Is it really possible to live healthy if your family is not healthy? Would we even want to be effective at work if our family is left behind?
Everyone’s family needs special attention, and families of ministers are no exception.
How can we guard our families?
First, give your family the attention and care that God places before us. As Martha and I were getting married we discussed the words of Paul to the church and to Timothy. Paul essentially asked, “How can you lead the church of God if you don’t lead your family well?”
We tried to take that to heart knowing that our family had to take a place of special importance. I am thankful that the present time is a time when churches finally see that a ministry leader simply must give his family the time and attention that it needs. Wise is the leader who has learned the importance and the art of guarding his or her family.
Martha and I have been blessed to be in churches where our family was prayed over and cared for by the congregation.
Second, pray intentionally for each member of the family. Also, pray with the family and teach them to pray.
Here’s a practical aspect of prayer. Whatever you pray about will become a priority for you. Pray for your family and its health. Pray for the individual members and seek God’s blessings.
Third, set apart time for the family. In most of my ministry, I had flexibility to control my schedule. Therefore, I did my best to never miss my children’s activities. My own father, who owned his business and worked long hours, always attended the things I did. The fact that I remember and appreciate that to this day shows how important it is.
Not everyone has a job that gives those opportunities, but we can do our best to find ways to show the importance of the members of our families.
Fourth, bless your children. Children need to know they count. Throughout Scripture, we see children being blessed by fathers and by Jesus Himself. Children need to be blessed and to be cherished.
Remember that God’s word tells husbands not to be harsh to their wives and for fathers not to discourage their children. These are strong admonitions for us to do the best for our families.
Fifth, give your family training in Godliness.
Please don’t leave out this step. Encourage your spouse to know and serve God and train up your children in Godliness.
You must guard your family.