By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS — January 7, 2016) — He is one of the most influential pastors, authors, and theologians in America. Recently he shocked an interviewer by revealing that he and his wife had deep struggles in their marriage, but corporate worship played a decisive role in changing John Piper’s attitude toward his wife.
“I think I’m still married because of corporate worship,” Piper told Pastor C.J. Mahaney and an audience of pastors at the 2016 Sovereign Grace Churches Pastors Conference held in late October.
“What do you mean by that?” a stunned Mahaney asked, momentarily taken aback. Mahaney leads a Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville.
“Noel and I would have periodic, real struggles, not communicating, hurting each other with our words, feeling hopeless that we could be happy,” Piper confessed. John and his wife, Noel, have been married since 1968, have five grown children and numerous grandchildren.
Undoubtedly, many at the conference had no idea about Piper’s marital struggles.
“I would go to church under those awful conditions and I’m supposed to preach,” Piper continued.
But when God inhabits the praise of His people, hearts soften and a renewed perspective emerges.
“In those moments of singing about His greatness and His mercy — the gospel — I would generally be melted and I would feel hope,” Piper told the other pastors.
As his spirit connected vertically with God, a shift took place in his mind. What an idiot, he thought to himself, that I would make so much out of that (situation with his wife).
“That would happen repeatedly in song, in corporate worship,” he told Mahaney. As God increased, Piper was humbled and renewed hope emerged. “God struck me down with hope. With hope he struck me down.”
Photo captions: 1) John Piper. 2) Mark Ellis.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), and also founder of www.GodReports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from around the world.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please also tell your friends and colleagues that they can receive a complimentary subscription to ANS by going to the above website and signing up there.