The following post is contributed by my beautiful wife, Dana Schmoyer (pictured to the left, holding me shortly after I proposed). She often blogs about youth ministry from the perspective of a youth pastor’s wife at DanaSchmoyer.com and is pretty active on Twitter.. She put a lot of thought into this post for you all. If you have questions, she’d love to answer them in the comments below.
9. Have fun and be care free.
Enjoy every moment you can. Don’t let the little stuff stress you out. It takes time to learn which adults work well with which students. Go where the spirit leads, and when he doesn’t, leave it up to others. A great way Tim has helped me to be carefree is by not telling me things that would probably upset me, such as someone either criticizing him or the youth ministry. I take it personally, and then I don’t look at that person the same any more.
8. Try something new.
I have found that youth really enjoy it when you are willing to try something you haven’t done, and when you do it with them. I am terrified of heights, and on our first canoe trip with our youth group we got to the part of the river with a bridge that they always stop at to jump off of. The kids were so excited for me to get up there and jump. It’s a great bonding time and then you have stories to share with them. Also, a great way I have found to bond with the boys is to play video games, and join in on sports games with them. Ask God to show you a new way to build relationships with the youth, and be willing to stretch.
7. Learn to say no.
Your husband needs to learn this too. I learned that if you don’t at least say yes a couple times when invited to something, then you probably wont be invited again, but when you say yes to everything it gets overwhelming. You can’t make it to everything, and that’s okay. It’s good for students to see you at their events, and it’s a good time to get to know their families. It’s also good that they see you model healthy boundaries. Make band concerts and plays a date with your spouse, but not every one. People will understand if you don’t make it to all the student’s extra curricular events.
6. Surround yourself with other godly women.
It is good to have fellowship with other women, especially since most of us like to chat, and sometimes our husbands can’t handle all that we want/need to talk about. Plus, after living with a man 24/7 it is nice to be around a female to relate to with all of our womanly quirks. Make sure the women are godly so you can lift each other up in prayer, encouragement and accountability.
5. Be present.
It is very easy for a teen girl to develop a crush on her youth pastor, especially if he is hot (like my husband!). The spiritual aspect of any relationship becomes intimate, that is why we are to surround ourselves with other godly women, not men. Wives, if the students see you regularly (I know this is probably harder if you have kids) and see that your public interaction with your husband shows that you two are totally in love, this will help girls know he’s romantically interested in you, not them. Husbands, if you aren’t quick to catch on, then let your wife help you notice signs of a crush. Be careful with how often they call or text message you, and be careful with how frequently you respond. If you reply or answer the phone every time or almost every time, they will more than likely contact you even more. I have seen a few girls crush on Tim, which is tough, because my feelings towards them change. I am not as friendly, I try to hide it, and then I have a bad heart issue. Another sign of flirting is girls who like to take boy’s hats. I’m pretty sure any girl that has gone through jr. high knows that is a for-sure sign of flirting. Tim doesn’t make a big deal of it when girls do it to him. He just ignores the action, and it soon stops. Wives, let your husband minister to the boys, and you get to know the girls and be a positive spiritual role model to them. This allows a girl to feel comfortable with you, and when she wants to talk with your husband you can be present. Tim and I love to take a girl out to eat together when they need closer attention. If you’ve already been present, it’s not weird for you to be there as a “chaperon.”
Posted on December 1, 2008