Friday, March 02, 2007

Ministry, Marriage and Family

While reading Justin Taylor’s blog he had a good article by Wayne Grudem titled: Upon Leaving: Thoughts on Marriage & Ministry. It is not a new article but one worthy or reading. The issues he addresses is not just for those in ministry but it does deal with an issue that tends to be a particular problem with men in ministry.

It has been my experience both with me personally and with just observing others that often ministry takes precedence over family. This is usually justified, as I did, as valid since it was necessary to build God’s kingdom. I have also heard others use examples, both past and present, of well known Christian men who were away from home quite a bit due to ministry. The problem I have is that first of all just because someone may have done this and had their ministry be successful does not mean that we are all supposed to doe this. Secondly, because their ministry was successful does not mean it was the correct thing to do, it may have been but maybe not.

Grudem makes a good comment in his article:

I think that I failed to understand that, though the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church (Eph 5;23), a well functioning head has ears.

This means listening and not simply speaking and hearing words said back to us. We, as heads of the house may at times project a persona that hinders candid conversation with our wives. If we are not being a God glorifying head of our household have we disqualified us from ministry, especially as pastors? How many times do we hear of pastors kids being out of control? The fact that the mention of PKs can bring up images of kids living less than God glorifying lives should cause us concern.

I was listening to a sermon given by Voddie Baucham at Union University, “The Two Skills a Pastor Must Have", some time ago concerning elders and it was very convicting with regards to not only being the head of my house but being one that is the head the way God intends. Grudem’s article as well as Voddie’s sermon are well worth reading and taking to heart. Again, this applies just as much to pastors as others in ministry and even those in secular jobs. In this day and age of overwork how often do we, I have been here also, spend way too much time at work and very little at home. It is not just the time at home but how we send it that is important as well. It is not quality and quantity of time but I think the goal is both quality and quantity.

I would pray that as we come to understand our biblical responsibilities as heads of our houses that we as men would seek scripture for guidance and not the ways of the world. If we have to live with smaller houses, less cars and less toys then so be it. It is much better to be leading our families as God desires us to than to look successful to others around us. As Voddie mentions in his sermon we need to ask if we men that love our congregations more than our family. As pastors we need to make sure we are projecting the correct leadership and being a pastor that not only asks their members to care for their families in a biblical manner but also exemplifies it.

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