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Why Marriage Matters

Three Reasons Why A Healthy Marriage is Vital to Your Ministry’s Health

“Our culture says that feelings of love are the basis for actions of love. And of course that can be true. But it is truer to say that actions of love can lead consistently to feelings of love. Love between two people must not, in the end, be identified simply with emotion  or  merely with dutiful action. Married love is a symbiotic, complex mixture of both. Having said this, it is important to observe that of the two emotion and action it is the latter that we have the most control over. It is the action of love that we can promise to maintain every day.”

Tim Keller (source)

I love this quote by Tim Keller, and the ramifications of the truth in what he says.   The context of this quote is about the differences of   feeling in love vs. acting like you are in love ; and he is saying that it doesn t always matter how one feels.   The only thing you can control is your actions.  That doesn’t sound very romantic, but it’s reality for all of us attempting to love one person for decades.

As a minister to children, students, and families it is never more important that in this moment in time for us to have healthy, happy, and fruitful marriages.   Having a healthy marriage is vital to your own ministry health.   Why?

It s Foundational.   You have to stop separating marriage ministry from a successful family ministry.   They go hand-in-hand, and the fruit of one will always begat fruit in the other.   If we make our marriages a priority as ministry leaders, then we are building a strong foundation for us to be better leaders of our own families and better ministers to the families we serve.

It s Empowering.   It s a known fact that love is a powerful motivator.   When our marriages are healthy, we can use that love, support, and encouragement of a committed spouse to empower us to do the things we would never be able to do on our own.

It s Missional.  Healthy marriages are desperately needed in a hurting world.   Do you want to be salt and light in a hurting world?   Then take time to invest in a healthy marriage.   It s becoming more and more rare to see two people in a committed relationship that respect each other openly, share burdens together, and live out their days as a witness of God s working power in their relationships.

Take the time to let your marriage be a foundational, empowering, and missional part of your ministry.   When we take the steps towards a healthy marriage relationship, we will see the story of our ministry grow richer and deeper with every passing day, week, month, and year.


Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.