to me by God to be an influencer in Patty’s life so that because of me her growth into the image of God is accelerated. It certainly isn’t automatic, I have to work at it, pray about what I do, think, evaluate, and strategize my choices, words, and behavior so that I can have maximum influence in her life.
In the same way Patty is my coach, my pastor, my leader, and because of her influence in my life in a variety of ways my character and holiness level is way beyond what it would have been if It was just up to me.
Some Pastors don’t do a very good job shepherding their flock. Their preaching is boring, they are lazy, they don’t pray for the people in their church, and their example is poor. In the same way, some husbands and wives aren’t very effective in influencing godly life change and growth in their spouses.
A main reason is because they have not realized they are called by God for such a role. The purpose of marriage is to make us holy and righteous, and some do and many don’t. Think about how you can become more effective as a change agent in the life of your spouse, what works, what doesn’t. Because this is God’s purpose for marriage He will give us wisdom as we seek to become the world’s greatest spouse changer.
This last week I wrote about five qualities I was looking for in a potential wife. Those same five qualities are a main goal that I have as I seek to influence Patty in her growth spiritually and in character. I don’t nag, or lecture, or scold, but I do praise, suggest, pray, and model. Any time there is purpose in our living we become much more focused in what we do and say, and our influence increases substantially.