Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ministry to My Family

Well, I mentioned that last night was a good reminder for me in regard to my marriage. Something happened in my mind last night for the first time. It wasn't the first time I thought about it, but it was the first time I actually pictured what it would look like. Let me explain.

I have said before that my family is my ministry. When I said this, my mind thought about spending time with them doing family things, being around the house, going out occasionally, and just being ourselves. That is what I "do" for this ministry.

Here is the shift that happened last night: if my family is my ministry, then I need to minister to my family. This may seem like a simple observation and obvious to some, but it is not so obvious when you are at home with your family. I thought that ministering to my family was just being myself. This is true because I always want to "be myself." But, I can't just let down my guard and say whatever thoughts come to my mind. I can't just vent my frustrations when they first come. I can't "go on pause," so to speak, when I am at home. I still need to be a minister.

At the Student Center, I would never think about venting to a student I am mentoring. If I did, I believe and pray that it would be done in a very pastoral and wise way. Why do I think that I can have this freedom at home? That is unfair to my bride and my little girl.

I need to work at home. I can't just go on pause and offer my raw self to my family thinking that this is ministry to my family. I must intentionally be the minister and leader of our family.

That is not to say I can't express emotions or be real with my family. No way! It is to say that I use pastoral care and ministry skills when I do so.

I pray that the Lord enable me to stay focused as I begin to intentionally minister to my family.

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