balancing money, marriage and ministry
Stresses of life are real. Pressures of life are real.If we let them, they will push their way into our hearts and homes and push God, time for God, and a love for God, right out the door. The next thing it will do is to tip the balances of life over!Satan would love nothing more than to get us sidetracked with “things”. If he could, he’d get us to focus on material possessions like a new home, or earning more money, or daily gossip at work, or to be constantly absorbed in social media friendships. He would even love for us to be so involved in our ministries at church that our homes, children, and marriages suffer at our absence both mentally and physically. It’s a slow process but very effective.Another danger is in downplaying the needs of our family, or to use the ministry as an escape so that we don’t have to address the challenges that may be at home, putting on the back burner decisions about the kids, or issues with our spouse, because we have important ministry work to do.
It’s even possible to have a mental affair with your ministry. You may have “divorced” your spouse and “married” the ministry – seeking to have your emotional tank filled through your service.
In ministry, there is a passion and drive within our heart to ‘make a difference’. It’s normal and proper; if we didn’t have it, being in the ministry wouldn’t be a whole lot of fun. But one of the ‘blind spots’ is being so ‘consumed’ with ministry, that we are not caring for the things at home. It’s usually not intentional, but if you’re not careful you can inadvertently ‘drive yourself out into the middle of nowhere’ in ministry, while your spouse and family wonder where you’ve gone.
Without a strong marriage your ministry won’t be as effective long term and what good is a ministry if your marriage suffers.
Keep yourself in check. Keep your marriage in check. Keep your spirit in check. Keep things at home in check. Keep all things in balance.
While we must work to provide for our needs, money cannot be a god. And while friendships are important, they cannot replace quality family time.Set some boundaries around your home. Set the schedule to reflect a balance of both spiritual and relational activities for the sake of your soul and your marriage. The best way to maximize the time you get with your family is to make sure every moment counts. This requires us to “leave the church” when we leave church for the evening. In other words, if we are physically with our family, but our minds and hearts are still at the church we are cheating our family of their time and that is not quality time. When you are church -be all there! Do your ministry, pray worship and be engaged with people. When you are at work, be involved, focused, giving your best. Likewise, when you are at home…be all there! Give your undivided attention! After work, and after that much needed meeting at church, go home -shut the phone off and wrap your arms around that special love whom you chose to spend the rest of your life with! THAT is the key to balance!Let your moderation be known to all men (Phil 4:8)