Pastor John Piper Reveals 'Struggles' With His Wife and How Corporate Worship Saved Their Marriage

Pastor John Piper (right) is interviewed by fellow Pastor C.J. Mahaney at the 2016 Sovereign Grace Churches Pastors Conference held in late October 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.(Sovereign Grace)

Before he admitted it, no one had any inkling that Pastor John Piper—one of the most influential pastors, authors, and theologians in America—had a troubled married life.

But he did, and revealing it for the first time in public stunned his interviewer, fellow Pastor C.J. Mahaney, and an audience of pastors at the 2016 Sovereign Grace Churches Pastors Conference held in late October in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Piper is the founder and teacher of Desiring God and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of more than 50 books.

John and his wife, Noel have been married since 1968, have four married sons and a daughter and a growing number of grandchildren.

During his talk with Mahaney, Piper disclosed that he and his wife had deep struggles in their marriage—but that was history.

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He likewise revealed that corporate worship played a key role in changing his attitude toward his wife, according to God Reports.

"I think I'm still married because of corporate worship," Piper said.

"What do you mean by that?" a surprised Mahaney asked.

"Noel and I would have periodic, real struggles, not communicating, hurting each other with our words, feeling hopeless that we could be happy," Piper admitted.

He said this posed quite a dilemma. "I would go to church under those awful conditions and I'm supposed to preach," he said.

But all this change when his "spirit connected vertically with God," causing a sudden shift in his mind.

"What an idiot," he thought to himself, "that I would make so much out of that [situation with his wife]."

As he worshipped, Piper said the power of the Gospel brought real change in him.

"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 audience.

"God struck me down with hope. With hope he struck me down," he underscored.

Piper then hailed corporate worship, calling it "one of the best remedies for our sin-sick souls."

"Every Sunday morning is an opportunity for God to revive you from the week's stupor. As you proclaim his goodness and mercy with dear brothers and sisters, God will melt your heart again.

"He will strike down your pride with the gospel, but he won't leave you down. In his mercy, he'll pick you up and give you strength for the week ahead," he said.

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