Monday, March 29, 2010

John Piper's marriage Sabbatical

John Piper announced yesterday that he will be taking a six month Sabbatical from his ministry in order to focus on his marriage. Dr. Piper writes,

In 30 years, I have never let go of the passion for public productivity. In this leave, I intend to let go of all of it. No book-writing. No sermon preparation or preaching. No blogging. No Twitter. No articles. No reports. No papers. And no speaking engagements.

That's great. I'm excited for him. I'm glad that he places such a significant emphasis on his marriage.

I have only two questions. First, isn't taking six months off to work on your marriage a little like taking six months to go on a crash diet? If you don't change your lifestyle you will just lose all the progress you gained in the six months. If Dr. Piper doesn't address the root issues here I have trouble believing six moths off is going to prove to be a long range solution.

Second, if the pastor of the church can't work on his own marriage without taking six months paid leave, how can he expect others in the congregation to have good marriages when they do not have the luxury of taking six months off of their jobs to work on their marriages?

Of course John Piper's marriage is none of my business, but John Piper is a very influential Christian leader and my concern is that other pastors and Christian leaders will lift Dr. Piper's example up as a model to follow. Maybe in John Piper's case it is the best course of action. I'm not sure it should be a model for others to follow.