Marriage is hard. Ministry is hard. Put the two together and things can get really tricky! But we all know that if we don’t have healthy marriages, our ministries will be negatively impacted. In fact, many worship leaders have forfeited their ministries because their marriages have failed. How can we balance serving the needs of our church AND the needs of our spouse?
Well, thankfully Paul Baloche is here to help. Paul has successfully balanced a thriving worship ministry and happy, healthy marriage for over 33 years. Paul has some major insights for us! Even if you’re not yet married, listen to this episode, because one day you’ll need the advice. Dig in and enjoy!
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ALSO SEE: Longevity and Fruitfulness w/ Paul Baloche
Wise Boundaries with the Opposite Sex w/ Dr. Zack Carter
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Alex Enfiedjian 00:00 Today’s episode is sponsored by Planning Center Planning Center is a software developed by worship leaders. For worship leaders, it’s the absolute best way to plan schedule and resource your teams for your upcoming services. There’s pretty much nothing Planning Center can’t do, it can host your chord charts schedule, your team requests team members to block out dates when they’re unavailable, it can automatically schedule your team. It can transpose chord charts, it can transpose mp3, it can host your multitrack files, it can do pretty much anything. And I want to encourage you, if you’re not using Planning Center, you’re making your life too complicated. It will simplify and streamline your administrative processes at your church by 1,000%. I’m not exaggerating, and if you don’t believe me, you can try the software completely free for 30 days. If you go to planning center.com, I would encourage you to go to Planning Center com plans start at just $14 A month after your 30 day trial expires. So go try it and I guarantee you you will love it Planning Center calm.
Alex Enfiedjian 01:08 Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the worship ministry training podcast a monthly podcast where we give you the practical training and tools you need to have a healthy worship ministry. And listen, I recently released a brand new free resource for you. It’s a one hour course called eight essential elements of a thriving worship ministry. This is pretty much everything you need to know in order to have a thriving, healthy, vibrant worship ministry. So I’m gonna encourage you to go to worship ministry training com forward slash thrive. And you can get that free course, absolutely free. Just put your email in and enjoy the one hour teaching that I do there. Today I have the great privilege of talking with one of the godfathers of the modern worship movement, Paul blas we’ve had him on the podcast before. Last time he talked about how to have a long and fruitful ministry how to last the long haul. Well, this time, he’s talking about how to have a long and fruitful marriage. So Paul has been married over 30 years now to his beautiful bride Rita. They’ve had a ministry together, they’ve sung songs together, and they still love each other deeply. And this is a rarity nowadays because many people even in the church and even pastors have really broken and messed up marriages where they get their priorities out of whack. And now if you’re listening and you’re not married, you still should listen to this episode, because who knows you might be married one day, Lord willing. And so get these lessons now from somebody who’s been through it all, and who has some wisdom to share. And I just want to say Paul is one of the most generous kind people that you’ll ever meet. And even just a great follow on Twitter and on Facebook. He’s always promoting other people’s stuff, and sharing people’s stuff. And so shout out Paul blush for being a genuine, authentic, kind, and generous human being we love you. Thank you for the wisdom you share. In this episode. You guys are gonna get a lot out of this. And let’s dive into my conversation with Paul blush. Hey, everybody, I am here with the one and only Paul melosh. Paul, how you doing? Hi, Alex. Good to see you, brother. Coming from New York City. Are you not in New York City or I just in New York State? Where are you at? Right in the city? Right on 12th Street? Crazy right in the middle of the epicenter of the Coronavirus. Pretty much. Yeah, but you’re safe. And we’re glad for that. Yeah. Paul, you were on the podcast. I think it was three years ago. And man, you dropped some major gold. We talked about faithfulness and fruitfulness and longevity in ministry. And I’m gonna encourage the listeners to go back and check that out. I’ll put it in the show notes. But I wanted to chat with you about marriage in ministry and really maintaining a healthy marriage and ministry because you and your wife Rita have been married now for 33 years. Congratulations. Thank you. That’s a long time and you still love each other like you I this quarantine even posting videos of you and Rita singing together singing worship songs singing James Taylor songs and looking at each other all googly eyed. And it’s just it’s so beautiful. You know and 33 years that’s that’s a marathon. It’s a long game. And it takes intentionality to stay healthy through the many seasons of life. So I wonder maybe just like, we’ll do kind of a rapid fire to start, like maybe what are just 123 things in marriage that have really been a huge part of the success of your marriage. Wow.
Paul Baloche 04:33 Okay, well, I mean commitments, the first thing that just comes to mind, I mean, just you are 100% committed to each other. You know, commitment, love and forgiveness. Those are three words that first ones that come out of my mouth. Yeah. So yeah, love as in. I’m always challenged by first Corinthians 13 we’re all familiar with Love is patient. Love is kind. Let’s just Stop right there. Hello. I’ve teased over the years, many times, like, I’m just gonna rip this page out of the Bible. And I’m gonna work on this for the next 10 years like the rest of the Bible, I’ll get to it. But if I can just work on Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is patient. Love is kind. I mean, think about it. I mean, that is a key to healthy relationship, I would argue a healthy marriage because it’s the biblical definition of love. That word is thrown around so easily and so casually, in our culture and around the world. But let’s go back to the biblical definition. You know, the whole chapter, of course, is fantastic. First Corinthians 13. Sometimes we only hear that at a wedding. But man, go there and don’t let it be a cliche. Let, let it really challenge your heart and go Alright, if I say I love you know, we all would think of ourselves as loving people, probably everybody listening to this, we would think, well, I’m a Christian, and I love people and I love my neighbor. And you know, I, I help them out and I give some money to a homeless guy yesterday, and I you know, I love people. Well, that’s all good. You know, you know, God, some love the world and yet, I feel like marriage. God says, Okay, I’m gonna give you one human being, to practice on. You want to learn how to love. It’s easy to say, Oh, I love you. Hey, I love you people can night Cincinnati. You know, if you’re doing a concert or whatever, love you guys. But, you know, in a marriage is where you really get to practice like nothing else to love this one human being. It’s like God says, okay, so you think you’re pretty good at love? Hmm. Okay, we’ll start with this one human being. And let’s see how good at you are forgiving. Let’s see how good at you are not taking everything personal. And being easily offended. That’s another definition of love. Love is not easily offended. Let’s see if you can practice patience, overlooking things that you know, and I’m not talking about let’s just say right up front. We’re not talking domestic violence, or abuse, or anything like that. We’re I’m assuming whoever I’m talking to. When I say commitment, and like closing the door on divorce and things like that, I’m assuming that your marriage is not in a dangerous place. You’re not in some personal physical, emotional danger. Although sometimes when, when things are going rough, we can sort of play that card. And I don’t mean that disrespectfully. Sometimes it’s a card that is absolutely true. But sometimes we can play it a little dishonestly. And we can pull that card out too soon. And we can say, you know, you offend me, emotionally, you’ve abused me emotionally, whatever air for 30. To make that voice. That’s, I don’t I don’t mean that because I know there very well could be people listening to this that their situation is, is like hell, and I don’t discount that or minimize it. I’m simply talking to people that say that are honest, if they look in the mirror and go, you know, overall, you know, we’re good. We’re good. I mean, we’re not in that dangerous territory. But things are hard. Things have been hard. They’re better now. We’ve been in seasons where it’s been really challenging, blah, blah, blah. So that was only one question. So I don’t want to just ramble on for an hour here.
Alex Enfiedjian 08:30 That’s good. It’s good. So commitment, love and forgiveness are the three keys that you and I just out of curiosity to dig in a little bit more. Why did you start with commitment? Why commitment?
Paul Baloche 08:41 Because, again, in this day and age, we’re so feelings oriented. I think, you know, we’re so influenced by movies and songs and in a good way, you know, like, it’s romantic and is idealized. And yet, at the end of the day, love is, I don’t know, I feel like love is commitment. Like that’s the first word that comes to mind loves not a feeling feelings. Oftentimes, they’re there but sometimes they’re not there and you show up you you quote unquote, show up with your body, soul, mind and spirit every day. Ready for action ready to love this human being that you made a commitment to, to do life with, and many cases to bear children and to raise children. So I feel like commitment will get you through a lot of the ups and downs. When when even the thought of like man, you know, your flesh, your your emotions, you’re feeling you’re just like I’m out of here, man, this is just too hard. Forget this. You know,
Alex Enfiedjian 09:50 and we all have those times and feelings and I think, for people to deny that and say, Oh, no, my marriage is completely perfect and we never have those hardships and feelings. That’s, that’s all That’s not true, you know? And that’s where commitment like it, it has to be there to get us push through those hearts. Absolutely. You know,
Paul Baloche 10:07 and that’s what I’m trying to be really honest right up front because I’ve been annoyed when I see you know, Miss Ken and Barbie, you know like that mister missus perfect couple Get up. And you know, and I’m not even picking on anybody I’m just saying, the more transparent we can be as leaders, the healthier it will be for others. And we can still give good advice and encourage and say these are ideals. These are principles. But also be honest and say I have not arrived yet. I’m still working on it, you know? But commitment. Yeah, yeah. Real quick, over 33 years, when I think of maybe a few times where it was like, wow, super hard season. If we were not in a healthy church and had good friends that were close, who came alongside us, etc. We might have thrown in the towel, one of us might have said, I’m out of here. But commitment says, go another day. Let me sleep on it. Let me put that off and go another day. Let me wake up tomorrow and see if I can deal with my hurt and my, my anger. And let me go talk to healthy friend or pastor or counselor and see if I can process this in a healthy way. But commitment what that does is six months later, when you look back hindsight, a man you go, Oh, thank God, I didn’t do something crazy. Thank god. Oh, wow. Thank you, Lord, that. Thank you that by your grace, I didn’t bail. Like because things are pretty good right now things are actually really good. And oh, wow, Lord, I I didn’t even think this was possible six months ago.
Alex Enfiedjian 11:51 Right? That’s so good. That’s so good, Paul. Now, a lot of us in ministry, you’ve been in ministry, maybe even longer than you’ve been married or close to the same amount of time, a lot of leaders will get the balance wrong, where they’ll put ministry above their marriage or above their family. Why do you think that happens? And what would you say to a leader who’s struggling with that? Because I think we all do for the ministry
Paul Baloche 12:17 mom Guilty as charged man super guilty. This is almost kind of cathartic to talk about it. It’s good for like a therapy session. To us to for real? Absolutely. Well, you know, we learned from our mistakes, you know, they say that you can learn from experience or you can learn from wisdom. Wisdom is learning from other people’s mistakes, experiences, learning from your own mistakes. So there are times where I thought, yeah, I really know how to do this. I’ve read the marriage books, I’m going to be good at this, you know, and it just doesn’t always work out. Like, you know, people are not books, people are not principles, and you’re living with another human being with their a mystery. And almost a question. So
Alex Enfiedjian 13:07 the question was, like, why do we get that back? Yeah, well,
Paul Baloche 13:12 why? Man? A lot of reasons maybe ego insecurity, fear, a lot of fear. Because a lot of people in ministry we are we’re trying to, we’ve never done this before. I’m ever saying that in my mid 30s. Like, how did I say yes to so many things. I looked at my calendar, it’s like, I’m going to be gone for the next two weeks. And then when I come home, I gotta do lead worship, but then I’m gone again Monday, and I’m doing this wireworm school, that’s fourth, and then I have to fly here. And and I would just say to my wife, like, I’m sorry, I don’t I’ve never done this before. I don’t know. There’s no like manual. It’s like, I’m getting this wrong. And you’re right, I’m over committed. And I’m really sorry. And so it’s like, let’s, let’s let me try to be more aware. So why was I over committed? Well, I was getting paid part time at the church, which I was grateful for. But we were living in what we started off in a little mobile home. And then we graduated did like this little manufacturer type home and having another kid and then another kid, and I’m giving guitar lessons and making a little money at the church and somebody says, Well, you know, if you come here, we’ll pay you $300. So it’s a little bit of provision. You know, like you’re looking, hey, this is God’s way of providing for my family. It’s a little bit of ego in that kind of feels good for somebody to ask you to do something like, wow. Yeah. Thank you. Sure. Yeah, I’ll do it. And you know, and you’re all figured you’re figuring that stuff out in your 20s in your 30s especially so you got to give yourself some grace, that you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to overcommit you’re going to and when I say ego, it’s not so obvious in the moment because in the end, it’s mixed with Spiritual God stuff to their scriptures like to him who’s been given much love much or to what’s the much will be? Yeah, there you go, thank you, thank you. And, you know, you kind of feel the responsibility of the world on your shoulders like if I don’t go, who will hear if I don’t go, how will they hear, you know? So Here am I, Lord, send me, you know, and all these earnest spiritual goals, you know, these spiritual desires. However, we also have to acknowledge and be honest that there’s a mixture, there were always there’s a mixture of spiritual desires that are healthy. But also, as the Apostle Paul said to Timothy, he or he referred to vain ambitions. I think that was in Philippians, actually. So I just like that. King James has said vain ambitions and I used to just be aware of those vain ambitions or we might call that ego, you know, that desire to sort of be noticed or to be valued or to be, hey, way to go. And Pat’s on the back. And that’s, it’s not a crime that, that we enjoy that to a degree like we need some encouragement in our lives. So my point is, as long as we’re just trying to go through this with our eyes wide open and not kid ourselves and realize there will always be a percentage of ego in our in our spiritual walk. And so just be aware of it, keep it in the light, and be aware that there’s always that possibility that we’re going to say yes to too many things. Or we’re going to I don’t know, you know, fill in the blank. But I hope does that make sense?
Alex Enfiedjian 16:44 Yeah. And then I think our poor wise, in our cases wise, but maybe if there’s female or splitters listening their husbands, it’s like, they’re at home, dealing with the kids while you’re out playing at some conference and having fun and eating delicious meals, like catered to and this and that, and they’re like, what am I chopped liver? I’m just sitting here like, dealing with the kids by myself. And the laundry is piled up in the house is a mess. And I can’t keep on top of it. Because my husband’s gone doing ministry and serving everyone else. But he won’t serve me. Like, totally, I’ve, I’ve had seasons in my life like that. And I try not to have that now. Did you ever have seasons where ministry was like a divisive thing between you and Rita? And if so talk about that. If not, then great.
Paul Baloche 17:27 Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, we’re just coming clean today. This is coming clean episode here. nothing to hide. Yeah, there’s no doubt. I mean, even though we did ministry together quite often, Rita, she was a tremendous support. She sang side by side with me on the platform many times, but then as we’d have children, sometimes she’d have to deal with that. But um, was still the guy sort of being asked maybe to go places, and sometimes we would go together. And it was wonderful like to be involved in ministry and marriage. And there’s so much good to that. But my temperament. I had a lot of ministry, people have a temperament similar to mine where you’re trying to please, you try to please almost everyone, you try to not offend you. And that’s where the overcommitment comes in. So I think there were times where, without a doubt, I mean, if she was here, and so I’ll just say yes, she would say, yeah, whether it was writing songs, I’d be at the church, we had a little studio that the keyboard player and I set up so if I wasn’t traveling, then I was also at the church, not only doing church stuff, but trying to write and demo songs. Sometimes, you know, dinner was going to be around seven, but I were just trying to finish this one last track. And so I get home at eight o’clock instead, well, that’s just disrespectful, you know, and, and she would be rightfully mad. But at the time, I didn’t see a reason to be mad because I’m justifying. So we justify we justified here ready for it. We have this card that we can play that no one can, can refute. It’s the god card. We just pull that card out. It’s like the ace of spades. It’s like, there we go. It’s like some kind of a card game. You’re like, you lay the god card down. How can they argue with that? You’re like,
Unknown Speaker 19:16 Yeah, but it’s for
Paul Baloche 19:18 the Lord for the Lord. It’s ministry. It’s that. And then when I realized after a few years that that doesn’t quite cut it. That’s sometimes when I go to my the other excuse was like, babe, I don’t know, you’re I’m still figuring this out. You’re absolutely right. I over committed. I don’t know what I was thinking. I thought I could kind of get all this and squeeze it in. And I’m really sorry. So that’s all I’m sharing a lot of negative stuff. I can share some positive things that I tried to do.
Alex Enfiedjian 19:45 Yeah, I’d like to actually talk about that next because so there were seasons where there was tension between the marriage and the ministry, but there were a lot of seasons where it was really well played together. Obviously, you shared that you guys used to sing too. Together, and she would support you in the things you were doing, but maybe share more on the side of like things that you did well to prioritize your family over the ministry. What were some of those things,
Paul Baloche 20:12 one component that really helped us a lot was being part of a, of a church where we had real friends, like real friends, you could count even on one hand, but so when I was traveling, or if I was busy, my wife did have a few good girlfriends that she could call and hang with, or they get together and like, so that’s important to make sure you have friendships, I have some good guy friends, she has good girlfriends. And that was a good outlet and a healthy thing for us. And then as couples, we were able to kind of process things with other couples maybe. And also couples that were not in ministry, that was helpful. It was a good, healthy balance for me to be around people because so much of my life was about like music and writing songs ministry and this and that and that add on, you’re just kind of get caught up. And that becomes your whole world. And it was good to be thrown in with friends who were like, hey, under carpet cleaning business, you know, she was a housewife raising three kids homeschooling. And when we got together, we didn’t really talk about music or ministry it was. So that was healthy. Also, when I was home, I tried to be 100% home. I didn’t have hobbies. There’s no such thing as a hobby. My kids were my hobbies. Now, don’t be offended somebody here’s our That’s terrible. Simply What I mean by that is, rather than like being gone and working, you know, 5060, who knows how much? How many hours a week, but then whenever I was home, oh, babe, I’m going to go play golf now. Or I’m going to go It was like, No, no, no, no, when I’m home, I’m doing dishes, I’m taking the trash out, I’m looking for seven of those honeydew projects that are trying to anticipate some of her needs.
Paul Baloche 22:04 It’s really important to go through that the love language book. And if you don’t know what your partner’s love languages, then you got to do that immediately. You need to find that out. And make sure because you may think you’re loving this person. And yet, it may not be hitting their heart whatsoever. Because they don’t receive love. That’s not their language. So you’re trying to love them. Maybe words of affirmation, words of affirmation, and maybe their love language is acts of service. So you could talk all day long and say you’re amazing on you’re awesome, babe, you’re great. And they just want you to like, can you please get that lawn mower fixed so that we can cut that lawn? And will you please take this to the shop? And when you finally get that, you know, get the oil change on the car because that red lights been on seems like for a month now you know, the the dummy light, etc, etc. You know. So that’s important. Also go another step. You hear a lot these days about the enneagram. That’s just one of many options, you could do that. And the thing that’s helpful about those is not to put your spouse in a box and say, Oh, well, you’re always this No, but it does give a lot of insight into Wow. So that’s why oh, well, that makes sense. And so all this time I’ve been taking it personal when she doesn’t this or or does this or when the reality is has nothing to do with me. It’s just, it’s she’s kind of made a lot like she’s a bit more melancholy. Like, that’s just the way she is. And that goes with her artistic temperament, and, and all the creative things that I was attracted to and thought were awesome. The other side of that is, you know, it’s a person that likes to be alone at times or have some alone time or etc. I don’t know all the melancholy traits. I remember this counselor, famously saying, Rita, so here’s the problem. So the reason why it takes you so long to get out of church every Sunday, because she’s like, why are we are always the last to leave. Like we’re the first people there. And we just, were always the last to leave and our kids are like, we got to have lunch. We got to go to lunch at one o’clock that so and the counselor said, well read it. So here’s the problem. See between the platform and the exit door. There are people and see paws unable to walk past somebody without making eye contact and saying, Hey, how are you guys doing? You doing all right. And so it became like a little joke in our family that I say well, I’m going to try to do better. And I’ve got to do a little bit of that because I feel like a pastor is more than a guy that gets up and play songs like I got to hang out a little bit afterwards maybe a little prayer for someone or just, but I don’t need to stay for an hour either. So there’s a balance. So sometimes with my kids as they started growing, they put my guitar in this case, they’d roll up my cables. And they’d be like, Alright, dad, as I’m talking to somebody, we’re ready to go. So So then we start making our way to the door my wife would say, okay, just look down, baby. Just look down. Don’t Don’t look. That’s it, baby. You got it. You got this just keep just looked down. Or, or just look at me talk to me. We’re talking. You and I just make eye contact with me how we’re almost at the door. We’re almost there. Uh huh. Yep, we’re almost there. Great. All right, we’re almost out of the car. Don’t look, we did look to your right. Don’t look to your right. Some nice people are to your right. Don’t look at them. Just keep looking at me like we’re talking. And we did it. We made it to our car.
Alex Enfiedjian 25:51 Yeah, that’s hilarious. That’s hilarious. I there’s so much gold in that answer that I want to pull out. So one thing he said that was helpful was that when you are home, you are fully home, you were totally present to your kids and your family. And you made it a point to do the honey do list and to wash the dishes and to be a help, you know. And I think that’s really hard right now with smartphones, you know, and all that stuff. But I think that’s a good encouragement to all of our listeners to just like, put the smartphone in the sock drawer, I actually have a feature on this phone that like, it turns off, like I can’t use it until like the morning. And so that’s something that’s really cool that you said. The other thing, though, is just serving your spouse’s needs as much as you serve the needs of the people at church, like they shouldn’t get our leftovers, you know, the fact they should get our best. And yet, often we go and we give everyone else our best. And then we come home to our spouse and we’re tired and grumpy. That’s just like, not fair. It’s not. And then the other thing that you said was like you studied to understand her, you know, and to understand who is this person I live with? the good and the bad? And then how do we help each other in that? Yeah. And also, also you guys, sounds like you went to counseling. I’ve gone a couple times of counseling with my wife and I want to go more honestly, I’d like to go a lot more. I just think it’s really healthy and helpful. But you guys were actively working on your marriage. So that’s good
Paul Baloche 27:15 at different times. Yeah, at different times. And let me throw in two quick caveats. The other thing when when children started growing, I felt like my job was the athletic director. So like, Dad is the athletic director. So when I would come home from a trip, my goal was like, get those kids outside. Give mom some headspace. And even when you come home from from your job, you may be tired, but like, even if you can just like Hey guys, good to see Alright guys, come on, get your sneakers on, let’s go. We’re going outside. And Come on, let’s go. We’re going outside. Here we go. We’ll move on. Whether it was riding bikes or rollerblading back in the day, or, you know, walking a few blocks in the park and there was a you know, different things you could do there. So, but the goal was for me was to get my kids away from my wife. So she does have a little headspace, which was so important to her. And also, when I started traveling with a band, when we would kind of get to the airport we’d about about ready to say goodbye. Hey, guys, we’ll see you next month or seen a couple weeks. One of us would always bring up the fact that you guys were were wasted. It was a great weekend, we pour it out we gave it was amazing. But you know, in a couple hours, we’re going to be walking in our front door, and let’s not give our wives the leftovers what you just said. So sometimes as a band, we would pray, Lord, give us grace and energy and strength. And when we walk in the door, we’re positive we’ve got energy, you know, really love equals energy. That’s another side note. But when we say we want to love our wives, it’s like, it’s energy guys. It’s like it’s giving energy not coming in depleted of energy. So that whatever you have to do before you open that front door and walk in, you just say Lord, hi, I need extra grace right now I don’t have it in my own flesh. I’m so white. We’ve got barely got any sleep poured out. But that’s not an excuse. Lord, I pray for grace and strength and a good attitude. To walk in that door right now and express love. So, yeah,
Alex Enfiedjian 29:17 that’s good. So marriage is it’s a fight in a sense, you know, to keep it healthy. There’s offense and defense. I’d love to hear some of your offensive tactics to make your marriage stronger over the years. And then I’d love to hear some of the things you did on the defensive to protect your marriage and to to safeguard it. So do you wanna talk about offense first?
Paul Baloche 29:38 Yeah, well, one offense, Stevens made me think this, oftentimes when we would go to a counselor or something, either her and I would have this revelation to like, hey, just a reminder that I’m not against you. It’s you and me, against the world. It’s you and me against the enemy of our soul is you and me against the enemy that wants to come in and steal dividing. conquer our family. And so even though we’re working on some things that are hard and difficult, I’m still on your side, I hope you see it that way that it’s you and me against. So as opposed to me against her, or vice versa. So that’s really helpful to establish as an overarching theme and principle in your marriage. So on the offense, there is a scripture, I think it’s in First Peter, but live with your wives in an understanding way. I love that scripture, like you need to understand some of the idiosyncrasies and don’t see them as what’s good and what’s bad. Even that kind of language isn’t helpful. Just see it as it’s this is the whole person that I married. And some things are I love, and they’re so appealing. And other things are like, I don’t understand. I don’t relate. And that’s difficult. But it’s not necessarily wrong. Because for years, at times, I would think I was right. And she was wrong, had said, Let’s go to a counselor, because I pretty much know that like if she would just do a, b and c, we’d be fine. And then what a revelation when I realized, wow, I got stuff I need to work on. I got a so one offensive thing is that make it your ambition. One of your life ambitions, keep working on your own stuff. Like as Jesus said, you start let’s start dealing with all that telephone pole in your own eye that big long before you start pointing out the splinters in your spouse’s eye. So defense, defense wise.
Alex Enfiedjian 31:39 Yeah, like even even protecting from like infidelity or those types of things as well. So whatever, anything that you guys did on that front,
Paul Baloche 31:46 yeah, well, having having close friends, like legit friends, guy, friends, girlfriends, that you meet with on a regular basis, if you’re not connected locally to guys it. I’m not talking about Sunday morning, Hey, good morning, church, let’s stand together, not those people. But the Tuesday morning prayer breakfast, you know, or even just a coffee, where you guys can go through some books or go through also just some questions of going around, especially lust, pornography, all those, you know, a lot of guy issues and yet some woman wrestle with those issues, too. We need that for our own sake, for our own sake, for the health of our own death, that’s dealing with our own stuff. Instead of looking at your partner and going well, yeah, but yeah, but you know, he or she needs to work on it, you will? Okay, well, there’s plenty to work on in our own lives. So, you know, filters on the just things that create roadblocks. And as well as knowing that Tuesday, I’m going to see someone so and I’m going to see so and so. And if he asked me, I don’t want to feel like a piece of dirt. You know, I want to be able to answer like, Yeah, man. Yep, crossed my mind had an opportunity. But thankfully, I picked up my guitar and I just was practicing my scales. I went for a run I got on my bike, I find that physical exercise is really good for guys, especially just to kind of get that get that thing out, you know, go run and go get them on a bike and even the physicality of a guitar like just no work just that the physical having an instrument in your hands and working on on new things. That just takes up time creativity in a healthy way. So that’s offensive stuff or defensive. I mean, traveling, not traveling alone, always having a guy with you years and years ago, I didn’t know when I was just starting to get asked to go places I got asked to do this conference in Canada. And I remember showing up and Brian Dirksen remember Brian Dirksen Yeah, Re finers fire you might want or come now is the time. So many songs, I love Brian, but I’ll never forget this. I was late 20s. And he was like, after a few minutes. He’s like, so yeah, well, good to finally meet you, Paul. I mean, I’ve heard you know, just know a little bit about you that, like I like one album with integrity at the time. And but so you travel alone. I was like, Well, yeah, goes why I was like, I mean, I don’t know. I just didn’t want to like ask the guy for another ticket. So it kind of weird. You know, I was just honored to be invited. He said, Wow. So yeah, I would never do that. I would never risk my marriage. Just because someone else was unwilling to buy a plane ticket. And then he said he says I’m a fragile human being that was that became I because I came home and I told my wife about this conversation. We, in a healthy way, we it became an inside joke with Rita Nye, we’d look at each other time to go. I’m a fragile human being. But it was just a really beautiful, honest admission on Brian’s part to say, you know, I’m fragile, like, I don’t put anything past I’m capable of anything. Yep. And I found that just being able to travel with one other person just removes about 95% of that of any sort of temptation or possibility. And it’s like, wow, you know, because even if you’re a guy, you’re in a hotel room back in the day, you know, and it was a before there was internet via Yeah, all that stuff. And you would just just be fighting these thoughts, that even good men. So this is the this is the reality. These, we’re talking about good men here, not talking about perverts, we’re not talking about talking about healthy red blooded men that really want to do good and be good men. That’s what I’m talking about here. And I every every guy I know has, to some degree struggled or wrestled with that part of our nature. So you don’t have to live in this box of shame and think that you’re some pervert for even thinking these thoughts know, you’re you’re kind of that’s biology, a lot of its biology, but our job as believers is to bring it under control, you know, by the power of the Holy Spirit and accountability. Anyway,
Alex Enfiedjian 36:24 blah, blah, blah. That’s good. No, that’s really good. And and I have an episode that I did Gosh, also three or four years ago, called wise boundaries with the opposite sex in ministry. And that’s with Dr. Zack Carter, who actually got his PhD around the subject of interpersonal relationships between genders. And so I’ll put a link in the show notes. But yeah, I think it’s so important that we have rules that we follow. Like, I don’t text women in less like only about a ministry question like, Can you sing the song in this key? Like, that’s the extent of my texting relationships with women. Like if if they’re in my office, the doors open, my wife, believe it or not, is my accountability partner, because I found that like, telling her something is so horrible and so hard that it keeps me from being at it most of the time, you know, and not everybody can can do that. And even for us, it was a multi year journey to get to that point, it was really hard. But yeah, having those defensive mechanisms in place some rules that you and your wife agree upon, like, I love that I don’t travel alone ever. Like that’s just so that’s so wise. So what what’s one thing now that you appreciate about marriage that you didn’t understand when you were younger?
Paul Baloche 37:34 And the depth of friendship and relationship? Like it’s just such a deep? Such a deep thing? Yeah, I mean, friendship is just, I don’t know, that’s maybe that sounds shallow. It’s not though, friendship, you’ve done I mean, reading that we’ve done 33 years together. Before that we were platonic friends for three years. We were both wild and crazy kids doing rock and roll stuff. And then both got born again, separately, then when we you to me too, and that became sort of our, our friendship with each other was as we were our first couple years in the Lord. She was just trying to walk straight now. And me too, and just trying to we were just platonic friends learning things about the Lord and like, hey, and I moved to California, went to a music school and we kept in touch and all that, and I eventually came back to Jersey married her. So we were friends, you know, over more than half our lives. We’ve been together so. So you know, here we have been quarantined together for six weeks, and we’re not like at each other’s throats. I mean, we’ve had a few moments where it’s like, I think we need I think I just need to go disappear. But we really appreciate it over the last few weeks, even how just hanging out Hey, buddy, go Hey, buddy. How’s it going? A buddy. You know, and I think about some of the things we’ve gone through the shoe. Yeah. You know, we’ve been through hard things and amazing things. Now we have three grandchildren’s like, sheesh, that’s an amazing milestone, like, how did that even happen? Seemed like yesterday, our kids were just is raising little kids. And now we’ve got three little grandkids. So, huh. And
Alex Enfiedjian 39:17 that’s the legacy of commitment, right? It’s right there. All full circle back to commitment. Like if you would have given up at any point or have would have let some sort of intruder into the relationship to break it up. Like you would miss out on this deep well of friendship and experience in life journey that you now have with this one person. And in a sense, you’re like so connected that you like have not achieved fully but that one flesh relationship. And the fruit of that now is like Healthy Kids, healthy grandkids a legacy of good fruit that hasn’t been tainted by a bad ending. And it’s just like, wow, like, commitment is everything.
Paul Baloche 39:59 It is it is Keep working on again, there’s still things about her that are a mystery. And that’s awesome. And same vice versa, that I’m sure there’s things where she scratches her head and goes, I can’t believe sometimes she’ll say, That’s such a bachelor thing to do. I’ll think I need to okay. That’s something that she noticed, I’m going to work on that. That’s something that’s, and this is fun. I think guys respond to like, give me a challenge. Like, give me give me the parameters here. Give me what can I work on? And maybe woman do to speaking of real quick one last thing on the offense defense thing? Social media. You’re right. Like you mentioned, the texting thing. You know, social media is fascinating in that sometimes well, meaning there’s, there’s zero. But somebody’s just like, hey, Oh, I love your ministry are really blessed me that are done. You know, how can I pray for you and not added on to that? And before? You know, it’s like, well, yeah, you could pray about this. And now Gee, thanks. You know, before you know it, if you’re naive to that, and it may be completely innocent, but just be aware, if you’re an emotionally open person, a lot of worship leaders, that’s part of what makes you good at what you do, you’re you kind of where that emotion on your sleeve and in a public gathering place, you’ve got uses that powerfully and you, you’re able to like, Hey, you know, let’s gather together and that that feeling part of you, you know, we use that word passion, a lot of passion, we need to lead with passion. And, and yet, you know, passion is a, it’s a Pandora’s box to again, be we need to keep that in check. And so sometimes, you know, if you’re naive, and I feel like there was moments along the way, where I didn’t see that, and my wife can see it a mile away, she could see that, and what I thought was somewhat innocent, little exchange was a bit hurtful, and I had to learn over it, especially the last five, six years, with more social media, all these different, you know, just just lingering on a communication, like over a few days or a couple of weeks. So that same person always coming back around. And it may be you know, nothing was violated. And yet, it’s just and we don’t want to be paranoid, I want to be able to encourage the opposite sex and, and be able to speak a kind word and a little word of encouragement. But so don’t be paranoid. And don’t be afraid. But just don’t be naive. And maybe, as you do, maybe you share your all like my wife has access to all my social media. So she I think there’s been over the years, maybe two or three, that she would just say, who’s this person? Why would I go? I don’t really know. I don’t I’ve never met them. But I think they’re from you know, this place. I think they’re from here and yeah, seems like she’s always kind of coming back round always kind of has something to say, you know, like, Huh, really? Okay. Yeah, well, maybe Now those of worth blocking her or, but at least it makes ignoring it just at least makes me aware of like, yeah, just just keep that door kind of. Pretty, pretty close. Yeah.
Alex Enfiedjian 43:12 Yeah. And when our wives say that, like do not dismiss it, just say Yes, honey, amen. Like I belong to you. And I will listen to you, if it makes you uncomfortable that I’m talking to this person, like, I will cut that way back all the way back, like, because in the end, it’s your wife You have to live with. And like you don’t, it doesn’t matter what that other person thinks. Like, that’s why your wife like your wife, your wife is the one you come home to. So you want to make sure she’s happy and that your relationship is strong. So I appreciate that a lot.
Paul Baloche 43:41 And sorry, sometimes that temperament be aware of chemistry, sometimes on a worship team. Or if you’re traveling, you know, there could just be a, you’re kind of blindsided by a potential chemistry thing. So whether you’re male or female, this could happen either way. And so you and your spouse have a certain chemistry thing that that’s cool. But you know, it’s not 100% sometimes something another person sort of starts, you’re getting that from them, if you will, even a complete stranger, it could be words of affirmation, it could just be an innocent sort of pat on the back or a touch or just what seems like an innocent, but it sort of awakens something in you like a sense of Oh, you know, you know, and if you’re naive or to that kind of a thing. So just be aware. These are things to just be aware of.
Alex Enfiedjian 44:35 So, Paul, yeah, I really appreciate before we talk about your new album, behold Him. Just maybe one final word of encouragement to worship leaders regarding maintaining a healthy marriage in their ministry,
Paul Baloche 44:46 practice. Love is patience. Love is kind. So it’s good. Even when you’re grumpy and you don’t feel like it. You can still try to be kind. When you’ve just had an argument the night before. The morning is still a little bit cold, you can still just do something kind, you can empty the dishwasher, you can still make the bed guys, you can actually make the bed sometimes, okay? Imagine that you can actually take some of the clothes out of the dryer and maybe start folding some towels and putting socks and underwear to get you know, just that’s kind that’s helpful. That’s and patience is simply not responding. And if you’re really angry, get out of the house, get on a bike, go for a ride, and practice and scream therapy.
Unknown Speaker 45:37 Awesome. Seriously,
Paul Baloche 45:39 I am, I’m serious. There were days back in the day, I just thought if I open my mouth and say what I’m thinking, I’m gonna do a lot of damage. So I’m just like, leave the house, get on my bike or go for a walk. And sometimes I was gonna say, I’ll tell you one time near it’s been 25 years ago. But I remember going into this little there was like some woods near our house and I go there and I picked up a stick and was like, banging this tree with a stick because it just felt good that like, bang, bang a tree with a stick and never laid a hand on my wife or anything, obviously. And I’d have no desire. That wasn’t the idea. It was just getting the sort of anger out, get the getting the anger out. And I think, go lift some weights, go to the gym, get a punching bag, and just be like, boom, boom, ah, work it out, and then come back in the house and be like, I love you. And say I’m sorry, maybe I misunderstood. What can Let’s try again. Anyway.
Alex Enfiedjian 46:42 Yeah, that’s good. Paul, your new album, released a month ago. It’s called Yeah, hold him up, hold him. And what are a couple songs from that album that you feel like are really already beginning to resonate with churches that the worship leaders listening should take a listen to and consider introducing to their congregation? One or two, three?
Paul Baloche 47:03 Yeah, well, there’s 10 songs on the album. So out of those or the 10 out of 50 you know, I kind of when you do an album, you try to narrow down that your songs from all the songs you’ve been writing. So most of the songs were co written. There’s a lot of good co writers. I’ll drop some names Matt Redman, Nia fields. Jason Ingram. Leslie Jordan, I feel like we read a sweet song called I am thankful. But the first song What a good God. I wrote with Brenton Brown. And I feel like it’s a good uptempo. You know, you always kind of need those opening statements and, and it came, you know, Brendan’s house. He was was in the Malibu fires a couple years ago, he burned down, he lost everything, and lost all his possessions. And they still haven’t rebuilt. It’s still just, it’s been so hard. But a year ago, him and I were together, and just spent a few days and he was just something he said, from that. He said, you know, as, as hard as it’s been. We’ve just felt God’s presence. It’s like, you know, I know each time I doubt his goodness, I just, like, he just showed me that he’s with us, you know, and just the way that came out of his mouth. I’m like, Man, that that is such that’s something we need to sing, you know, each time to goodness, well, I’m lucky on that cable. Each time I doubt your goodness, you show me you with us. Your presence makes the difference. I’ve seen it every time. What a good God. So I really believe in that song. And as a worship leader, you’re looking for that up tempo, opening statement. But I feel like it has substance a lot of times opening up tempo songs. You know, that’s always been a challenge for me. Like I’ve wanted to write songs that are upbeat, and yet have substance so All right, the next one couple songs later is behold him I feel like is probably maybe the best song I’ve been a part of in the last 10 years. Wow. And I’m not exaggerating. It feels like a your name. It feels like an above all. It wasn’t crafted over weeks and weeks. It was like just co written over Skype with Mitch Juan. And he was in Australia and I’m in New York and I’ve actually never met him in person. And we wrote this silver you know, it’s Psalm 41 or a psalm 46 says Be still we know that scripture and know that I’m God. So over and over again that you know the hook in the song is the still be hold. You was before there was like it’s one of those where you try to write the gospel and one song like for Before creation, and then creation, and then when he comes to earth, and then the cross and then a resurrection. So I try to do that intentionally, like, at least once a year, like Alright, let’s write another song. Like, let’s write the gospel in a song. So I feel like it does that. And the chorus is, you know, Jesus, Son of God, Messiah, lamb, the roaring lion. Oh, be still and be hold in viewtiful Yeah, I’m just being honest. I’m from on a spiritual level, it feels like it’s one of those where I don’t even know if I had anything to do with it. I feel like I My hands are open. And God said, hey, go, I just want you to just deliver this to the church, like a FedEx guy or something. Maybe the last song is a million years, a million years. I feel like a lot of people a lot of worship leaders have said, yeah, we in a million years, will we see it then was the suffering and pain part of your plan? Will we finally see what we now believe that you are making beauty out of everything, and we will still be singing Hallelujah, we will see you face to face all heaven will adore your name forever. Jesus, He will rain anyways, I think that’s worth checking out. It’s the last song on the project.
Alex Enfiedjian 51:19 That’s so good. So I’m gonna put links in the show notes to all those not the songs but to the album itself. But are there any other places people can connect with you online.
Paul Baloche 51:29 So I uploaded all my teachings that I thought were still good on our YouTube channel, so songwriting and are broken up into modules. So there’s like 10 modules. And then leading worship, if you want to know if I could spend three hours with you, whoever you’re whoever This is listening. It was, it would be what I would tell you, if you and I could have sit down and have coffee. So we shot this all around New York City. So once on songwriting 10 modules, maybe you can call up a friend and go through some of these together, or worship leading. And then the third one is worship team workshop. So it’s something your drummer, a bass player or guitar player, like, you’re part of the worship team. You can go through this module by module, it’s completely free. Just go to YouTube and lead worship, or YouTube publish, it’ll take you there. And it’s been a lot of work. But I think, you know, I feel like again, it’s been encouraging to hear feedback from people that are during this downtime quarantine, they’ve been going through these modules and just being really encouraged So, and just social media just at Paul blush, you know, on Instagram, Twitter, and all that stuff, mostly Instagram. Twitter is so toxic. Sometimes I get on it, but it’s it can be rough.
Alex Enfiedjian 52:49 Yeah. Well, Paul, you’re one of the most generous people I know, both with just your heart and also with all the content you’ve created. So thank you for even this hour that we’ve been on Skype. I appreciate the time and appreciate all you do to bless worship leaders everywhere. Thank you so much. Thank you, Alex.
Paul Baloche 53:09 Appreciate you, brother. You were you were ahead of the pack on this podcast thing. You were one of the first guys that just got that revelation from the Lord that hey, this could become something. This long form interview format really is turned out to be amazing, but you were one of the first guys to recognize that. So may God continue to bless you and your ministry and your marriage and your family. In Jesus name. In Jesus name, amen.
Alex Enfiedjian 53:41 Alright, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope it was helpful to you remember, your marriage is your first ministry. If you lose your marriage, you’re going to lose your ministry too. So focus on your marriage make it a priority. If you know somebody who needs to hear this episode, please send it on to them. And I will see you back here for another helpful episode. In one month’s time. God bless you guys. See you soon.
Amazing wisdom – thank you Alex and Paul!