Consequences of Marriage Ministry
By Brad Aldrich of One Flesh Marriage
It might seem usual to encourage you to become a marriage blogger by talking about the consequences. Yet, everything positive has negative consequences. I have seeing several bloggers jump into marriage ministry without out preparing for the consequences and quickly burn out. In order to maintain an active growing vibrant ministry you will need to prepare for attacks and exposure.
As soon as you launch your marriage ministry you will attract attention. Much of it will be very positive. You will have friends and family who are thrilled to see what you are doing. You will also attract people who disagree with you. They may leave scathing comments, send you nasty emails, or even disparage you and your site on social media. These attacks can be emotional and discouraging for any blogger. Figuring out how to deal with them is an important part of preparing for your ministries launch. We will be talking about specifics ways to deal with outside attacks in a future article, “Spam, Hecklers, Flamers and Haters: How to deal with comments”
Attacks From Within
Running a marriage ministry is risky. Many marriage speakers will tell you that they had the worst fights with their spouse before speaking events. When you stand up to do proclaim marriage God’s way, you become dangerous. When you become dangerous, the enemy attacks. Ephesians 6:12 proclaims, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”(NLT)
As you launch an online marriage ministry prepare yourself and your marriage for attacks.
- Maintain good communication,
- Seek accountability,
- Balance the demands of time blogging with time together
- Pray together
- Recognize attacks for what they are and seek to give grace
- Remember the lessons you have learned, and
- Practice what you “preach” in your marriage!
One of the best remedies to deal with attacks of the enemy is to bring a group of people around you to pray for you, hold you accountable, and offer you support. This however, leads directly into another potential consequence. Feeling very exposed.
Marriage, the real stuff that goes on behind closed doors does not often get talked about in public settings. Online marriage ministry changes all of that. The light of day shines brightly on the good and the bad of your marriage. As you tell your story you will find a variety of reactions from your friends and family
You Said WHAT?
Many, but not all bloggers choose to share at least some about the importance of positive sexual intimacy in marriage. In sharing this you are breaking some social norms about not talking about the bedroom. All of the sudden many friends might look at you with different eyes (either envious or appalled). This has the potential to change some relationships.
Aren’t You Perfect!
On the other hand some friends and family feel resentment toward anyone who “flouts” that they have everything figured out. No matter how “real” you are about the struggles you have experienced some people will still resent the fact you are a marriage “expert”. This also has the potential to change some relationships.
Dealing with Exposure
Understanding the potential reactions will help you in preparing what to share and how to respond. It is perfectly appropriate to establish blogging boundaries, topics or issues that you are not willing or prepared to discuss. It is also very important that both you and your spouse are on the same page with your decisions. You might be perfectly happy to share your “dirty laundry” with the world, but if your spouse isn’t so sure, or is concerned about the consequences, then you need to listen. Remember your marriage comes first!
A Word about Anonymity
Several of CMBA’s members have decided to deal with these consequences by blogging anonymously. This has benefits and consequences to consider before making a decision. The benefits are obvious; you can avoid the sideways glances in the supermarket, and the whispered words in church. Being anonymous you can also speak “freer” about your past, or about sensitive topics. J from Hot Holy & Humorous had done this very well.
However, before you run off to decide your new blogging alias, there are consequences of anonymity as well. It will be much more difficult to grow your blog when you don’t have the immediate support of friends and family. These are usually the first people to join your page and help share your content. You are missing a huge amplification potential if you don’t tell them who you are. Also, anonymity can have future consequences that could impact your ministries future, making it difficult or impossible to share your content in other forums (speaking or authoring a book).
Don’t be discouraged, but do make sure you consider the consequences before you launch!