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Healthy Marriage & Ministry

Hows does marriage look like when spouses are in ministry together? 

In this video, couples share their life-giving practical tips to succeed in building healthy marriages while in ministry. Watch the team dialog in vulnerability about real issues and real solutions. 


Time: 00:00 - 07:39 Introduction

Jenn: How long have you been married and how did you meet?


  • The Armstrongs share their story as they met. The youth pastor left a note on Ben’s car with an invitation to his home. There he met his future wife, they engaged in 4 days, got married and then they got counseling, as they did not know each other well. This year they have been married for 23 years. 

  • Paul and Hanna met at the age of 15 and 16. Hanna played bass, and Paul joined the worship team as a drummer. The rhythm section made them closer. They have been married for 11 years. 

  • Baldwins began to date when Sheila did haircut to Josh.  They are 10 years married and share the time went very quickly for them when they began to date. 

  • Johnsons are married for almost 20 years. They got married at the age of 18 and 21 and before they were engaged for 7 months. Jenn joking advises not to be engaged for more than 4 months. They have 4 kids.


Time: 07:40 - 10:19 About counseling


  • Jenn says, they are all married, have kids, and all are in ministry and today they want to share some practical tips which are major saviors for them in this lifestyle. One of them is counseling all the time. We all need help.

  • Ben says that post-marriage counseling is even more important than pre-married.

  • Jenn: “You gonna go through things. We made this commitment with each other about, no matter what you are going through we would reach out for help when it came to something we are heading a wall with”. Jenn says it was tough days in their marriage when they thought this is the end. She advises if you are in ministry find someone whom you trust, be open, and take responsibility. Then, there is nothing you can’t get through. 


Time: 10:22 - 39:49 - “What’s been the toughest thing that you had to work trough?”


  • Sheila and Josh answer: when they got married, Josh didn’t travel, they were together raising their kids. When they moved to Redding across the country Josh got a lot of tours and Sheila had health issues. That was difficult for them as she needed him more than usual, and he was also tired. They negotiated his personal time when he gets back from his tour.  

  • Sheila gives her advice to the married couples not to hide things that already calmed down but to open it on counseling sessions. Because if it is patterns that are constantly going wrong it will happen again. So, it is better to figure it out and find a compromise or solution. 

  • Jenn gives her advice: If you are in stress, tired, the baby is screaming in another room, don’t try to find the solution. The best thing you can do is to go to sleep. Give it to the Lord, have a rest and discuss it with your spouse the next day when you will have time in silence without emotions and stress.

  • Ben: Psalm 17:3 - Sometimes, rest is the very thing you need for God to refind your heart and get that vail crap out of you. 

  • Paul shares what he found during his traveling times. Sometimes, it is not about relationships. It is circumstances and situations. And it is easy to point your frustration about the situation toward each other. They made a rule in their marriage not to have serious conversations after 9 p.m. because it will turn into fighting. Also, they do not talk about serious things when they are tired, instead, they go to have some rest and eat together. 

  • Brian talks about emotions, every emotion is fleeting. You probably will feel different in 5 minutes so don’t react based on your emotions. He also sais, when he is tired it is best for him to have a retreat.

  • Jenn supports Brian when he needs his retreat but it was not always like that. She used to chase him when he tried to stay alone. Jenn encourages couples to learn each other’s needs.

  • Heather Armstrong adds when her husband left for a retreat she was scared he will leave her. During counseling, she found this is because her parents got divorced when she was 12 and she still has this fear to be left. Counseling helps to learn yourself, why you react to the situation the way you do and what are the triggers that you can be aware of. 

  • Paul: “For us, it was learning how to show up fully to our marriage, and both of us to fight for our marriage together, and fight for each other, we had to learn that”. There are different seasons in ministry life, there can be dreams and visions, favor and grace, and as spouses, you can be on different levels. So, you have to learn how to find an emotional connection with each other despite the season of your life. Remember, a win of one of you is the win of both of you. That was lifechanging for McClures.

  • Ben and Heather share their story as they were walking through reconnection. Ben had a fair (without sex), and when it was opened, Heather owned to find where the disconnection happened in their marriage. It took years for them to walk through this, a bunch of counseling and therapy. Ben says this sin is unforgivable in the church, but the Bethel family surrounded them with love. They are encouraging others to clean the mess in their marriage before the crises blow up.
    Heather shares what the Lord told her during this process. She got a lot of advisers who told her to leave her husband and Holy Spirit put the words on her heart: I chose us. She made a decision toward her marriage and that was a long process of building trust again.
    Ben adds forgiveness and trust are not the same things. You can forgive as to make a decision. But building trust is a long process.

  • Jenn: “When you are married and especially in a ministry, you are going to get close to people. And if you are not careful, if you are not fulfilled in your own marriage, and even sometimes if you are, you can attach to someone you are working with and have en emotional fare without even knowing that.” Jenn shares her life, she says ministry and kids are demanding. They always fight to keep each other in priority despite their busyness. At the beginning of their marriage, Brian was working a lot, and there was a guy who helped Jenn a lot, so she felt her heart attached to his. She cut it as she saw that. Jenn says, it is not a sin if it happens but you need to be aware of what is going on in your marriage and in your heart.
    When it happened she called her pastor and cried, she was scared about what happened. They had this conversation with the pastor and walk through it. This situation taught them to care and see each other during trips.


Time: 39:50 - 49:51 What things that you learned through your marriage life


  • Brian tells about how it is important to do things in your marriage even if you don’t feel it. 

  • Paul says that they recently found with Hanna they don’t have the same fightings anymore they had in the first years of their marriage. They learned to feel and understand each other.

  • Jenn speaks about Worship U school time, it is always tough and takes all the time. There are some tips to stay connected: never turn down each other, never deny each other. Because even if you don’t feel anything you don’t want to lose a chance to have a connection. It can bring a breakthrough if you give to your spouse physically or emotionally even you don’t feel it.

  • Brian remembers the time when he had depression. It took a lot for him to get out of there, but as a gift, he got his emotions. Sometimes, when Jenn says they have disconnection he doesn’t realize it until she says about it. It happens because guys are more disconnected with themselves, so sometimes they need help.


Time: 49:52 - 01:01:58 -  “What is your favorite thing about the other person?”


  • Heather loves Ben can interpret dreams and when he goes to Home Depot. Nen loves Heather is the best encourager, she loves people and recognizes them. 

  • Paul says about Hanna, she is the sweet and nicest person to him, she is very compassionate, very graceful and kind. Hanna loves Paul has a tender heart. 

  • Josh says about Sheila she is such a good friend for him and people. And she gives a lot of advice to people. She likes to get things done. Sheila likes Josh makes her laugh anytime. 

  • Jenn loves Brian is a hard worker, he can do multiple taskers and good in business. He is an amazing dad, finds solutions and walks through difficulties. And he makes her laugh, he is her best friend, amazing worship leader, and songwriter. Brian says Jenn is brilliant, she has a humility heart, she loves people and doesn’t want them to lose. She is strong and she went through her weaknesses. Brian also appreciates her values, because it is important for all people.