Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

6.1.3 Marriage and Family Life/Single Life

Church work is more than just a job, it is a life calling that influences their whole life and therefore also their marriage and family. Unfortunately, however, the stability of marriage is a prerequisite for pastoral training and hardly any help is given for leading a healthy life as a married couple and family or as a single person. However, God’s idea of the importance of intentional living as a couple and family, and as a single person, is that this is the foundation of leadership. For marriage or celibacy is just as much a God-given vocation.

The Bible uses marriage as the most striking image of the relationship between God and man/his church (cf. Ezk 16; Mk 2:19f; Rev 19-22). “Married couples testify to how deep God’s love is.” Marriagelessness – whether lifelong or temporary – testifies to “how far God’s love is” (Emotionally Healthy Guiding by Peter Scazzero). If this relationship, however, is not how God has intended, gives a poor image of his love and relationship with his people. 

Consequently, the leader should work continually on his marriage or fulfilled life as a single person. The relationship with Jesus should be found central to married life. When making decisions in ministry, it should be very important to the pastor how they affect the family’s situation and what their spouse’s opinion is about it.

A healthy relationship with his partner and his children, or leading a fulfilled life relationally as a single comes down to self-management. The pastor must proactively create a feeling of being “present” and give their full attention to his partner and children. As a single person, they must also be intentional about spending time building friendships and relationships, otherwise ministry can take over their whole life. In contrast to most jobs, the pastor is “free” only when he schedules it, and works at all other times. For many leaders, this means a radical transformation in how they think and stepping into a new way of life. But it’s worth it! The costs of disregarding the importance of investing in their marriage and or health as an individual for years are fatal. Many longtime pastors are not proud of the way their ministry kept them from their marriage. Even for singles, the frustration that can come with waiting for the right partner, which determines so much, is not God’s idea (Mt 19:10; 1Cor 7). 


These are basic tips for a healthy life balance as a husband/wife and father/mother: 

  1. Unity of vision/vocation with your spouse
  2. Spending time with God together
  3. Setting priorities and time commitments in favor of the family
  4. Keeping the Sabbath and vacation for family
  5. Disciplined work life