“Know the state of your flock, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be secure for the next generation.” Prov. 27:23-24 (NLT)
Please allow me to paraphrase the above verse for today’s ministry families. “Know the state of your family and put your heart into caring for one another. This time, this season is rich, but it doesn’t last forever. Pray that the next generation will follow your example.”
I hesitate to write about this subject because I am so aware of many mistakes that my husband and I made. We have been married for over forty years and have two adult children. One of them is a committed Christ follower and, sadly, one is not. For this article, I will share some of the positives from our many years of being a family in ministry.
- We made time for our children. Even though my husband was often not home in the evening, he made time for them in the mornings and on the weekends. We played with our children—board games, horseback riding, basketball, hiking, and vacation adventures.
- We listened to our children. We made bedtime a routine of story time, talking, and praying. We made good use of time in the car whenever we were taking children to practices or shopping.
- We made time for one another. Early on, we realized that our marital relationship needed to be nurtured and protected. We had a lock on our bedroom door. We hired sitters and went on dates. We allowed grandparents to keep our children over a weekend and did a weekend away annually.
I’m not sure that today’s families are keeping these simple principles. But I believe that if we will be intentional, these principles will give us the opportunity to really know one another, care for one another, and make the most of the time we have together.