Do you ever, dare I ask it, put your ministry first? Of course, we would never have anything first over God, we’re church planting wives for heaven’s sake! But let’s say, first over our marriages, or children? Hmmm…I’m preaching to myself as much as anyone else here.
If you were to ask me how I have arranged my peas (things in my life), I would quickly draw for you a pyramid with one pea at the top, representing God, two peas in the next row down, representing me and my hubby, three peas in the next row, representing our kids/family, and four in the bottom row that is everything else…even church planting…even needy, hurting people…even good works/ministry. But in reality, sometimes my peas get scrambled and the kids or my marriage ends up down farther and the ministry takes up center stage.
Sometimes I am not the only one arranging those peas, if you know what I mean. That can be a hard one, really confronting your spouse about time for protecting the marriage or the children. Ministry does tend to consume us and become our whole lives! Husbands do have a tendency to think that if you have it all under control at home, well, all the more time for him to get work done. Brilliantly, God has hard-wired us as emotional beings to be in tune to the emotionality of the world around us and to bring attention to those moments.
The problem with that is, it usually takes a big impending disaster (say a hurricane on the horizon) for us to make the major changes we need to turn a tanker around, or to even just bank it a little more to the right to change trajectory. Maybe it is not totally off course yet, but could end up there without constant attention to the wheel. While our husbands are manning the wheel of the church, it usually falls to us to man the wheel of the home and marriage and to keep him abreast of the situation. (not the Jersey Shore guy!)
I constantly have to be diligent to make sure that I am staying on course. Here is where I mention a word we all know and love and usually espouse to, boundaries. But sometimes we let our guard down and before we know it, little foxes have crept into our marriage and family and we need to move into action!
There are times I have to remind my husband, that if our marriage goes to pot, that doesn’t bode well for the church. Let alone our kids. If we save thousands of people, or even hundreds, but our children go to hell in a hand basket because we have not invested in personal relationships with them, discipling and modeling Christ, what have we won? We have failed our first and most important duty.
I come from a generation of parents who often put ministry first. I can’t number the PK’s I know personally who have really gone the wrong way because Dad or Mom was too busy growing the church or saving lost people, or scattering seeds, that they forgot to tend their own garden first.
So while I know we all know the right answer, take a moment and think about it, where are your peas?