Some time ago I had opportunity to talk to two Christian leaders. Both were well respected in their churches and had successful careers.
When asked how his family felt about his travelling from home so much (and he was gone sometimes weeks at a time), one of the men replied, "My family understands that my work comes first." There was no question that everyone understood this – especially his family.
While enjoying a meal with the other gentleman and his family, I asked if his wife cooked such good meals for him every evening. He replied, "I travel so much, I rarely eat at home."
What makes these examples so tragic is that both of these men had teenage children that had rejected the Lord, and both these men believed that their job or ministry was more important than meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of their family.
If you are a parent then the most important ministry you have is toward your family (1 Timothy 3:5; 5:8; Deuteronomy 6:7; Genesis 18:19; Ephesians 6:4). If God has blessed you with children then they and your relationship with your spouse are your top priority after you own personal relationship with the Lord (Matthew 6:33).
Tom Peters is a secular author who has written several best sellers on the subject of business and excellence. He says, "We are frequently asked if it's possible to 'have it all'—a full satisfying personal life and a full and satisfying, hard-working professional one. Our answer is: No. The price of excellence is time, energy, attention and focus, at the very same time that energy, attention and focus could have gone toward enjoying your [child’s] soccer game."
Parenting is one of the most important jobs we will ever have. We can be successful in business, successful in the ministry – but if we are not first successful at home as a spouse and parent, what does it all matter? The most precious thing we have is the relationships we have with each other – especially family. Don’t sacrifice those relationships on the altar of corporate or even ministerial success.
Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries