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.

SAVE $20 at SimplyYouthMinistry.com!

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.

SAVE $20 at SimplyYouthMinistry.com!

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.


  • Christian Waltmire says:

    It is important for girls to have someone to mentor them with important issues. Often times this can be the youth pastor’s wife (if he is married). But, it could also be the girl’s own parent, another parent, or another woman or women in the church who step up to work with the girls in the ministry. :)
    My wife is one of the women, along with others in my ministry, that helps fill this role.
    But, I can understand that many women may have callings to serve in other areas of ministry as well or instead.

  • Bart says:

    @ Former Youth Pastor’s Wife:
    That’s why having a team is so important. After 2 years we finally learned that we couldn’t do it all ourselves and recruited a team – both men and women who have a passion for students and a love for Jesus. My wife was then able to step back. She still volunteers (but doesn’t teach any longer) , but if she decided not to, I wouldn’t make her. The awesome thing is since we let go of the reigns a little, we have seen our ministry double in size. Hope this helps!

  • Leave a Comment

    Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or it will be deleted. Let us have a personal and meaningful conversation instead.