Don’t Sacrifice Your Children

A friend of mine said something last night at a meeting we were at together that was profound, “The greatest youth ministry is the family, the greatest youth ministers are the parents”.

I won’t inundate you with stats that you probably already know. We all know that the families of America are at risk. There is the secular assault on the definition of the family, divorce, adultery and other moral factors that seek to unravel this most precious of fabrics. There is however, a more insidious threat that is undermining families from within and that is busy-ness.

As a pastor, I can testify that one of my greatest challenges is balancing my time between ministry and family. I feel a spiritual obligation to both and often am conflicted by simultaneous needs on both fronts. I know from conversations that I have had with others in ministry that I am most certainly not alone.

Warren Wiersbe once made a statement to this effect, “The greatest thing I can do for my church is to make my family a strong part of it. The greatest thing I can do for my family is to make my church a place where they can grow.” I think that this provides a wonderful perspective on the issue.

Some of the most spiritually hardened and bitter people I have known were children of those who sacrificed their family on the altar of ministry. Their anger is rooted in the fact that their parents, (especially their father) were always too busy doing “the work of God” to spend time with their family. May I suggest that we have no higher spiritual obligation than our family?

Spend time with those you love. Ministry is often a fluid concept, it changes and develops with time. Your family will be there with you in all of those times if you will be there for them. As you serve God, your family can either be one of your greatest assets or else they can be your greatest liability. Invest the time to make them an asset. Don’t sacrifice your children.

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6 responses to “Don’t Sacrifice Your Children

  1. Wow! I have to say amen to that. Last night I was reading “What is Faith” by J. Gresham Machen and he was saying the same thing about understanding scripture.

    Good Post!

    Doug

  2. Thanks Doug. I’ve been enjoying your blog as well.

  3. Great thoughts.

    I recently had a discussion (actually a heated debate) over this topic. They were determined that our duty to the ministry or family would NEVER conflict.

    Sad to say, they often sacrifice their family (children and wife) for the sake of their “example” before the church.

  4. True the family is very important at all levels.

  5. You are so right. It is sad that the average American family has to convince themselves to have dinner together at least one night a week. I want to have dinner together every night. What can be more important than being with your children to teach them and show them? Soccer? Boy Scouts? All great things, but in small measure and NEVER at the sacrifice of time with kids. Also – in ministry, aren’t there very few ministry activities (counseling?) that can’t be done while taking a child along with you?

  6. Thanks all for your comments. Rose you are right about ministry opportunities for children. My brother and I are “preacher’s kids” and are both in the ministry today. I think that one reason for that is our dad always included us in what he was doing. After awhile, it became “our” ministry as well.

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