Category Archives: Marriage

Tweet This. – Part 4

Lisa YoungMinistry is an awesome privilege. The opportunities that God puts in front of us will change other people and even change us. We get to see people walk out of situations of bondage to a place of wholehearted freedom. We get to experience the presence of God in a huge way when we walk someone through a difficult circumstance and have no idea where our words came from. We get to see life change. We get to.

But we also walk through murky waters with families when they lose a child prematurely. We experience losses in relationships that we wish we didn’t have to. We sometimes feel “hated” by those who are in our churches. Sometimes we feel let down by our husbands when they have to change plans again because someone in the church needs them. And these kinds of things can make us bitter and even feel like a victim.

Some stats circulating the inter webs out there say that a large number of pastors’ wives feel like the most destructive thing that happened to their family was their husband entering ministry. That is a sad, victim mentality.

But we are not victims.

We have to be proactive and lead ourselves well. We must set boundaries so that we aren’t swallowed up in the needs that surround us. We need to control our calendars before they take control of us. We should seek out community and break the isolation that seems to come hand in hand with leadership. We must seek help from a counselor to help deal with the tough issues. We have to wrestle our insecurities and instead rest in fact that if God has called us, He will equip us.

Do not let your spiritual enemy trick you into thinking that you are a victim of your husband’s calling. God made no error with you. You may not feel like you have what it takes to fulfill this calling. That’s great. That’s where you should be. Because then and only then will you realize it’s the Holy Spirit working through you anyway. 

Do you find yourself struggling with being in ministry while your husband loves it? Take some time today to do an inventory of yourself. . 

These Tweet This quotes are just a few of the amazing bits of insight we picked up from speakers at Re:Treat 2015. Join us for Re:Treat 2016 in Las Vegas October 25-27. Check out all of the details by clicking here.

You Asked. We Answered. – Part 4

Julie RichardWritten by Julie Richard

A friend used to always tell me that my calling is different than my husbands. At re:treat, Julie Richard said it is “our calling.” Can you explain more?

When I married my husband, he was on staff at a church. When he said he felt like God was calling him to plant a church in Austin, Texas, I was a great cheerleader. I was his biggest fan. We moved to Austin with our 3-year-old and 1-year-old and planted Lake Hills Church. I cheered him on and supported him as he led the church. You see, I’d always seen ministry as HIS calling…God’s call on HIS life.

But several years into his pastoring LHC, something shifted. I’m not certain what prompted the change…but something definitely changed. For the first time, I saw the difference between SUPPORTING my husband’s calling and SHARING my husband’s calling. And recognizing this significant difference has not only changed the way we do ministry, but has added excitement and enjoyment to ministry.

Genesis 2:24 reads, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” When we married, we became ONE…ONE FLESH, ONE HEART. Therefore, HIS Julie Richard 2calling was actually OUR calling. To be sure, the initial calling into ministry was on Mac’s life, but once we married, this became OUR calling into ministry. This is more than SUPPORTING his calling…it’s SHARING his calling. During the first years of our marriage and ministry, we rowed in two canoes…I was in my own canoe, rowing BESIDE him…two canoes, same direction. And this was good. But, when I recognized the difference between SUPPORTING and SHARING, I climbed into his canoe and began rowing WITH him. And this, my friends, was GREAT! I still had two small children at home, and my role at the church didn’t drastically change. But my mindset did. And so did my marriage…for the better…lots better. Two people in the same canoe, rowing in the same direction, moving more efficiently and more effectively!

I’m not a victim of my husband’s calling. I don’t blame the challenges that come with ministry on him and HIS calling. Sure, the challenges are still there, as they are with any job that deals with people. But my perspective has changed. Leading Lake Hills Church is OUR calling. We are in this ministry canoe TOGETHER. One flesh, one heart, one calling. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Do you see ministry as the calling you and your husband have together? If so, how do you minister together through the different seasons of life? If not, what steps do you need to take today to change your mindset?

You Asked. We Answered. – Part 2

Kim ScottWritten by Kimberly Scott

How do you encourage your husband when he is not leading it and loving it? What is the best way to remain supportive of my husband as a pastor, but encourage healthy amounts of unplugged and disconnected time from the church?

“Everybody loves a leader until they lead.”  I heard that quote years ago when my husband and I were knee deep transitioning our traditional 100 yr. old church. No truer words have ever been spoken. Each bold step my man took to steer the rudder of our ancient and quickly sinking ship brought out the spirit of mutiny and fear amongst the ‘crew’ and passengers. He became sullen, angry and almost paranoid with fear and anxiety over the loss of respect and support. I watched a strong man with BIG shoulders and a heart for God become broken and disheartened. He was NOT leading and loving it and neither was I.

I felt at such a loss to know what to say to encourage him. One evening I walked into our bedroom closet and found him sitting on a stool sobbing with his head in his hands. I tried to console him the best I could, but the only thing that came out of my mouth was this: “Honey, we have to accept that there will ALWAYS be problems and people that disagree with your leadership. We can’t change that, but we have to figure out a way to change the way we deal with it.” We needed to stop trying to carry and manage every conflict on the OUTSIDE and figure a way to steward our own hearts on the INSIDE.

Kim Scott 1Soon after I was sitting with my friend, Lori, around our backyard fire pit and she asked me when the last time was that he had some kind of break or rest. I had to answer honestly. For the six years that we had been married, he had NEVER taken his paid vacation, and frankly refused to take his scheduled days off each week. He was addicted to his purpose and working made him feel productive. She shared a link with me from Pastor Ed Young Jr. about the importance of building margin into your life as a leader and the importance of time off for the health of your home, ministry and life. I quietly sent him the link hoping something would resonate before we completely bottomed out. Ladies, that day something changed in my man for GOOD. My husband called me the next morning in tears asking for forgiveness for not taking the necessary time to refuel and repair his own heart and spirit. He immediately scheduled our vacation time away and committed to staying ‘unplugged’ for a time of true Sabbath. We’ve been married ten years now and he has kept the same promise. God is FAITHFUL.

I love the passage in Mark 6:31 that says, ”And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to deserted place and rest a while.”  Jesus was speaking to the disciples after they had taught and ministered to the sick, broken, demon possessed and lost.   He KNEW that they needed time alone to recover from the highs and lows of all they had experienced. There is something powerful and intoxicating about being on the front line of ministry. It is thrilling AND exhausting but the danger of pride and ego can begin to overcome your motives if not checked. I believe we are called to a DESERTED place by God to allow for a time of healthy introspection, prayer and more importantly learning that our total reliance is on Him. When we decide to take on and navigate the waves of the storm on our own, our ship will eventually sink. We were not meant to manage, control or own all the variables that take place in every day ministry life. We do have a burden to carry, but the ‘yoke’ is meant to be light because we are required to release it to Him daily. Remember that there is a gentle Captain just waiting for you to loosen your grip on the wheel and come away to a deserted place with Him. He has been and always will be in charge of this journey.

Vacations are sometimes difficult to schedule for so many reasons, but where is a ‘deserted place’ that you can go to each day to find peace and refuel?


You Asked. We Answered. – Part 1

Cindy BeallWritten by Cindy Beall

At Re:Treat last November, many of you sent in questions to us. After reading through all of them, we pulled out the ones that seemed to be more common. We will address four questions over the next two weeks.

What safeguards do you put in place to protect your marriage?

Years and years ago, my husband and I had a dear friend who came to see us almost every weekend. He was a fantastic man of God. We were very close. He was like a brother to me. We spent time together sometimes without my husband and during those times, we often shared our hearts and dreams.

I sit here shaking my head at my actions and in disbelief that I never committed adultery with him. Not because I liked him in that way, because I didn’t. I loved my husband. But, when you find a refuge, any sort of respite with a man other than your husband, danger awaits. I praise God that I didn’t not get tricked into an adulterous scenario by my spiritual enemy.

We receive questions similar to the one above consistently. But to merely put plans, guidelines and rules in place to protect our marriages is not enough. To do this and not address the heart of the person is like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound that needs serious attention. Yes, it is smart to have some dos and don’ts about what will keep our marriages healthy and protected and I will suggest some, but it cannot start there. The best way to protect a marriage is to relentlessly pursue Jesus on your own as well as with your husband.

Scripture teaches us that the heart is deceitful (Jer. 17:9). Yet, we hear all the time that we are “good people” and will “do the right things.” Friend, we were born with a sinful nature and our bent is to sin. Make no mistake about that. So, we must pursue Jesus if we want to walk with a pure heart before God instead of a deceitful one. We must spend time with Him, in His Word meditating on His character and His ways so that we can know His voice. Because when we know His voice, we know when He speaks and when we know when He speaks, we can be confident as we follow His lead.

So as you pursue Jesus, here are some practical safeguards to put into place to protect your marriage:

Cindy Beall 2Be a cheerleader. Your husband needs support and encouragement. There will be other people who do that in his life, but just make sure your voice is the loudest. You can either build him up with your words or tear him down. Make sure yours carry the most weight with him. Heck, go buy the whole cheerleading outfit complete with pom poms and tassels if you want. Just be his biggest fan.

Create a sanctuary at home. Your home is the place that needs to be protected for your husband, yourself and your family. When you serve the body of Christ in a full-time ministry role, you must have a safe place where your family can unwind and rest. If the home is chaotic, your husband may not rush home from work. Establish a setting that is comfortable, peaceful and a refuge. Make your husband want to come home.

Keep your guard up. I don’t care if you are absolutely, 100% smitten with your husband and he with you. You must be on your guard when communicating with the opposite sex. As a pastor, you both will communicate with the opposite sex. Just make sure there is a boundary in place that keeps you from sharing personal issues that create a vulnerable environment. I often bring up my husband’s name when talking with a man. I might say, “Chris and I so appreciate all you’ve done for the so and so” or something like that. When you do speak to someone of the opposite sex, make sure it’s in an open space. Don’t spend time alone with someone of the opposite sex – grab an extra person to sit in on a counseling or lunch appointment. Be safe. Be smart. I’ve spoken with more women and men who’ve been unfaithful to their spouse than I can even remember and do you want to know how many of them planned to commit adultery? Zero. Not one single person I’ve talked to said, “Yeah, I had a feeling I would break my wife’s heart or husband’s heart about seven years into our marriage.” Keep your guard up because your spiritual enemy takes no days off. And he will take something that started with pure intentions and turn it into a disastrous situation. Trust me.  

Find your porch. Make time to connect with your spouse each day. Notice I said “make time.” That’s right. Our lives can be hectic and over-scheduled, and we throw the phrase “I don’t have time for…” around all the time. The truth is that we have time for what’s important to us. Whatever way you enjoy connecting with each other, do that! All couples are not created equal so what works for one couple doesn’t always work for another. Sit outside on your porch like my husband and I do. Take walks. Go to a movie. Exercise. Go shopping. Plant a garden. Enjoy your favorite restaurant. Travel. The list is endless. The important thing is to connect each day. Your marriage depends on it.

Consider the team. You and your husband are a team. It is not you against him or him against you. If you have that mindset, then the marriage loses. If you are pleased when he fails and you win, the marriage loses. If you hope that he experiences defeat so that you can be the victor, the marriage loses. You are a team – made one in God’s sight when you pledge your covenant to Him. Work for the team, not for yourselves.

I realize that most of the advice I’ve shared today implies a call to servanthood. That is correct. Serve your husband. Whether you work outside the home or not. You may say, “But I want him to serve me, too!” Yes, it would be ideal if serving each other was something you both did. But just because God has him as the spiritual leader of your family doesn’t mean you can’t lead him by example. Because that’s what Jesus did. He came to this earth to take on the nature of a servant. It is truly the greatest calling there is.

Talk with your husband about these safeguards. Which ones are you doing consistently and which ones need some attention?

Lucky #13

Brian & Jenni Clayville

Posted by Jenni Clayville – Equipping Marriages Team

Today is Brian and my 13th anniversary.

YAY for us. Considering the devastation and destruction of our marriage 5 years ago… YAY us!

When we first got married, we thought we would be in marital bliss forever. We both truly loved each other. We didn’t fight in the wedding planning (like many couples do) and we didn’t fight during our honeymoon (which is when a couple often experiences their FIRST big fight). We thought we had it made.

What we learned quickly was that complacency and bitterness naturally sneaks in when we’re not intentional with our relationship. Intentional not just with things that matter… but things that seem like they don’t matter at the time. For example (and I’m gonna need you not to judge me):

I HATE crumbs. Those who know me, know I have some OCD tendencies. Crumbs are one. I like love clean surfaces. SPOTLESS surfaces. Brian doesn’t mind the “occasional” crumb. His “occasional” crumb offends every sense I have… because his “occasional” crumb seems as if he’s borrowed 14 toasters from our neighbors and emptied them all out on my counter. Seriously… how do you get that many crumbs on my counter from 2 pieces of toast and not realize it’s there. I digress.

Our first giant fight was over crumbs.

Why was it a giant fight? Because I thought to myself, “Self… these are just crumbs. Clean it up. Not biggie.” But as the crumbs kept coming like ants to a sugar cube, I lost it.

What if I had just saidHey, love… these crumbs really bother me. Like on a 1-10 scale, it’s a solid 8.” on that first day of the Crumb-pocalypse. I highly doubt that unnecessary fight would have ever happened. 

Communication takes work. It’s never easy. It’s easier to let things slide and avoid conflict in the beginning. But man, it’s so much harder to dig yourself out of bitterness once you’ve arrived. Also… communication isn’t always calm. Sometimes there is necessary tension in communication. We are all passionate about different things… and that’s how God created us. However, I can tell you this: I am forever grateful that my husband was willing to have tense communication as well as less-tense communication with me.

In hindsight… there’s nothing lucky OR unlucky about our 13. The first 8 years were complacent at best. But the last 5 have been nothing but intentional.

Luck has no place in our marriages. Luck has gives us zero control. Luck doesn’t give us choices.

Let’s all make our relationships intentional.

What do you say?