Mandy and I are both involved with youth ministry. Since we started having children, I am definitely more involved than she is. It’s not that she wants to do less, the opportunity is just not as available with three crumb-crunchers running around the house.
You may find yourself in a similar situation. One of you is very inv0lved with things at church, while the other stays at home with the kids all the time. I come with a warning for those of you who are the involved ones. You cannot disregard your family in the name of serving others. I know it sounds simple, but it is really easy to slip into the trap of ignoring your family for your ministry. Even worse, we might even use the excuse that we are “helping others” and doing “God’s work” so it justified to be gone from our family every night.
My advice is to find a balance. I realize that word (balance) is thrown around alot, but in this case, it fits. I do truly believe that I am called to help bring young people to Christ. I also acknowledge that I was called and chose to be a husband and father. I have gotten much better over the last few years of saying no to people. It helps to remind myself that by saying “no” to something at church, I am saying “yes” to my family.
Bottom line: the last thing you want is to have a wife and kids who resent the ministry work you do. At worse, they will leave. Even if it doesn’t go that far, you may create a resentment festering beneath the surface that will greatly affect the intimacy you share with your spouse. If you find yourself away from your family doing “ministry work” more evenings or weekends than you are with them, start saying “yes” to your family more often.