Interview with pastor couple Nicky & Sila Lee
Nicky & Sila Lee are not only the creators of the Marriage and Pre-Marriage Course and The Marriage book, but they have also worked for years as a pastor couple at the HTB church in London. So, they know from first-hand experience what challenges come with a pastor marriage and supporting flourishing marriages in the church.
In our last blog we heard about some practical tips for pastors who want to invest in relationships in their church (if you’ve missed it, you can read it here), this week we’ll explore the effect of pastor hood on marriage.
What is the effect of pastor hood on marriage?
“A strong sense of vocation can be dangerous if you don’t set the right priorities. And setting priorities is not only done by thinking about what you find important, but also by acting accordingly. In the church, there is always something urgent, and if you have a strong sense of calling, it can be difficult to say no sometimes. That is why it is important that your partner also feels called, so that you can support each other. God calls you together as a pastor couple. Just look at Priscilla and Aquila in the Bible, they really did their work for God’s church together. But in addition to working together, it is also good to have fun together. Your marriage and family are always more important than your calling in the Church.
A pastor couple can also feel like a shadow mission: the idea that you have to do everything right yourself and that everything (including your marriage) has to be good. In this, the search for approval from others plays a major role. This is very dangerous.”
Do you also see positive effects of being a pastor on your marriage?
“If you always work from home (and even more so if you live in a rectory), it can be difficult to set boundaries. But our house has always been a place where many people came and where hospitality was central. We think that is a very nice value to live out and also a good example for our children.
In addition, it is nice to be able to organize our own time. Nicky regularly worked in the evenings but was able to be free every day between 16.00 and 18.00 to spend time with the children. That way we could also show our children that they were more important to us than the church was to us. Things that play in the church are often more urgent, but it’s so important to show your children that they are the most important.”
What are your tips for pastors who find it difficult to find the right work-life balance?
“First, pray together. That’s incredibly important. In addition, it is very good to set aside time for your marriage and to monitor family well during this time. Make sure you have at least one day a week off for your family. Also, make sure everyone in the church knows this so they won’t disturb you.
And finally, it’s important to just have fun with each other, rather than just talking. Everything is already so serious; your marriage can be a place where you can have fun.”
“Make time to have fun together. Everything is already so serious, but you also need fun!”
Are you curious what an evening of the Marriage Course looks like? Please feel free to reach out to me to discuss further. I am here to help.