Who are the men and woman who stay at home and eat dinner without his or her spouse every Sunday during Life Night?
Who bathes the children and puts them to bed before the Life Night ends?
Who prays as much, if not more, for the teens who are in the youth group?
Who stands in the background at parish events while his or her spouse is recognized by everyone (and let’s be honest, prefers it this way)?
Who listens to endless youth ministry drama when his or her spouse gets home?
Who reheats dinner when his or her spouse comes home late because a teen came by the office, as they were about to leave?
Who empathizes when a teen calls late at night with a serious crisis?
Who silences the child in the pew when they scream out “Hi Daddy (or Mommy)!” during the parish announcements?
Who has eaten their share of leftover pizza?
Who listens to his or her spouse practice their XLT/retreat/Life Night talk over and over and over again?
Who’s been the automatic Core Member since they day they said, “I do”?
Who has endured countless high school plays and musicals?
Who cooks the entire Core Team dinner and has an open door policy at home (any hour, night or day)?
The Ministry Spouse (also known as the hot and holy wife/husband, the better half, the boundary maker, the best friend, the prayer warrior, the “let me check with my wife/husband” decision maker, the first lady/man, the co-missionary, or the living saint)!
When married, it is not just the youth minister who is called to youth ministry and parish life. It is both the husband and the wife who make a commitment to God, the teens, and the parish community.
Let’s face it, without a husband or wife praying, supporting, affirming and even encouraging his or her spouse to say yes to God’s call, most would not remain in ministry. It is only with great communication and understanding that the inconsistent ministry schedule even makes sense or has purpose.
So to the wives and husbands who stand in the backgrounds while your spouse takes center stage with the wireless microphone in one hand and the Bible in the other, thank you! Thank you for the long weekends and week-long mission trips when your spouse is away and you feel more like a single parent than a couple. Thank you for enduring cold, hard bleachers at Friday night football games and accepting that as an actual “date.” Thank you for your constant prayers and support during some of the more difficult ministry moments your spouse handles. Thank you for all the ways you love the teens alongside your husband or wife.
You have helped the lead hundreds, if not thousands of teens closer to Christ and your vocation has been a witness to every single teen you have encountered. May the Holy Family continue to strengthen your marriage and family as you continue to surrender to God’s will in your life.
As a Life Teen family, we are praying for you!