Last month, we looked into firming our foundation with our first Priority: God. The second Priority is a little easier for me to express into two categories: Husband & Child.
- Ministry (or Career)
With regard to my husband...
- I control the atmosphere of the home. Making the home a sanctuary for my husband is a ministry. It may not be the most beautiful house or parsonage with up-to-date appliances and décor, but my attitude greatly furnishes the home with a glow that says, “I’ll keep the light on for you, Baby!”
- My husband may be the facilities manager, youth pastor, lead pastor, missionary, evangelist ministering to hundreds & THOUSANDS! But, when he comes home, my husband needs a real, live, warm wife.
- Just as my shameful words and actions would bring reproach on the name of Christ while wearing His name, "Christ-ian," the same would happen while wearing my husband's name. Yes, we-girls do carry as much influence effecting others and ministry.
Whether or not you're in a ministry family, take the initiative for a healthy marriage. I'm of the belief all couples should read Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages. The editions for children, singles and men are available, too.
With regard to my child...
- As a parent the responsibility of spiritually nurturing my child is mine. Read Deuteronomy 6:5-7. The spiritual "booster shots" come from the Sunday school teacher and pastoral staff. Because our kids become us, we need to teach and model.
- My child needs a good, even-tempered and loving mom. Making the home a refuge for my child is a ministry. I must give space and outlets for him to develop as a whole person. Correction and discipline are supporting roles of love.
- I shelter him. My child does not need to hear about staff conflicts, church members' sins or our personal difficulties. Remember the little song, "Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear"? It's remarkable that I can repeatedly tell my child to make the bed, make the bed, make the bed. Yet, I make one quiet remark and it sticks like Super Glue to that child's brain and, later, shoots out their mouth.
A ministry friend recalled a story of asking for prayer requests from 3-5 year old children. "Please pray for my daddy. He drinks too much," was the answer from the son of a church staffer. She asked him to repeat his request. This time he added, "...too much Mountain Dew." He heard his parents talking the night before!
- Just as vital to being mindful of which movies, television shows, selections of music enter his mind is protecting his spirit. I don't ever want to be guilty of erecting a mental or spiritual blockade in my child's spirit by allowing him to be privy to spiritual leaders' weaknesses. This may prevent my child from "hearing" the voice of the Spirit while that leader is ministering. Because at that instance, all he can remember is what was said about that particular leader. Make sense?
- The life of a PK (preacher's kid) has advantages! I should consistently present the positive. How often does a regular kid get to do all of the stuff that PKs get to do? Amusements park, summer camp, beach trip, mission trip, family vacation...and that's just the summer!
Ruth Bell Graham was once asked how she had raised her five children when Billy, her evangelist husband, was away so much of the time. Without hesitation she answered, "On my knees."
That's really what it takes. Isn't it? In no way is the above information all-inclusive; however, it is a structure which continues to be reinforced with consistent care. Feel free to comment.