Pastorpedia – Help for a Pastor to Keep Joy, Growth, and Delight in His Marriage


cenational.org/pastorpedia

Vol. 3, Issue 3

Produced by CE National

Pastors Knute Larson, Jeff Bogue, and Jim Brown talk about how a pastor can keep joy, growth, and delight in their marriage and family.
Those people right next to you!
This one is about family, and it’s about time.
We all would say they are the most important people in our church, but others vie for that position all the time.
And the others often capture too much of our thought life or our time.
So here we talk about some of the little things we can do to keep joy and growth and delight in our marriage all the time.
See what you think.
And see if you have time!
Knute, with Jeff and Jim
Download the PDF version or scroll down to read.
Watch video

What keeps your marriage fresh and strong?
Jeff Bogue

  • Go on dates without the kids.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate!
    • Actually download each others’ days, and make sure your spouse is in the loop of your joys, fears, frustrations and victories.
      • Be sure you can do this at a time, and in an environment, where it’s uninterrupted—even if it’s 15 minutes a day.
  • Have a joint passion in addition to our Lord and the church.
    • A time both of you can look forward to and enjoy together, then debrief about it. This could be a special ministry, a hobby or even exercise.
  • Have a yearly getaway.
    • A night, a weekend, or longer if possible.
    • A time for the two of you to work on your marriage; making sure it’s healthy. This is the best gift you can give your children and your church.

Jim Brown

  • Pray daily with my wife, not just for Start each day off in prayer with her.
  • Schedule regular times to just talk at the end of each day.
  • Pour into each others’ love language.
  • Allow spontaneity to be active.
  • Get times away together.
  • Share common interests.
  • Guard your day off.
  • Forgive each other and extend grace often.
  • Never stop pursuing her and encouraging her.
  • Stay fit physically, spiritually, emotionally and intellectually.
  • Keep turning up new areas that need help.

Knute Larson
I write from memories when active pastoring. Coaching pastors and Sunday preaching are easier.

  • The personal resolution and commitment that this is the better way to live. No happy marriage, no happy much else!
  • Time together. Howard Hendricks used to smile and propose, “A hunk of time every day, a hunk of time every week, and a hunk of time away every month or two.”
  • “Master schedule”—you knew I would bring it up! Plan your master week with times for wife and kids, and hold to it except for emergencies.
  • Learning and speaking each other’s love language.

What are your most challenging issues?
Jeff Bogue

  • Protecting our time.
    • Making sure your family is getting a consistent time together.
  • Living in a fishbowl.
    • Your family is always on display.
    • Social media has made that even more intense over the last few years, so process that with your spouse and children.
  • Discipleship in general.
    • I really believe that one of the hard things about being a ministry family is helping your children discern between what they do for the love of Christ and what they do because our family is a ministry family. I always find those are razor-edges that we have to walk.
    • I want my children and family to serve the way we serve because we love Jesus and we love people.

Jim Brown

  • Living under the microscope of others. Dealing with the “glass house syndrome.”
  • Making sure you are a dad first and that you give them the love and nourishment they deserve.
  • I personally feel like if I have failed as a father I have failed as a pastor.
  • Making sure it is their faith not your faith.
  • I must make sure I elevate real life issues over church issues. They don’t have to be pulled into the business of the church.
  • Making sure we find ways to pull away and refresh, away from the people of the church, a place where no one knows us.

Knute Larson

  • My small-messianic complex. It comes at birth, and makes you think you should and can solve most everything, including others’ problems. Okay, medium complex.
  • Schedule, requests, time issues.
  • The public respect and admiration that sometimes skips your wife and gives your wife the impression that you are all that matters.
  • Helping your own children with healthy freedoms and some unthoughtful expectations or comments of a few church people.
  • Refraining from believing your own “press releases,” as they say, or comments from church groupies. Or expecting the same responses at home.

Any other suggestions?
Jeff Bogue

  • Draw boundaries and keep them.
    • My wife, Heidi, has never asked me for a certain schedule, but she has asked me for certain boundaries. I try to set those and keep those for her and the kids.
  • Protect your family…especially from the “pastor kid” pressures.
    • If you find someone putting that pressure on your kids, you should push back, and you should intervene and make sure that your kids are allowed to succeed and fail just like other kids are. It’s not their fault what their daddy does for a living!

Jim Brown

  • Work hard at not putting extra pressure on your child to be someone that God has not made them to be.
  • Be their dad and be in the picture of their lives in each season.
  • Find out their own personal love language and pour that into their lives daily.
  • Make your home a place of refuge. My wife does this in an incredible way.
  • Fill the walls of your home with laughter.
  • Stay fit so you can do life with your kids and wife.
  • Get away and do weekend and week vacations with them.
  • Make prayer with them a staple of your relationships.
  • Get to know their friends and love them too.
  • Don’t bring them into the conversations about hard stuff at church.
  • Laugh and smile more!
  • Tell them often you are proud of them and love them.

Knute Larson

  • Enjoy what some call the glass house. We get to model how to treat our families, and how families treat servers in restaurants and how church leaders treat people and guests.
  • Take all your vacation time, and not to go to national conferences.
  • Never turn down a raise. It hurts your wife more than you.
  • Be careful about references to your family when you speak. It works when kids are two years old, but not….
  • Speak highly of your wife. Stand beside her for a while at receptions and socials. Honor her with gifts. Thank her regularly.

Pastorpedia is produced monthly by three experienced pastors: Jeff Bogue, of Grace Church, in several locations in the Bath-Norton-Medina areas of Ohio; Jim Brown, of Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana, a church known for its strong growth, family and men’s ministries, and community response teams; and Knute Larson, a coach of pastors, who previously led The Chapel in Akron for 26 years. Pastorpedia is brought to you by CE National. Visit cenational.org/pastorpedia for more issues and to read the bios of our contributors.

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