A Horse & Carriage (7 of 7)

Thought I’d share a few posts on your wife for pastors, especially church planters. I don’t mean to be sexist. If you are a female pastor or church planter, more power to ya. I just don’t know anything about being a male spouse of a church planter, so I can’t speak on that…

Okay, last post in this series on a church planter’s spouse and marriage and I want to talk about BOUNDARIES and encourage you to establish some very clear, well defined, strong ones.

First, you need boundaries between your family and your church. Yeah, yeah, I know, your church is your family and we love them and we want to be available all the time. And there is truth in all that, but in other ways, it is not true. Your family is your family, and you need to love them most of all, and be available to them. And if you’re constantly answering the phone or checking your e-mail or setting up appointments on your day off, your family will suffer. You will have a wife and kids who resent you and resent the church. Hopefully they won’t resent God, but chances are they’ll do that too. So you need some boundaries. You need (at least) a day off each week where you are unavailable to your church unless someone dies or strikes oil. You need to not answer the phone or touch your computer at night when you’re hanging with your kids, or when you’re on a date with your spouse. Seriously, don’t just nod your head, do it.

Second, you need boundaries between you and other women. You need to protect your wife from having to ever have a doubt about you, or from experiencing the pain of your adultery, or from even the hint or appearance of something immoral. So set up boundaries that will prevent all that. I don’t mean with women alone, even out in public. If I have to talk to a lady in my office (which almost never happens) I have a big glass wall and an open door so everyone can see what’s going on. I don’t ride in a car if it’s just me and a lady. If I were to show up early for a small group and the only person in the house was a female, I’d sit out on the porch till someone else arrives. I won’t even open the front door of our house to a female if my wife isn’t home. That may sound silly, but I want to guard against even the appearance of immorality. And so if my wife’s friend is dropping off at Tupperwear container, and I open the door, take it, and she walks away – but my neighbor drives up right then and sees me closing the door and this lady walking down my driveway, and notices my wife’s not home – what is my neighbor going to think?

People have made fun of me for how serious I am about the boundaries I’ve put up, and that feels a little weird for me. But not as weird as it would feel to have to explain to my kids and church that I’m getting divorced… I’ll take the boundaries anyday.

– featured on newchurches.com