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  1. Always a pleasure reading your stuff Mike. Just curious more than anything…

    “As a married man, my first duty is to my wife and to my children above and beyond any other ministry I take on… these priorities would conflict in the case of a married clergy (a challenge that can have disastrous effects in the spiritual and moral life of “pastor’s kids.”)”

    Would you say that a conflict is set up with marriage and following and serving Christ? Is serving your wife and children somehow taking away from the love and service that you render to Christ? Or is it possible to serve Christ in a holy marriage? Is your duty to your wife and children part and parcel of your vocation? Has being married enriched or detracted from your ministry as a youth leader/chaplain?

    Can the meeting of the challenge you mention also have positive effects on the spiritual and moral life of a pastor’s children?

    Just some ideas for thought! God Bless!

    1. There seems to be two questions you are asking here. Do I think that my vocation as a husband/father is in conflict with following and serving Christ? Absolutely not. I am called to follow and serve Christ not only on my own, but in my family… Learning to love and serve Him in them, and teaching them to love and serve Him. That’s the part of this post all about how marriage is meant to imitate (and in some ways ‘incarnate’) the love of God in the world.

      Your second question is the more poignant one. Do I feel like ministry outside the home has been hard on my family? Absolutely. I think that had my position not changed this year, I would have given up ministry (at least professionally) because I was away from my family far too much. Jen sacrificed greatly because she believed in it, and to a point that was good… But my family was also paying a price with me gone so much.

      I look at it like this as far as the priesthood goes: what happens when my son is playing in the championship game, and someone needs to be anointed? How do you way one great need against the other? How is my son going to feel about Church and God is these are what keeps me from his most important moments? Yes, he will have the witness of me serving… But there are moments were they need me to simply be present.

      For those reasons I would not want to be a married priest… But that part is a matter of opinion, which is how I tried to preface my comment. (I had earlier acknowledged the difference in traditions!) God obviously calls married folks to all kinds of ministry, myself included, but I am leery of the cost to those I am called to serve first (Jen and the kids.)

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