I first learned from TC, and now also here (Peter, Joel, Daniel, and others) have also blogged about John Piper’s leave from ministry. That got my attention. My hat goes off to him because he is doing whatever it takes to strengthen his marriage. John Piper says that there’s no infidelity and that his marriage is “rock solid”, but he does confess that there is something in his relationship with his wife and children needs to be healed. Perhaps the feeling of love has gone? I suspect that there might be feelings of neglect toward his family in the past. He states:
But on the other hand, I see several species of pride in my soul that, while they may not rise to the level of disqualifying me for ministry, grieve me, and have taken a toll on my relationship with Noël and others who are dear to me. How do I apologize to you, not for a specific deed, but for ongoing character flaws, and their effects on everybody? I’ll say it now, and no doubt will say it again, I’m sorry. Since I don’t have just one deed to point to, I simply ask for a spirit of forgiveness; and I give you as much assurance as I can that I am not making peace, but war, with my own sins….
The other way that our marriage is not an island is that its strengths and defects have consequences for others. No one in the orbit of our family and friends remains unaffected by our flaws. My prayer is that this leave will prove to be healing from the inside of my soul, through Noël’s heart, and out to our children and their families, and beyond to anyone who may have been hurt by my failures. Full article here…
Now he’s working on building up his credit with his family. He needs these eight months to heal the hurts in his marriage and in his family. Piper has learned an important lesson about marriage: overwork can harm his marriage and family. Benny Hinn is learning it the hard way right now. Other ministers out there need to learn this too.
I like what John Piper is doing. He values his marriage more than his ministry. He doesn’t equate God with ministry. Putting his ministry aside does not mean he is putting God aside. The work of ministry is just like another job; it is not higher than other vocations. All forms of work are equal vocations in the eyes of God.