The recent developments concerning evangelist Benny Hinn and his wife Suzanne has got me thinking. My earlier post concerning this situation called for a bit of honesty from Hinn. I am truly praying that God would restore his marriage and that this situation would end happily, but I’m not too sure that will take place.
Benny Hinn released a statement on Thursday concerning the situation. I thought it was somewhat honest, providing that it’s not being spun in his favor. But something about his statement concerned me, and that was the portion in which he explained that he would not be taking a break from his crusades amidst this crisis.
I want you, as my partner in this ministry, to know that I am going to continue preaching the Gospel and praying for the sick as I have for 36 years. I will not allow anything to slow me down or stop me. – Benny Hinn
My concern is simply this; how can you work on your marriage while continuing a grueling ministry schedule? How can someone continue ministry while ignoring a major crisis going on between them and their spouse?
I’m not calling for Benny Hinn to quit the ministry. I hope that when this situation is properly handled and hearts are strong again he will go back to being Benny Hinn. But why not go through this process with the utmost availability to your children and your spouse? Does the world really need Hinn more than his sons and daughters need him right now?
Frankly, I’m not buying the idea that ministry comes before spouse. The marriage covenant binds two people together, making them one person (Mark 10:6-8). If there is a call to do something for Jesus it also involves the person you committed your life to in holy matrimony. Because the two shall become one. It is simply not ok to deem your ministry as more important than your spouse.
Consider what the married Apostle Peter said about marital discord being a hindrance to prayer.
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7)
He literally meant that when you and your spouse deal with each other in disrespect or discord your prayers are indeed hindered. Prayers are stopped up or blocked by hard-hearted stubbornness.
The ministry of a man or woman to their spouse will always be their primary ministry. I’m going to argue that there is no significant ministry that can take place in your life while you ignore or simply blame your spouse for failure. Healing must take place for the stamp of God’s approval to be placed on the heart of a minister of the gospel.
Again, I’m not bashing Benny Hinn or calling for him to quit the ministry. There probably is significant loss that would take place if he stepped down for any period of time. But am I wrong to think that trying to stay married is worth the break? Maybe even a loss of monetary gains?
Can anybody really expect to be used mightily for God while ignoring or neglecting their spouse? From my perspective, absolutely not.