Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders 10 Signs You Might Be Married to Your Ministry

10 Signs You Might Be Married to Your Ministry

My good friend and podcast colleague, Josh Griffin, wrote a humorous twitter a couple days ago:

Joshua Griffin wrote:

I asked Siri to “text my wife”…Siri asked, “which wife do you mean: Saddleback Church or Angela?” My iPhone already knows me. Wow.

This Twitter was funny because it had a sting of truth connected to it that so many of us could relate to.

I “do-life” with Josh and I know he was kidding… partly because when you’re married to your work you’re usually not self-aware enough to make jokes about it. Josh is one of the few guys I know who is able to carefully juggle work, ministry, and family. He’s an amazing minister, dad and husband.

But, not everyone juggles work so well. I have one friend who confessed, “I was married to my wife, but I was having an affair with the church” (where he worked).

One of the common cries coming from American homes is: “You work too much!” Sadly, it wouldn’t surprise me if this cry was even louder from the homes of ministry leaders (where ministry never stops because there’s so many needs to meet).

In no way am I suggesting that these are the only signs, but here are 10 I listed after reflecting on Josh’s Twitter:

1. You come home and immediately jump into work: or if you don’t work immediately, you’re thinking about it while you’re “paying your family dues.”

2.  You’re regularly giving your marriage/family your emotional table-scraps.

3.  You find yourself saying, “This pace is just for a season” but your spouse would say, “You’re always saying ‘it’s just a season.’”

4.  You routinely saying “yes” to “more” without cutting anything out of your schedule or off of your responsibility list.

5.  You miss family events (or kid’s activities) and easily justify your absence.

6.  There’s looming (if not active) tension at home with “how much you work.”

7.  You wake up thinking about work.

8.  You go to bed thinking about work.

9.  The majority of your friends are the people you work with.

10. You can’t go more than an hour or two without checking email.

Obviously these aren’t the only signs, but 10 is a good place to start.

Let’s create a list! I bet that we could collectively create a “365 ways to know you’re married to your work” document. Each one of these ideas could require a page of journaling and self-reflection and really help people.

Question: How do you know your work is getting more attention that your primary relationships?  

Follow up question: What “alarms” or “gauges” do you have in play that keep you from having an affair with your work?