I've heard it said before to "Come apart, before you fall apart." I never thought much of this saying until we were in the ministry full-time and being pulled every which way. My family (which includes myself, my husband, and our two children) currently serve the Lord in the Northern Territory of Australia. My husband is currently pastoring two churches (3 hours apart), I lead a Ladies Bible Study every Monday night, we homeschool, and my husband and I teach at our local homeschool co-op. So, top all that off with our normal family responsibilities and needless to say it can get a bit crazy around here. As I am sure you all can very much relate.
I have this quote written in the cover of my Bible:
"No amount of success in the ministry will make up for failure at home."
I am thankful for a husband who sees the importance of spending time as a family together. He also does his best to take time each week to spend one on one time with our children. Here is a photo of him and our daughter on a bike ride (that's the ocean in the background!).
We find it important to let our children know that we love God first, then our family. Ministry is important to our family (we did pack up and moved to the other side of the world), but our family comes before the ministry.
I often wonder what my children will remember from the childhood. I do hope it's all these good times, and that all my failures will be overshadowed by the love we have showed them.
Recently I talked with a friend whose parents are in the ministry, and she mentioned that her dad was busy...a lot. She knew her dad loved her, but I got the idea that the ministry came first. Please don't get me wrong, we love where God has place us, we love the people, this is the most content I have ever been, BUT like the quote says above, "No amount of success in the ministry will make up for failure at home." It's not worth losing my family in order to have a great ministry. To me that's hypocritical. My first ministry is my family!
I do hope you and your family make a regular habit of making time for just your family. I thought I would share a few ideas of things we do.
Family Time Ideas:
- Bike Rides
- Go out to dinner
- Talk a walk around the block
- Visit a local tourist attraction
- Make a special dessert together
- Movie night
- Game night
- Picnic in the backyard (or in the living room!)
I'd love to hear your ideas!
What are your favourite family time activities?