Is there a connection between marketplace success and marriage?
In 1999 my wife and I were having dinner with Paul Cox, Rich Marshall and their wives. We were discussing Rich Marshall's new book, God @ Work as well the marketplace in general. The issues centered on how Marketplace Christians were not truly impacting the marketplace effectively. Just as the bill arrived, Paul told us, "An Angel has just joined us at the table." I looked around and didn't see an angel, but Paul insisted the angel was a messenger and he had a word for us about the marketplace. Paul told us that one of us had to hear the word before we left. Now, that's pressure!
As we sat quietly I had a thought pass through my mind. A few minutes later it passed through my mind again. I turned to Paul and said, "Paul, I think I may have heard something and this is what I believe I heard; "The businessman's ministry in the marketplace will only advance to the extent his marriage permits."
Paul quickly agreed that was the word we needed to hear and we left the restaurant. I must admit I had no idea what it meant but it seemed right. This word has led me to a new understanding regarding our work and our marriage. All of my life I was convinced that the job I held was fully my responsibility and I should not bother my wife with the work issues, especially when problems arose. Besides, she had no education or experience in the business world. How could she ever help me with my business issues? I don't think I'm alone in this. This type of thinking has existed for generations.
As I pondered this new word, God began to layout the understanding of this short sentence in the form of a book. He clearly showed me a few things that were revolutionary for me and I'm learning quickly it was not just for me. The majority of Christian marriages are as dysfunctional in this area as mine was.
Today, the enemy is still doing his thing with respect to marriages. The divorce rate among Christians mirrors that of the lost and it's getting worse. We are still working hard because we have not brought restoration to the marketplace and we can't bring full restoration until we bring restoration to our marriages. The two go hand in hand. They are not mutually exclusive, as we have been taught.
So, what can be done? We must see our marriages transformed into biblical marriages. What does that mean? It means we must live out our callings as husbands and wives in our marriage before we can see the marketplace totally transformed. 1 Peter 3:7 says; that unless we consider our wives in a certain manner our prayers will be hidden. If we are praying for the marketplace to be transformed we must realize that we will be limited in our success based on the condition of our marriage. What do I mean?
For now let's focus on the wife's role. The wife's role is not submitter. Her role is, Helpmate. In ancient Hebrew it means, "The Revealer of the Enemy." Every woman ever born has this gift, but it doesn't get fully released until she knows Christ as her Lord and Savior and she is married. Often times Christian wives know, even if they cannot express what they know effectively or clearly, what the enemy is up in your work.
A friend of mine is a COO of a major firm and he was having difficulty with an employee. He was telling his wife about the situation and she said, "You have to write it down for him since he doesn't deal well with verbal communication." When he asked her why she felt this way, she said, "I don't know." Not good support for her suggestion, is it? But, my friend did what she said and the problem was resolved.
Where did she get that thought? She didn't know the man. The Spirit spoke to her. That's right! The Holy Spirit revealed the solution to her.
Sound strange or crazy? It's not. God has given you your wife as a helpmate and she needs to be involved in the issues that come up at work. Another man told me that once he began to tell his wife about issues at the office she began to speak into them in amazing ways that neither could understand. They finally admitted it had to be the Holy Spirit speaking to her so she could help her mate. She was living her calling as helpmate by revealing what the enemy was up to.
Here's the key. You are partners in life and God has made the wife and husband differently so we would need one another. If you want to see your work become more successful and your marketplace transformed, you need to include your wife in the issues at work that are unresolved or causing problems. If you do you will see the beginnings of transformation in your marriage and your work. A caveat! Will she always be able to have the answer? Most likely not, but that's OK. There are times when a wife says, I don't know and it's because she lacks information. Discernment on both of your parts is critical.
Jack is working with couples in 13 nations to see their marriages transformed so we can see the marketplace fully transformed. He has created a fourteen-week study known as, The M&M Process. There is a definite spiritual connection between your marriage and the your job.
Marketplace, Marriage & Revival: The Spiritual Connection
The M&M Connection
Visit Faith and Work resources.com link to the right side of this page for resources by Jack Sierra.