Last night I returned from a five day getaway with my family. We did not go to Disney World or an exotic destination. We did not even leave the state of VT. We spent the week on a Christmas tree farm nestled between the rolling VT foothills and the Connecticut River. It was exactly what I and the family needed.
By nature I’m a doer-it’s just how God has wired me. I constantly think in terms of mission, strategy, goals, and action step. Shutting down for a few days is not always the easiest thing, but it’s absolutely necessary. God reminded me of one central them every morning: this week your family is your mission.
Here are a few of the things God reminded me of this week:
1) I can be a success every other arena of my life, but if I fail as a husband and father then the rest means nothing. There’s a good reason that Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3 that one of the primary qualifications for an overseer is “he must manage his household well” because “if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” If I cannot effectively shepherd my family then I have no business shepherding the spiritual family.
2) Regardless of whether I feel like I can effectively juggle multiple things, my family often needs my exclusive focus. They need to see that they are set apart in my life and that there are times when they get my time, energy, and focus to the exclusion of other important things- even things of eternal importance. For the 200 mph multi-taskers (which I’m not) who never feel the need to unplug- this not about what you need but all about what your family needs.
3) Every season of life has unique joys and challenges, and you don’t often get a second chance to repeat that season. Jude and Wren will only be infants and toddlers once. If you’re married, don’t wait until your body is shutting down in the golden years to go enjoy life together. If you have kids, make time to enjoy each of the milestones as they mature from infants to young men and women.
4) We all need time away from the business of life to recharge and refocus, whether we’re married or single. If Jesus needed to withdraw to lonely places away from the crowds, then it’s a good bet that we also need to.
For these past few mornings, I have meditated on and prayed over Ephesians 4:29-32 and 5:25-33. These are tough scriptures that are impossible to live out apart from the empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit. I would appreciate your prayers: that God would make these scriptures living and active in my life.