What does family life have to do with ministry?
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5.8).
How can I please God? It’s a question that we should all ask. It’s also important for a husband and wife to understand the way God has asked them to work together to reflect His character in their marriage and family.
Too often we relegate this to the things we consider more “spiritual” in nature. How well are we immersing ourselves in God’s Word? Is the time we devote as a couple to communion with God through prayer consistent? What service are we offering to other people as an expression of our ministry gifts?
All great questions to ask, without a doubt. To neglect these areas within a marriage would indeed be a tragedy.
At the same time, the Apostle Paul reminds us to look closer to home to ensure our lives are on track. In fact, failing to do so has a dramatic impact on one’s ability to please God with their life.
In 1 Timothy 5:4, Paul talks about caring for family members as a way to put religion into practice. Do you think of hitting that alarm clock every morning as an expression of worship? (Okay, we’ll allow you a couple of snoozes.)
Faithfully providing for your family, as it turns out, is an integral part of your life in Christ.
Generally speaking, we view our jobs and daily tasks as obstacles preventing us from doing “real” ministry.
I’d share Christ with the neighbors if I could get this laundry done. If I didn’t have to work late, I’d go over to the church and be involved in the missions meeting.
The Greek word used for “provision” here means, literally, “to have a thought for” your family. The most prominent part of your life together as a couple, and perhaps the most authentic expression of your faith, is thinking of your family. Specifically, how to nurture, support, care for, and strengthen the people that live in your house. Minimizing this is taking for granted the gifts that God has given you to steward in this world.
How does it make you feel to remember that one of the most excellent ministries available to you as a couple is the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual development of your entire family? It’s not a second-tier endeavor. It’s the ministry priority God’s asking you to handle faithfully.
Imagine the difference our churches would experience if more couples treated caring for their marriage and family as a superior service to God. Many of the struggles we see every day might disappear altogether.
So the next time you pack lunches or change the oil, don’t minimize the role those daily tasks play in your service to God. Thinking of, and responding to the varied needs of your family, is an act of worship that’s pleasing to Him.
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