Ministry & Marriage
Pastors can get into trouble over Marriage and Ministry. Which takes priority? Put your spouse first and you may be accused of not being dedicated to God's work. Put the ministry first and you may find yourself alone.
James Petty writes,
[Pastors] are often wiling to sacrifice everything, including their wives, to God, but it is for the purpose of securing God's blessing on their work. It is not a sacrifice out of a sense of God's mercy. It is not for God! It is a sacrifice in pursuit of a coveted Goal--the blessing of God on their ministry. (in Step by Step)
Everyone makes sacrifices for their job, but ministry is much more than that. It can be easy to "sanctify" being a workaholic when you serve in ministry. But be honest with yourself-- it's God's work. No amount of sleepless nights and endless meetings can make up for a ministry absent of the presence of the Holy Spirit. And no success in the church will make up for failure at home.
As a pastor my first ministry is to the Lord, then my wife and son, and then my church. I will have failed all if my marriage and fatherhood are a poor testimony to those to whom I minister.