How to Have a Successful Ministry Marriage: Part 3 of 4

Debbie Hogan (Co-Founder of Standing Stone Ministry) has identified four C’s in “Sailing the C’s of Marriage” that will help effectively navigate a successful marriage in ministry. Without effectively navigating these four “C’s” it’s impossible to have a successful marriage. Amidst the challenges of ministry life, finding the time and energy to work on these will pay immeasurable dividends for both your marriage and ministry.

In this blog series, you’ll hear Debbie’s insightful perspectives on the four vital ingredients for a successful marriage. (Review the first C on commitment, the second C on communication.)

The next sea can be the most fun but it seems after we’ve been married for awhile we don’t sail it often enough. It’s the sea of COMMUNION. Webster defines it as: An act or instance of sharing or coming together. This is what Genesis 2:25 refers to as “and the two shall become one flesh.” It’s important to have fun with your husband without the kids vying for your attention. Now that our kids are gone, Jim and I spend most of our time together and we love it because throughout our marriage we have made spending time together a priority. One of the things we established early in our marriage was setting aside one night a week for a date night. This didn’t mean we always actually went out but if we didn’t go out we had “date night” at home. We put the kids to bed unplugged the phone and spent the evening together.

Certainly a part of communion is enjoying sexual intimacy with your husband. God designed us to enjoy this part of marriage. Often men put sexual intimacy higher on their priority list than women do. And the truth of the matter is that if they don’t find sexual intimacy at home they will find it someplace else. It’s so easy to put our sexual relationship on the back burner when children come along but just because children come on the scene doesn’t mean sex is no longer a very important part of marriage. I have some advice to give you about sex: Nike it; Just Do it!

There’s another three-letter word that can be a real marriage wrecker: BUT.

BUT our budget is too tight; how can we afford it? Borrow someone’s house, clip coupons, find a great hotel package, set aside a little each week, give your husband a night away or even a dinner out for a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas gift.

BUT we don’t have anyone to leave our children with. Swap children with friends then reciprocate. It could get a little complicated but it’s worth it. Save and hire a sitter. We throw all of our change into a bottle and it’s amazing how quickly it adds up. Recruit willing relatives. I didn’t have relatives close by so I adopted some surrogate grandparents for our kids. Check with the church. Our kid’s favorite baby-sitters were some of the youth pastors and interns.

BUT we don’t have time. If you can’t get away for a weekend, start with 24 hours. Block out the time months in advance. Think about this as an investment in your marriage.

BUT my husband doesn’t want to go. Plan the trip yourself. Sometimes a surprise can add great excitement to a marriage. Plan the trip around something he loves to do. For example: golf, tennis, camping, or fishing. Some of our most fun dates where when I would “kidnap” Jim from work. We’d go home for a little afternoon delight while the kids were in school.

BUT we’re too tired to bother. Stay in a hotel close to home. Some of our best romantic get-aways were spent at the Marriot which was a mile from our house. Keep it simple. If you want to, spend the whole day in your hotel room. Bring a cooler with some drinks and food.

Don’t let the BUTS get in the way of having meaningful communion with your husband. Meaningful communion will help calm the rough waters of any marriage.


Standing Stone Ministry cares for ministry couples one couple at a time by offering to form a lasting mentoring relationship, beginning with one week away in a beautiful serene location, where they are hosted with excellence and mentored with love. Learn more about Standing Stone Ministry can help your ministry marriage.

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