Friday Feature Couple ~ Beth & Jon Bennett
We love celebrating and showcasing marriages who are living out their marriage and walk with Christ intentionally. Beth and Jon Bennett are that couple! I met Beth late summer 2015. I had watched a webinar hosted by Boyd Bailey about Ministry Ventures and Boyd had called apologizing for not calling me sooner. I mean, who calls to follow up after a webinar? I was really impressed. I believe the webinar topic was about empowering non-profits to thrive. I was and still am part of the North Georgia Family Counseling Center board and knew we could benefit from learning more about Ministry Ventures. So Boyd introduced me to Beth and we scheduled some time to meet up. I felt an instant connection to Beth. It didn’t hurt that we shared a Dutch heritage connection in our background. At the end of our meeting, she invited me to look into another non-profit who was in need of additional support. Long story short, I joined the recommended non-profit and several amazing godly women were ushered into my life.
Jon is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives with Leadership Network. Their mission is to foster innovation movements that activate the Church towards greater impact around the world!
Previously, Jon was the CEO of Ministry Ventures. He led a team that simplified the “business side” of faith-based non-profits. Jon has worn many hats – Campus ministry director, Associate pastor of a Church of 300 to 5000, Church planter, non profit leader, consultant, strategist, problem solver, coach and starter of stuff.
I am so grateful to call them friends and I hope you enjoy getting to know this fantastic couple!
How did you meet your husband?
We met while in college, at a campus ministry meeting at Central Michigan University.
How did your husband propose?
Jon proposed in a classy restaurant in East Lansing, MI. He got on his knee and asked me to marry him. After I said “yes”, one man noticed what was going on and loudly proclaimed — “That was beautiful!” and the entire restaurant clapped.
How long have you been married?
30 years in June!
What was one thing that surprised you after you were married?
Beth: How expensive it was to live as a couple!
Jon: How truly hot my wife was: she was worth the wait!
What are you both really excited about?
Going to Netherlands/Belgium this summer to celebrate our 30th anniversary.
What’s one thing you do for your husband/wife everyday?
Beth: I make Jon dinner (almost) everyday!
Jon: I pray for my wife.
What’s one piece of advice you would share with someone before getting married?
My Dad told me, I married a Christian but you married a woman of God; I would make that choice everyday and marry someone who is chasing a relationship with Jesus first!
Name a couple who inspires you?
Any pastor and wife that have a strong relationship because we understand the pressures they face!
Are you becoming the husband/wife you hoped you’d be? Why or why not?
Yes, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I am learning to understand Jon better and hopefully becoming the partner he needs in this next stage of our lives together.
What was the happiest period of your marriage and what are the reasons you think so?
Right now is the happiest time! We are empty nesters and we love focusing on each other.
How would you describe the word, “love?”
Here is a quote we ran across recently, “In the middle of every great love story is great patience.”
Would you say that you love each other more now than earlier in our marriage?
Absolutely! If you use the above definition, we are more patient towards each other, more self-aware, more aware of what each other needs. We are quicker to forgive each other.
Do you see him/her growing more godly as the years go on? How are you measuring that?
Yes, we are both in a new season of self-awareness and confidence in who we are in Christ. As we are letting God love us well, we love well. This is the ultimate test of growing more godly…loving well.
Does it bother you that he’s/she’s growing older? If so, in what ways?
No, Jon gets better as he ages. More patient, self-aware, selfless. He keeps in shape, eats right and is a lifelong reader. I think that the best is yet to come for my husband!
Has your husband/wife helped you become more mature spiritually? In what ways?
Beth has a unique gift to discover and put great resources in my hands as well into the lives of others; she has continually been a “burning bush” towards great books and resources.
Do you think your children and friends see your marriage as beautiful? Why or why not?
Having two married kids now, we have heard some very encouraging things in regards to what they notice in our relationship. Of course, they know that we are far from perfect but Beth and I have seen both of these newly married couples treat each other with love and respect so far and that’s very fulfilling.
In what ways does your marriage reflect the relationship of Christ to his future bride, the church?
I’m sure we hardly measure up to that standard, but overall, we have tried to maintain our pursuit of God and keep our relationship with Him first place and then pursue His purposes for our lives as a big priority on a daily basis!
Do you focus too much attention or not enough attention on your children?
When they were little and into their middle school years, we made it a priority to get away at least 3 times and sometimes 4 times a year to build into our marriage and relationship.
Do you feel that he/she respects you? How could he/she show that better?
I have always felt that Beth respects me especially outside our home, I’m so grateful for the way she demonstrates her love in that way. Because men spell love, r.e.s.p.e.c.t.
Are you happy with the way you are involved with other believers?
We both work with ministry organizations, so we interact daily with leaders. We have a wonderful small group of couples in our same age and stage, where we can for the most part, let our hair down, have fun and grow in relationship.
Do you have any ideas concerning your finances that need to be examined?
Having lived on only my income until recently (a Pastor’s salary :-)) we are now catching up on our retirement savings. We are also committed to putting our kids through college, so thankfully 2 down and one to go :-))