Focusing On Your Family
Summer is almost upon us. School will soon be out. The weather should be warm and compelling. Folks around the world will be taking vacations. How about you? Do you have anything planned?
I want to urge you, my colleague, to take advantage of this summer season to focus on your family. Give them the quality time they deserve. Build enduring memories for a lifetime. Bond with the various members of your family as never before. Use this summer to strengthen every aspect of your relationship with your family. Really love them.
A strong family requires more than a comfortable bank account, expensive house, respectable neighborhood, or top-notch schools. It exists only on a minister’s wish list until it is a lived-out relationship, characterized by love and hard work among those who occupy the same household. The primary impediments to a strong ministerial family are not church politics or other environmental disadvantages. Instead, impediments arise from the lack of lived-out love in the couple for each other and for their children.
Strengthening clergy families demands an intentional commitment to the abiding values of the home. Whatever the minister’s family has is contagious in the church, either good or bad. Society will be strengthened when the homes of spiritual leaders are improved. Here are some guidelines:
- Consider the advantages of being a ministry family.
- Strive to please the people who matter most.
- Get your family in tune with God.
- Feed faith to your children.
- Refuse to blame common problems on the ministry
- View your family as a gift you give yourself.
You know how hectic our schedules as pastors can be. Several years ago, a leadership survey reported that 81 percent of ministers said insufficient time with their spouses was a major problem, by far the most common concern. Likewise, when I was serving at Focus on the Family, we would ask ministers about the greatest danger facing them and their families. The overwhelming answer was lack of time. This summer would be a great time to remedy that.
What would happen if you asked your spouse and children how they feel about your schedule? Do they ever feel they take second place to your profession? Find out whether your children think being a PK is a positive or negative experience.
Do you engage in activities that strengthen the bonds between you and your children? Why not surprise them when they get home from school today with a special activity together. Or, if your kids are grown, just give them a call and tell them how much they mean to you. Or, if you and your children have been at odds over something, use this day as an opportunity to clear the air.
Does your family know how you feel? I pray that, without a doubt, they realize you love them more than anything. And I pray they know it because of your actions, not just your words.
“Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect” (1 Timothy 3:2-5). In other words, if anyone does not know how to manage (and enjoy) his own family, how can he take care of (and enjoy) God’s church?
“I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths” (Proverbs 4:11).
©2014 HB London. Originally posted at hblondon.org