It’s not a 9 to 5 job.
Ministry is one of those jobs that has the ability to consume every aspect of your life. It comes home with you after your workday ends. You rarely have a free weekend. And you are on call all the time.
That makes the day off – a true day off – an incredible challenge at times. There is a difference between a day not at your job and a day off; a big difference.
My wife also works full time. But we have always had at least one full day off together. It’s a day that I have to admit at times (too many times) I have not fully been “off of work.” I have too many times been off of work but still connected with my phone, laptop, or in thought at the least.
It really is a tough proposition – at least for me – to completely disconnect from my job and truly give my full attention to my wife and what we are doing. She deserves it but doesn’t always get it. But in the short time I have been in full time ministry I have learned that time disconnected is just as important if not more so than the time spent at work. I have purposefully not connected my phone to work email and though I have given everyone in my ministry my cell phone I gave it to them with the instruction that on my day off and after hours it will go straight to voicemail.
It’s tough to balance marriage and ministry. But we are called to be loving husbands and wives as well as worship leaders and ministers. If we can’t learn to balance them and treat our spouses the way they should be and the way God has intended then well both our ministry and marriage will suffer.
Let’s be honest there are times when we just can’t escape ministry creeping into our personal time. It happens. But for me the key is to make the most of those times I do have with my wife and strive to completely disconnect from my normal day. I have a great spouse who is very understanding but that doesn’t mean I can take advantage of her.
I can over-spiritualize the neglect of my spouse all too easily. “It’s not just a job, it’s a calling.”
Yes it is a calling, a calling to be the best worship leaders, ministers and spouses we can be. That means finding whatever balance we can to respect and honor our wives. For me that means remembering my day off and keeping it holy… and yes maybe even turing off my phone.
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