Cathie Green explores keys to a fruitful marriage and family in the midst of planting and growing a local church.

Introduction 

Key areas to be covered:

1. Being united in heart and purpose
2. Walking in integrity in your own home
3. On being a Pastor’s Wife
4. Juggling children and ministry
5. Praying for marriage and family in times of stress

Best Practice 1 – Being united in heart & Purpose 

Philippians 2:2 “…by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” 

To plant and lead a church is a unique calling and an incredible journey, and your most valuable asset is your spouse. Your greatest strength is your marriage, and just as you need to grow as a leader, so does your marriage. It needs to grow and change in order to absorb the rigours of ministry.

The burden of the church is carried by both the husband and wife – no one else carries this like you do. You both carry spiritual authority and responsibility but the outworking of this is often (although not always) quite different.

The Lord called you as a couple for a purpose. You are not there by default simply because you married someone with a calling. You are one flesh with the same purpose. (Matthew 19:5)

Pray for unity and work on unity, not that we have to agree all the time, but that our hearts want unity.

Best Practice 2 – Walking in integrity in your home 

“I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.” Psalm 101:2 (b) NLT

• Home is the place we get to truly put into practice the things of God.
• We need to live the same Godliness at home as we do in public.
• Repentance, being quick to forgive, loving each other deeply. (1 Peter 4:8)
• Deliberately set your heart and mind to be tender, speak tenderly, think tenderly, act tenderly.
• When King David danced before the Lord, his wife Michal watched from a window and despised him in her heart (2 Samuel 6:16-23). This lead to bareness until the day of her death.
• We need to guard our thoughts and hearts.
• When stress comes our way the great danger is to let this dominate our home life.
• Be careful of using “silent treatment” at home.
• We are called to lead and live in the fear of the Lord both at church and at home.
• 2 Samuel 23:1-4

Best Practice 3 – On being a Pastor’s Wife

• Be yourself and be warm, your presence is important
• Your love and support for your husband is vital. No one else can do it like you!
• Much of what a Pastor’s wife does is unseen, but God sees and knows and he doesn’t forget. (Hebrews 6:10)
• One of the great struggles is often the feeling of being neglected for the sake of the church which can cause bitterness to spring up. It needs soft heartedness towards one another and frequent re-assessment.

Best Practice 4 – Juggling Children & Ministry

• You can’t do everything and be at everything.
• Sometimes you have to say ‘no’ for the sake of your children, both husband and wife need to support each other in this even in disappointment.
• There are times you have to put everything on hold so that you can stop to smell the roses with your kids – the church will be ok.

Best Practice 5 – Praying for Marriage & Family in Times of Stress

• Isaiah 30:18
• That we would both see
• That our hearts would be knitted together
• That it would “go well with us”
• 2 Samuel 23:1-4