Friday, December 10, 2010

Reminding Myself: "Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God..."

Living the military life, especially the Marine life means that there is a constant struggle to keep things in balance... God, Husband, Children, Others, Church activities... Yes, extra church activities outside of our day set aside for His worship, need to be kept in their place. We are called to relationships that stem from our relationship with Christ, we are not called to merely going through the motions of religion. People are not going to always understand the decisions we are led to make, and that's okay- they aren't going to be the ones who have to answer to God about the ministries and talents He's given to us!

My husband has a most unpredictable schedule which means sometimes we need to put our neglected family time, due to the needs of the Marine Corps, ahead of extra things going on at church. I've had to disappoint people with saying "no" to taking on this or that extra ministry, because they don't know my schedule or list of other ministries I have already committed to, that's why they *ask* and it is my responsibility to consider and respond appropriately. Why agree to take something on that the Lord has not led me to take only to later be embittered about it and not have that ministry blessed? It's not worth it to operate outside of God's will for your life. Titus 2:4,5 "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

Now, I don't agree with skipping the 3 times we need to be in church during the week, 2 on Sunday and 1 on Wednesday, or skipping that week of revival the whole family needs, that's not what I'm saying. But, when our small children are spending more time with someone else in the church nursery, than in our arms and in our that we can teach them diligently to love the Lord with all their hearts...our priorities are out of order. Our relationships come first, and we are accountable to God for our first ministries: our husbands and then our children. It grieves my heart when I see well-meaning wives attending every extra-curricular activity at church, staying late to chat with friends and leaving their husbands at home to sit. I have been guilty of this, and I know it is not pleasing to the Lord. After my family, I am often led to minister personally to others in the way of babysitting, providing meals, letters of encouragement.... all that I have learned through the godly example of other dear ladies who love the Lord and His ways. Having people in my home to see my every flaw is very intimidating to me, but the Lord calls us to be hospitable and I am ever working (struggling) to work on my relationships with others in this area.

The quickest way to lose peace and joy in the home is to jumble the Lord's intended priorities in our lives. Well meaning Christians can often pressure and lead others to rearrange their priorities- I sure hope I am never found to be a stumbling block in that area! I am ever in need of being reminded to seek His righteousness first and everything else will fall in line- whether others approve or not. If I am seeking to please others ahead of God I need to ask forgiveness and put things back in balance, with His help, today. I want the LORD's blessing upon my life even if it means forsaking man's approval.


Mishel said...

So,SO happy to see you writing again, my friend! Excellent post!

And you know how I feel about this topic--and especially more so since the events of my life the last few years. It is *not* a good thing for families to be so busy/divided/distracted all in the name of "serving the Lord" and/or the pressure of expectations placed on us by others. Ministry outside of ourselves and our families *is* important, but what each person/family can handle is different based on their unique situations and how the Lord leads. I can't determine that for you--and you can't determine that for me. But sadly, we sometimes act like we can and then put expectations on each other that weigh down and stifle--which hinders the very life-giving message we are trying to give others (including those in our own home). It's a vicious cycle, really...and one the Lord does *not* promote.

::sigh:: Ok, I am stepping down now.

Obviously, I am so totally with you on this one! ; )

Hugs and love!!

mholgate said...

I hear you on this one. We don't have Wednesday Church, but recently, since my husband is on staff at our Church, they were considering making it manditory that every staff member and their spouse be involved in a 2:42 group. (That's our version of Small Groups that meet in homes.)

In order to do that, we would have to get a babysitter every week for our five kids. That would mean that there would be at least three nights a week that our kids would be without one or both of us. (The main issue was three nights a week the kids would be without their dad.)

I'm glad I have a husband that has his priorities in place, even though his job is ministry. He fought hard to be home with us. We're both in groups individually, which is what we can do right now.

It's no use being super-spiritual, involved in every bible study and volunteering for everything if you're not investing the proper amount of time in your family.

Hope to see more posts from you in the future...I sure do love the heart you put into your writing. :)


Heather said...

Awww, thank you for the encouragement, ladies :) It's gonna be slow, but I do miss blogging even if I feel I don't have much to offer at this stage :)

Mrs are and have always been such a blessing and encouragement to me. Love you!

Thank you Melissa..I need to get back out there into the blogosphere. I can def empathize with you and trying to deal with others thinking you should just call a sitter in order to attend every church function. It is important for children to spend time with their dad...outside of church :) We are so busy that it seems we only see one another in passing and at church!! Sad that I allowed it to get so out of control. Working on regaining my family time. Looking forward to reading your blog again!

Recovering Church Lady said...

Hi I am new to your blog and the words," Saying No" jumped out at me and I say BRAVO! Church life can get so busy and we can so easily find ourselves doing more than we want.
You are being a wise and courageous mom and wife!

Heather said...

Thank you for your kind words! We can serve the Lord and not love Him, but we can't love Him without wanting to serve Him...HIM is the key word though, right? :)

Shonda said...

These are great thoughts, Heather. I am trying to make family a priority too!

Heather said...

So glad you have a blog Shonda :)