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This month we’re introducing a new series here on the Simply Youth Ministry Today newsletter. We’ve talked Top 3 screw-ups (and who couldn’t add to that list, right?!) We’ve taken a look at three stellar resources on apologetics. And after being married to the Glass House Spouse for 21 years, I have a few Top 3 lists of my own—starting with the Top 3 ways to make your spouse hate youth ministry.

1) Sacrifice the world for youth ministry…and nothing for your marriage.
Cancel dinner dates for emergency calls. Talk youth ministry the entire time you’re on vacation. Never turn off your cell phone, email alerts, or Facebook notifications—all in the name of ministry. Give teenagers your undivided attention and your spouse nothing BUT divided attention.

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Make time at church always and only about your job—and rarely, if ever, about worship with your family. Spend more time planning your next D-Now than your wedding anniversary trip. Spouses love that.

2) Dictate (or allow the church to dictate) your spouse’s role in church ministry.
Make your spouse serve somewhere in youth ministry—because YOU need them there. Don’t pay attention to their passions, calling, or giftedness. Just assume that because you love youth ministry, they do, too. Or better yet, let some power player on the board subtly (or not so subtly) suggest what the youth minister’s spouse SHOULD be doing, then guide your spouse in that direction just to keep the peace. It’s very endearing to the one you’ve pledged your life to!
3) Play politics.
Be sure your spouse never gets the freedom to be human, make mistakes, or take a stand. Shut down any conversation that might remotely reflect poorly on you, the pastor, the church, deacon Larry’s wife, the 5th Sunday preschool volunteer, or the custodian. And never, ever defend your spouse against a church member—ever.

Encounter Jesus with other youth workers at Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2016! Register today.

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Youth ministry can be tough on a spouse. And not all Glass House Spouses are made of bullet-proof glass. Always remember your first ministry is not with teenagers.

How much time are you actually spending on administrative tasks? Use our YM Prep Time Calculator to find out!

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