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Articles | Families

Here we go again! The new school year is just around the corner, and with it comes the cyclical shift from summer to fall programming.

No doubt you’re already laying the groundwork for fall meetings and finalizing those calendars to get in parent’s hands. You’re busily preparing for an influx of students and new challenges ahead. But have you thought about how the start of the school year will impact your family? It’s a crucial thing to consider; yet many of us forget how this change affects our personal schedules and relationships.

You might want to consider taking some time with your spouse and/or family during these last few weeks of summer to discuss the following questions:

1) Are there any programmatic changes this school year that will impact our family?

It can be really easy to get excited about new ideas, and move ahead with ministry changes, before consulting your spouse. If you have the flexibility to include your spouse in ministry planning, however, that is the best road to take. Your spouse should have a say in how your job pushes and prods at home life. And for those of you who’s ministry schedule is dictated by a supervisor or senior pastor, just make sure to let your spouse know what’s coming. Our spouses shouldn’t be finding out about changes when the calendars get passed around. They should know ahead of time and be given the opportunity to voice concerns and suggest compromises.

2) Is your spouse’s involvement in the ministry going to change?

If your spouse serves in the youth ministry with you, August is a great month to pause and re-evaluate their involvement during the upcoming school year. Many times, circumstances like job changes, aging parents, health concerns, raising kids, and ministry burnout can impact both our spouse’s ability and desire to serve in the youth group. Whatever your own feelings, don’t just assume your spouse still wants to participate. Ask them about it. Sometimes your spouse will stay involved because he/she doesn’t want to let you down or because they feel pressure from churchgoers.

This isn’t healthy, and it’s better for your marriage and the youth ministry for spouses to be involved only when they want to.

3) Do we need to re-prioritize our marriage?

Take a good, hard look at your relationship. Where is it weak? Where is it strong? How will the new ministry schedule impact your marriage? Will you have less time for each other? Will you have more? Do you need to re-boot a weekly date night? How has your sex life been and what can you do to make it better? Is there something you can do to make your spouse feel more loved this fall?

The key is to be present-minded, instead of cruising along as normal. Be intentional about making positive changes in your marriage. Keep a keen eye on the hours of the day you spend doing ministry and then with your spouse and/or family. The fall is a great time of year to re-evaluate your marriage, the air is crisp, the cider is hard and the time is ripe to energize both your personal and professional life!

- Jake and Melissa / @marriageismessy

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