The Biblical Man
I tell you one of the greatest things to bring you together is doing ministry. This is one of the great secrets of the Christian life. If you and your wife open your home, practice hospitality, doing marriage mentoring couples, leading community gruops, serving others, opening your life, praying for people, doing the work of Jesus together it REALLY builds the marriage. You get to see your wife serving God. Your wife gets to see you serving God. Your kids get to see you serving God. And together as a family you're serving God. Nothing but good comes out of that.
This is an interesting generalization and Wenatchee The Hatchet was told of this teaching session by a few married guys who, about a decade later, have come to have very different sentiments about the substance of a lot of what was shared in "The Biblical Man". Wenatchee will have more to discuss about this teaching session anon, but it's worth pointing out that in spite of "Nothing but good comes out of that" there are a few passages from a 2006 Driscoll book that suggest other things were also capable of happening.
Hang on, this will take a bit.
Confessions of a Reformission Rev
Mark Driscoll, Zondervan 2006
CHAPTER FOUR 150-350 PEOPLE
During this season my wife, Grace, also started to experience a lot of serious medical problems. her job was very stressful, and between her long hours at the office and long hours at the church, her body started breaking down. I felt tremendousy convicted that I had sinned against my wife and had violated the spirit of 1 Timothy 5:8, which says that if a man does not provide for his family he has denied his faith and has acted in a manner worse than an unbeliever. I repented to Grace for my sin of not making enough money and having her shoulder any of the financial burden for our family. We did not yet have elders installed in the church but did have an advisory council in place, and I asked them for a small monthly stipend to help us make ends meet, and I supplemented our income with outside support and an occasional speaking engagement.
Shortly thereafter, Grace gave birth to our first child, my sweetie-pie Ashley. Up to this point Grace had continuously poured endless hours into the church. She taught a women's Bible study, mentored many young women, oversaw hospitality on Sundays, coordinated meals for new moms recovering from birth, and organized all of the bridal and baby showers. Grace's dad had planted a church before she was born and has remained there for more than forty years. Her heart for ministry and willingness to serve was amazing. But as our church grew, I felt I was losing my wife because we were both putting so many hours into the church that we were not connecting as a couple like we should have. I found myself getting bitter against her because she would spend her time caring for our child and caring for our church but was somewhat negligent of me. [emphasis added]
I explained to Grace that her primary ministry was to me, our child, and the management of our home and that I needed her to pull back from the church work to focus on what mattered most. She resisted a bit at first, but no one took care of me but her. And the best thing she could do for the church was to make sure that we had a good marriage and godly children as an example fo other people in the church to follow. It was the first time that I remember actually admitting my need for help to anyone. It was tough. But I feared that if we did not put our marriage and children above the demands of the church, we would end up with the ukewarm, distant marriage that so many pastors have because they treat their churches as mistresses that they are more passionate about than their brides.
Although I was frustrated with both my wife and church, I had to own the fact that they were both under my leadership and that I had obviously done a poor job of organizing things to function effectively. And since we did not yet have elders formally in place there was no one to stop me from implementing dumb ideas like the 9:00p.m. church service. So I decided to come to firmer convictions on church government and structure so that I could establish the founding framework for what our church leadership would look like.
CHAPTER FIVE, 350-1,000 PEOPLE
A friend in the church kindly allowed me to move into a large home he owned on a lease-to-own deal because I was too broke to qualify for anything but an outhouse. The seventy-year-old house had over three thousand square feet, seven bedrooms on three floors, and needed a ton of work because it had been neglected for many years as a rental home for college students. Grace and I and our daughter Ashley, three male renters who helped cover the mortgage, my study, and the church office all moved into the home. This put me on the job, literally, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, as the boundary between home and church was erased.
We ran the church out of my house for nearly two years, including leadership meetings and Bible studies for various groups on almost every night of the week. It was not uncommon to have over seventy people a week in our home. Grace got sucked right back into the church mess. She was a great host to our guests. But I started growing bitter toward her because I was again feeling neglected. [emphasis added]
That's just stuff from the 2006 book, mind you. There are a few other bits here and there such as ... some audio from 2007:
audio from August 24, 2007
I have made it very clear my wife's photo will not be on the website. My wife is not First Lady. My wife does not need to be at every event. I mean I love my wife. She's very She's very gifted. That's why I married her but, and I want my wife to serve in the church according to her giftings like other Christians but you're not getting a second free staff two-for-one deal on this hire. I have five little kids and my thing is that my wife stays home and raises our children and I think it is still difficult for my wife to understand how important she is to me. I need her more than I need anybody else. She sees the fact that I'm pretty ruggedly independent and pretty strong-willed and so she seems to, she got the impression because of my overcompensation of my insecurity that I was doing fine by myself. I've had to really clearly articulate to her, particularly in recent years, "I really need you. Like, I have to have you emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually present." I need to meet you. We need to tuck the kids in. We need to have couch time and I need to talk and I need [you] to hold me. I'm a high, I'm a very high-maintainence man, I've learned. [emphasis added] I need my wife emotionally because I don't get that from my ministry. My ministry is very emotionally draining. My wife, I need her to emotionally and spiritually and physically connected to me.
And so some people have asked, you know, "What does your wife do here at Mars Hill?" I said, "She makes sure I can still be the pastor." That's the most important job. Somebody else can play piano or answer the phone but nobody else can be my wife. I can delegate a lot of things. As soon as you delegate wife you have real trouble. You know there's verses on that all over the place. ...
So it seems at several points Mark Driscoll began to be bitter and resentful toward Grace precisely because she was throwing herself into so much ministry and/or parenting because Mark Driscoll began to feel ... neglected.
But, rest assured folks, "Nothing but good comes out of that."