I want to talk to you today about a subject that I believe is very important and many times neglected for those of us in ministry and that is “family time.” We get so caught up in the list of things to do that many times our family and extended family get put on the back burner. We have been in ministry for 39 years and I can tell you there will always be a “To Do List” and it never ends.
I believe God wants us to have the following order: God, spouse, family and then church. If any of that gets out of order then our lives are going to become hectic and frustrating.
We just returned from a trip to West Virginia for a family reunion that we have each year around this time. It is just my immediate family, but I cherish that time with them because we don’t get to see each other but a couple of times each year. This year was very hard because my baby sister passed away back in February at the age of 46, and so the reunion was a little different and sad this year as it was 7 years ago, when my oldest brother at the age of 59 passed away the weekend of our family reunion. My mother turned 87 the day of our reunion and she is still in good health and loves her time with her family, but losing two children has definitely taken its toll on her. She is full of spunk, she asked for a battery operated weed eater for her birthday, and then she was ready to ride a 4-wheeler with my husband the next day. I hope I can be as energetic as she is at 87. Family dynamics change but I wouldn’t trade my time with my family for anything. The date of our reunion gets put on our calendar a year in advance so we know it is a priority.
None of us have the assurance of tomorrow and life does happen, but I want to encourage you to make sure you are making time for your family as well as your extended family. We don’t know when the last time will be of telling them, “I love you.”
I am so thankful that God gives us the grace to go through these tough times in life and I don’t know what I would do without Him carrying me through. As hard as life can be, I am so thankful we have the promise of claiming Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Another promise to stand on is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So when life gets rough and we don’t understand remember God does not make a mistake and we can claim His promises!
Please make your family a priority! There will always be something to do in ministry.