Well, I got through Sunday's sermon in our Love Series - the Truth About Love, Loving Your Spouse. While Ephesians 5:1-2 & 21 was read during the service, I chose Philippians 2:1-11 that I chose as my text. The opening was a little rough, but it's amazing how things can come together at the right moment - and I think that was the end. Here's a rough summary of my final paragraph:
Donald Trump once said about his second marriage, that he knew it was over because it became too much work. But the truth about love, the truth about loving our spouse and about loving the other, is that love IS costly. And it will either cost us ourselves and our desires, or it will cost us our connection with the thing we profess to love. God knew this and thankfully, God was unwilling that his connection with humanity would be lost, and so he was willing to pay the ultimate price for love - God paid with himself, in Jesus Christ, he laid himself down for us..."
Following this sermon, I had the opportunity to facilitate a class on marriage at church - based on the book Your Time-Starved Marriage. And I was reminded of the tendency of some of us to give our best out there and leave leftovers at home, for our spouses. This is particularly a tendency I've heard/seen in ministry. Pastor's spend all their time and energy tending to the "needs" of their "flock" and leave little or nothing for their family. I read an article about a retired minister lamenting this just today.
For me, it's now been nearly 16 months since I began ministry here in Ohio - my first ordained call. And I think it's the perfect time to revisit a comment I had many years ago - "I'd rather be considered a failure as a pastor than a failure as a husband and father." This is especially important because in the last 16 months, I think I've had many more compliments on what I've done @ the church, than what I've done in my home & for my wife. Which means I probably need to leave a little less in that pulpit and lay a little more of it down for Bridgette...