Priorities For Christian Living

Q. As long as I have been a Christian (42 years), I have been taught that our priorities, as Christ-followers, are: our personal relationship with God, through Christ; our husband/wife family; our job; the rest of our life/relationships, etc. Do you agree with that? If so, do you believe it is different for those called to ministry, such as pastors, elders, missionaries? That their calling fits between God and their family? That they should put ministry before husband/wife? I personally have seen several marriages break up because of this belief. Are there scriptures to support this?

A. I agree with your prioritization, even for pastors. I am aware of cases where the Lord has called people to temporary assignments that took them away from family, but I don’t believe it is ever His intention to break up a marriage He has blessed over a religious calling. If it was, then the Bible would include this as a legitimate reason for divorce.

As it is in most work related divorce cases, whether secular or religious, break ups come because one partner receives greater validation from work than from the relationship and therefore spends more time and energy there. As a result the other partner often feels like they’ve been left behind, or even left out. A marriage requires constant attention to thrive. When career demands are also high, maintaining a balance requires greater effort.

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