In order for a family to thrive and survive, there’s one important factor that cannot be overlooked.
I hadn’t posted anything in about two weeks and felt I needed to find some time to propel myself back to the keyboard. I know that two weeks may seem like a considerably small amount of time, but to me, it’s two years, as my mind seems to always be on airplane mode! But the past two weeks have been all about family.
Since my children have been out of school, everything is “go-go-go!” Even though they’re a little older, they still express how they need me and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
With that being said, the reason why I mentioned all of that is because I wanted to quickly touch on and emphasize the importance of family.
Before God created work, as well as ministry, God created the family. I’ve seen an unhealthy amount of families torn apart because a parent chose to put their job or church before their spouse and/or children.
I remember years ago seeing Benny Hinn and his wife, Suzanne, standing before an audience announcing their reconciliation (as they previously divorced after many years of marriage). And with the message came the reason why their household fell apart—Benny believed ministry was a higher priority than his family. Even though God still used him while his ministry flourished, Hinn’s first ministry suffered.
Family is the very first ministry that God created for us to focus on. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t look good if your outside ministry is flourishing but your home-life is falling to shambles.
I once heard the story of a young man who married a beautiful, loving, and supportive wife. At the beginning of their marriage, they struggled financially (like most newlyweds). They eventually had children and soon thereafter, the man got (what he thought was) the dream job of a lifetime. The pay was great, he was able to move his family into a gorgeously large home with lots of land and their financial struggles diminished.
The husband and father excelled within the company he worked for and was promoted to a much higher position, but with that position came the requirement of traveling to a different state 300 miles away, two weeks out of the month, indefinitely. The children were already established in their schools.
When he told his wife, she was distraught, expressing her and their children’s need for his presence as the head of the house and protector. He assured her how everything would be fine since she’d be able to buy her and the children whatever she desired. Money and material things didn’t matter to her, she just wanted her family together. But after much persuasion, she gave in, seeing how much this meant to her her husband.
As time progressed, he felt it was best he got an apartment (an additional living space) for when he was away at work, returning home on his days off. He began staying away longer due to the demand for work and his wife and kids saw him less and less. Communication was minuscule. His priorities were all screwed-up.
One evening, the husband and father came home to a place that was no longer a home—it was now only just a big house. Vacant. Empty. His family was gone.
His work was everything…until his work was all he had.
There’s a saying, “Money is everything until money is all you have.” I like those words of wisdom a lot, but I sometimes like to replace the word “money” with a more fitting word based on a circumstance, such as “work”, “your job”, “church”, “ministry”, etc.
When you include God in everything, healthy priority looks like so, in this order:
- 1) God
- 2) God + Family
- 3) God + Work/Ministry
Frederick Douglass said, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” How true this is!
There’s always more than one life involved in order for there to be a family. In times when one thinks only of themselves, they’re not realizing that their negative actions pessimistically affect those in their household, especially children.
When people make the mistake of prioritizing things (except for God) before their spouse and/or children, what happens is, over time, with no fault of their own, resentment grows within the one taking the brunt of it all. At times when resentment forms, unforgiveness manifests, and they, themselves, are left having to unfairly overcome it. Our actions have a lifelong effect on those we love, not just toward you, but within themselves, as well.
It would be a tragedy for an unhealthy family situation to cycle into another generation. Things like this must be stopped head-on and dealt with when it comes to one’s realization.
A word used multiple times the Book of Proverbs is “prudence”. Prudent means: acting with or showing care and thought for the future. Taking the appropriate and heartfelt, righteous actions now will set a healthy and solid foundation for what lies ahead.
God said, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it”. This is an assurance. Therefore, even if they do sway, they will eventually come to their senses and return to the right morals.
I believe that any solution to any problem can be found in the Bible…no matter what it is. This is why you see the good, the bad, and the ugly when reading it. There’s no sugar-coating in the Word of God as it deals with reality. If you want to learn how to build or rebuild a strong, healthy family, examine that Good Book.
All throughout scripture, you come to the realization that all God ever wanted was a family. He’s doing His part, therefore, He’s the perfect One we can learn from.
Your family may not survive if your prioritizes are out of order.