Prioritizing Time for FamilyJuly 29, 2013
The plague of our culture is busyness; and the ministry is no exception. Meetings, study time, counseling, planning, organizing, appointments, social media, and many other responsibilities often distract us from quality time with our loved ones. Therefore, we must plan, prioritize, and prepare our calendars cautiously.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The happiest moments of my life have been the ones I have spent at home in the bosom of my family.” I concur; I am the most content when I am with my wife and children. Therefore, to ensure I invest my time wisely, I have to prioritize my calendar with their best interests in mind. If you do not already have these functions in place, I encourage you to:
- Have family devotions each morning or evening. Spend time reading God’s Word and praying together as a family.
- Have a special “family day” each week. For my family that day is Friday. We do not always do something big or outlandish; we simply commit our time together in some capacity on that day.
- Plan special date nights with your spouse. A good rule of thumb: always date your wife.
- Make the most of vacation time. Those moments spent together will be cherished for a lifetime.
- Create intentional memories with your family. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or visit exotic locations to make lasting memories. Just involve your attention and invest your affection.
To make these family functions a priority, you may have to scale down other activities from your life. Do not hesitate to make the cuts. The ministry requires it and your family deserves it.
Time with family is like investing for retirement: small and consistent contributions compounded over an extended period of time leads to a valuable return. Ronald Reagan said it like this, “Great change in America begins at the dinner table.” Reagan understood that the betterment of our civilization was not through the channels of legislation or political platform. It was, and is, through the teaching and training arm of the home. If this is true for the country, it is certainly true for the church. The preacher must be an example to the others in the body of Christ. “For if a man know not how to rule his own house,” said the Apostle Paul, “how shall he take care of the church of God?” (1 Timothy 3:5).
The kind of family you have tomorrow is determined by the kind of investments you make in your family today. Too often the children of preachers grow up to resent the church because of their father’s neglect. Wives can oftentimes feel abandoned and isolated as a result of their husband’s disregard.
In large, your legacy will be defined, not by the buildings you erect, the degrees you earn, or the positions you acquire; but by the lives you touch. Don’t fail to touch your family while reaching out to the world. The building blocks of your home are laid day after day in the efforts of continual and consistent labor. Build a family, and you’ll have a place to live for a long time.