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Families | Leadership

I vividly remember telling my “boyfriend” how there was no way I was going to take the youth ministry position being offered. As a volunteer I had “worked” almost 40 hours a week for over six years. If we were talking marriage, and this became my first paid, full-time, youth pastor position, simply too much would be required of me. Seventeen years and four children later, here we are married and together, hand-in-hand, continuing in service in the youth ministry world. Having transitioned through these life phases, what would I tell BOTH the single and married among us?

Be Aware of Seasons of Life
Practically speaking, the way we schedule and focus varies as we move from single to married to babies to growing kids. Each season is unique and brings changes; be aware as you transition through and into them.

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Create Focused Family Time
Don’t get so busy doing ministry you forget the family the Lord has put in your life for deep relationship. When you’re single, this may mean important friendships or extended family. When you’re married, this means your spouse MUST always be most important. When you have children, they NEED you too. Make time for these important people before you do anything else for the Lord.

Be the YOU God Called YOU to Be
Over the years, the way my husband and I approach our marriage, family, and ministry has come under scrutiny. On the outside looking in, we have some “non-traditional” ways we tackle our life. Then one day we had an epiphany: We weren’t living in sin; neither of us was unhappy with our marriage or the way our kids were being raised. Just because others had ideas of who we should be didn’t make it truth.

You might be thinking you will remain single. Perhaps you don’t desire children of your own—or want a small family. Maybe you are a stay-at-home Dad, so your wife can work full time. There are so many scenarios. Are you purposely ignoring sin? Is your spouse unhappy? No? Then just be you, and don’t worry about whether you fit the “mold.”

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Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing
An overused phrase? Perhaps, but keeping Jesus from becoming a ministry accessory takes effort. He must be the foundation of your marriage, the way you parent, and your own life. This may sound like a “given,” yet our relationship with the Lord is usually the easiest to misplace as we go about the business of “doing” ministry—whether single, married, with kids, or none.

How are you navigating your life in ministry whatever you are doing?

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