We all have heard this statement, "family first." I recall hearing it a lot from friends and professors. As the leaders in the home, we are to set the spiritual direction and temperature of the home. In ministry, we spend a lot of time investing in people. Most of the time, if we are honest it is not our family. I tend to keep working, even on my day off. I don't know about you, but I have to make a deliberate effort to prioritize my life. Growing up as a pastor's son, I saw the tug-o-war of ministry and family. A lot of people expected my Dad to be omnipresent! What I learned is that in ministry, it takes intentional decisions to minister to family first.
How do we put family first in this fast paced culture?
First, we need to spend time with Jesus. Growth spiritually is a daily time in prayer and reading God's Word. If we are too busy for spending time with God, we are too busy.
I want to minister to Cassidy more than anyone else. We have to make it a priority or someone will make something else a priority. Now, we don't always go out but we try our best to prioritize our relationship.
If we lose our families because we only invest in others, we will lose our first ministry. I enjoy the time I can spend with Cassidy. As a student pastor, it is easy to say "yes" to everything. But sometimes I have to say "no" so that I can invest in my family.
If we lose our health we will not be able to minister. Exercising and a good night's sleep is what I try to do to stay healthy. If we are too busy to exercise and workout, then we are too busy. As leaders we should set an example in how we take care of ourselves. Take a day off, it is biblical!
1. My relationship with Jesus 2. My relationship with Cassidy 3. My relationship with family 4. Ministry
The most important aspect of ministry is to invest in your family. The greatest example of a godly leader is that they invest in their family. You can have all the "success" of a big church or business and totally miss your family.
I'm reminded that my Dad invested in me, my mom and brothers more than anything else. Although he was busy in the ministry, he always made us a priority. He left a lasting imprint because he was more invested in growing us than only growing numbers on Sunday morning. My mom spent countless hours encouraging us and instilling God's truth in our lives. She exemplified the character of a godly wife and mother to me and my brothers. Our families are our first ministry, I pray that we raise up families that will run after Jesus.
Is your family first or your ministry first? What are your thoughts?