Jake and Melissa Kircher

Here’s an important question to ask: Does your spouse know you love them more than your ministry?

The first year we were married, Jake was excited to do something special for Valentine’s Day. He’d been brainstorming ideas since the New Year about places we could go for dinner and things we could do to make the night memorable. However, there was one big glitch in his plans: that particular year, Valentine’s Day fell on youth group night. We’re sure you youth workers feel that nervous gut clench as you read this. You know the feeling. Choosing between work and spouse…what to do?!

Sure, Valentine’s Day is a holiday invented by marketers to sell more stuff in the lull that exists between Christmas and Easter, but that first year it meant something to both of us to celebrate on the actual day.

So, should Jake cancel youth group for a “non-important” holiday?

Or should we celebrate on another night and deal with our hurt feelings about missing that first Valentine’s Day together?

Shortly after realizing this scheduling conflict, Jake attended a youth worker’s conference. While there, he ended up discussing the problem with Doug Fields. Jake asked Doug what he should do, awaiting a list of pros and cons that would affirm this massively complex issue of church versus Valentine’s Day. To Jake’s surprise, he got quite a simple answer from Doug: cancel youth group. Make sure your wife knows you love her more than church.

Yes, we youth workers have a high calling and we need to be passionate about our work. There is a part of you that should want to attend every meeting, answer every text message, and constantly hang out with teens for the sake of showing them a bit of Jesus. But amidst all of that, it is crucial that our spouses and families get the time, love, and attention they need.

Maybe you’re facing the same Valentine’s Day conundrum this month and would want to consider canceling youth group or moving it to another night. Perhaps you could get out of a meeting in order to take your kids to breakfast. Or say no to the extra function this week so you can have a quiet evening with your spouse. Try to think about things you can do over the next week, month, and year to put your spouse and family before your ministry.

Thanks for loving each other and your students,

Jake and Melissa Kircher


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