It says in Ecclesiastes “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). It also goes on to say, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). So we can say in our words that there is time for everything, and everything is beautiful in its time. That means if we do anything when it’s not its time, it’s not suitable. We tell the children that they should play when it’s time to play and study when it’s time to study. We scold the child if he plays when it’s study time.
In the same way there is time for the ministry and time for the family. Some emphasise the importance of family, and neglect the ministry. Others emphasise the ministry, and neglect the family. Either of the extremes are wrong. The balancing act would be to say, ‘me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
A. We are responsible to manage our family well. If we don’t know how to manage or family, we will not know how to manage the church (1Timothy 3:4,5,12).
B. We are to show our piety at home first. Otherwise, we are worst than an unbeliever (1Timothy 5:8).
C. We are to see that our children are obedient and not given to mischief (1Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6).
D. We have to understand that Satan is out to destroy Christian families, especially the family of Pastors (1Peter 5:8; Matthew 26:31; Zachariah 13:7).
E. We have to serve God not only individually but together as a family. Some Pastors and Preachers confine their wives to kitchen. They tell their wives that they should not ‘interfere’ in the ministry of their husbands (Cf. Joshua 24:15. ).
F. We should remember that our wives given to us as a suitable helpers. We should take their help in personal, family and ministry decisions and actions. When we go out for house visits we should take our wives. We should never visit a lonely woman alone. We should always take our wives with us (Genesis 2:18).
G. We need to take care that our wives are equally godly and God-fearing. So extra care is needed while selecting a life partner either for ourselves or our children.
H. We have to ensure that our family is an ideal family.
I. We should take care that there is no partiality and favouritism in dealing with our children. There shouldn’t be neglecting of our spouse either (Genesis 25:28; 37:3).
A. We should make much of our ministry, that is, have a very high view of our ministry (Romans 11:13).
B. We should never covet other people’s ministry. We shouldn’t compare or contrast our ministry with others’ ministry.
C. We should be willing even to lay down our life for our ministry (Acts 20:24).
D. Our ministry shouldn’t be a means of earning our bread and butter but a sacrificial serving. We shouldn’t be in the ministry for some filthy lucre (1Peter 5:2; 1Timothy 1:7; 3:8).
E. We should see to it that neither we are the offsprings of Gehaji in the Old Testament Test, nor the offspring of Demas in the New Testament (2Kings 5:26,27; 2Timothy 4:10).
F. We shouldn’t have neither the spirit of Eli’s sons in us who were covetous and adulteress, nor the spirits of Prophet Samuel ‘s sons who took bribe. We shouldn’t be like Judas Iscariot who sold his Lord for money (1Samuel 2:12-17,22; 1Samuel 8:3; Matthew 26:14-16).
G. We should have rather the spirit of Moses and Samuel in us (Numbers 16:15; 1Samuel 12:3).
H. We should fulfil our God given ministry (Colossians 4:17).
I. We should be faithful stewards of God’s manifold grace (1Corinthians 4:2; 1Peter 4:10).
J. We should be alert like those servants who are waiting for their Master to come. He may come at any time (Luke 12:36).
III. Balancing family and ministry:
A. Make a weekly schedule
B. In first column write your roles, such as-
1. Individual- Personal development.
4. Church member.
C. In the second column write goals against each role.
D. In the third column write week of. Under it write weekly priorities.
E. Make seven columns – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
F. In each column write appointments/commitments.
G. Fill in the week days with plans and dates in the light of roles and goals.
H. Do it regularly on paper for in writing, neither the family nor the ministry will be neglected. We will be able to strike a right balance between family and ministry.
(Schedule making taken from- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People- by Stephen Covey).
(Rev. Richard Masih, New Delhi).