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Keeping Balance in Your Family and Church Life

Is your family getting neglected because of your work at the church? Or have you been loving your spouse as Christ loves the church?

By Judah Thomas
September 26, 2016 8:21 am EST

Topics: Leadership,
Tags: family, leadership, ministry,

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Those of us who are involved leading a technical ministry know that it can often seem like the technology is the most important thing in the world. Everything we do is so important for the Kingdom of God. In ministry, including tech ministry, there is always more that can be done so it can be very difficult to get a balance between ministry and family. Our reasoning is that the ministry can't wait, but our families can.

So, we work harder and harder to accomplish more and more, yet the mountain of things to do grows bigger and not smaller. Since we are working for the church it all seems urgently important, so we just put our heads down and work harder. Meanwhile our families are often neglected and sidelined as we pursue the Church.

This all seems and feels very noble and you may even get commended and complimented for working so hard, but the tensions are growing at home. We expect our families to just understand that what we are doing is important and that there is a good reason that we chose serving the church before serving them.

I personally fell into this trap for many years. I worked and worked and sacrificed but at some point realized that my family was starting to suffer from it and emotionally I was also suffering from it. I needed to make a change.

Unfortunately when many ministry workers come to this realization they make one of two wrong choices. The first wrong choice is that they ignore it and just push all the harder with their ministry responsibilities. Their prayer is something like this, “God please pull in the slack with my family while I put all of my time and energy into loving and serving your church.”

The other wrong choice that they may make is just by throwing in the towel altogether. They figure that serving God in this capacity demands far too much and so they walk away from ministry altogether and put the blame on “burn out.”

There is a third option which is often overlooked, but it comes straight from Scripture:

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her

Certainly you've heard this verse before, and if you are a wife instead of a husband please realize that it applies to you as well. The thing that stands out to me is that we are not being commanded to love the church, we are commanded to love our spouse and our family. This is our primary responsibility. It is Christ's responsibility to love the church, not ours. In fact listen to what Jesus says:

Matthew 16:18 ...I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Jesus was speaking to Peter in this verse, but who was tasked with building the church? Was it Peter? Is it you? No. It is Christ's job.

What often happens is that we try to do Christ's job of building the church and then we expect him to do our job of taking care of our family. We have tried to swap roles with the Creator.

It is time for us to give Jesus His job back and for us to take our role more seriously. Instead of putting all of our time and energy into the church and begging God to pull in the slack with our families, we need to put the focus on our family and let God pull in the slack with His church.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we become lazy in our ministry, but I am saying that we need to make sure that our priorities are in the proper order.

Listen to what Paul listed as one of the qualifications for ministry:

1 Timothy 3:4-5 He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity. 5 But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God?

How well are you doing with this? Is your family getting neglected because of your church involvement? Or have you been loving your spouse as Christ loves the church?

 

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