Those who serve in ministry have the challenge to keep their priorities in order. God first, family second, ministry third. Sometimes, the lines get a little blurred and because we are serving God in ministry, it can seem like the stuff of ministry is more important than the stuff of caring for your family.
My lines got a little blurred this week. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are on the home stretch of a large building project at our church. We have been a mobile church for over a year but, Lord willing, we will have our first Sunday in the new building in two weeks, June 15th. The past month has been one of survival mode for our family. My husband and I are pulled in many different directions and wake up trusting God that He will give us the strength we need to do what needs to be done that day. This past Tuesday what I needed to get done was prepare my teachings for the Women’s Ministry Leader Day that we were having on Saturday. However, Tuesday was also my husband’s and my 19th anniversary. We had decided to have a quiet dinner at home while the kids were at Grandma’s.
I worked feverishly on preparing my teachings all day long and by the time 4:00 rolled around; I was not ready to celebrate with my husband. I was still in my jammies, no make-up on, hair a mess, not sure what we were going to have for dinner besides steak, and no anniversary card. Plus, I needed to pick up my kids at 5:00 to get them where they needed to be and meet my husband back home for dinner by 6:00.
I don’t know what you do when there’s a lot to be done in a little amount of time, but I start looking for short-cuts. I did a quick survey of the fridge and found what else we could have for dinner, I got dressed and made myself presentable, but I still didn’t have an anniversary card. As I was getting ready, I stumbled upon the anniversary card I had given my husband the year before . . . Hmmm . . . Maybe, just maybe, I could pawn it off as the anniversary card for this year again? Surely he wouldn’t notice, right? I opened the card and was disappointed to see that it said something about “18 years”, so, I carefully made the 8 into a 9.
Then I re-sealed it with some wax, hoping to disguise the fact that this card had already been opened.
At first, I felt pretty impressed with my ingenuity. As they say, “Desperate times call for desperate measures”. However, as the minutes went by, I came to my senses and realized that my husband deserved better than last year’s recycled card. I scrounged up some cash and went to the store on my way to go pick up the kids. Unfortunately, the store on the corner didn’t have the best selection of cards, but I found a cute card that I thought my husband would appreciate.
I got the kids where they needed to be and was on my way home, when I realized I still needed to sign the card. I pulled over on the side of the road and started pouring my heart out to my wonderful husband. As I was finishing up, my phone rang. I answered it and it was my husband, he had just passed me and was wondering what I was doing pulled over on the side of the road!! I told him I had something to do really quick and I would be home soon. After dinner, we exchanged cards, and he asked me, “Is this what you were doing on the side of the road?”
It can be a challenge to keep your priorities in order, can’t it? In ministry, there will always be urgent things to get done. However, keeping family first before ministry is worth the effort you make. Our families are a gift of God’s grace to us. Let’s be sure we are keeping our relationships with them in first place, second only to our relationship with God Himself.
Your Friend in Ministry,