Home Comes First

“For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” (1 Timothy 3:5).

While driving together along the A1 in Cambridgeshire, England – a pastor friend shared with me how the Lord had changed his attitude toward the family and made him realize that his responsibility toward his wife and children took precedence over his ministry.

As a young man, new in the ministry, my friend took every opportunity he could to preach and take meetings, often to the neglect of his family. One evening, after returning from a youth meeting, he found his young son in tears. “Daddy,” he said, “how is it that you find time to be with other boys and girls, but you never have time to be with me?” Those pleading words from the heart of that little child broke his father’s heart and caused him to re-evaluate his priorities.

Many years later, my friend devotes special attention to young husbands and fathers in his congregation. He shared how he told one young man who had been away from his family all week on a business trip that he did not want to see him at church on Sunday evening – he was to be at home with his wife and children. Oh, that more men in the ministry would have these same priorities and preach them with conviction to their congregations.

Someone said that asking God to bless your family without investing both quality and quantity time with them is like asking the Lord to send a gust of wind to stop your speeding car because you neglected to check your brakes.

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