While trolling through some Catholic ministry blogs, I came across this post. It made me smile because my husband has often said that he "married up" & has been told this by different people on quite a few occasions over the years. So this had me suspicious...wondering if this is an inside term all the youth ministers use to describe their spouses. Perhaps it is supposed to help us feel better when we hear it; in that moment it helps make up for the long hours & time spent away from home. If so, I think it's a pretty good strategy because, let's face it, we all like to feel appreciated & acknowledged from time to time!
I pride myself on being a strong support system for Jesse's ministry. Even though I'm not at youth group, going to concerts or camping trips, I do feel like I am contributing. When Jesse first became a youth minister, it was hard for me to deal with all the time we spent apart. I felt very disconnected from what he was doing & almost like I was in competition for his attention. But over time, I have matured & allowed myself to get more involved (directly & indirectly), which has helped me become more empathetic to the dedication of time & energy it takes to be a youth minister.
By taking a genuine interest in his programs, retreats, youth groups, etc, I feel more connected as a couple. In fact, in 5 years of ministry, Jesse has never made me feel that my contributions are insignificant. Rather, he says exactly the opposite. Nothing makes me feel more special as a wife than when my husband tells me there is absolutely no way he could do what he does without my love & support. He understands & appreciates the sacrifices I make so that he can do what he does. I feel like an integral part of "our" ministry & have no doubt that we have made the right decisions to be exactly where we are right now.
However, knowing it's right in no way means it is easy! I have to constantly stop myself from saying, "Do you really have to work tonight?" though I admittedly still say it a couple (ok, maybe more!) times a week. But, when I am able to surrender to it, as difficult as that may be, there are always positive things that happen as a result. I just remind myself that I married up... :)