Finding the “Elusive Balance” – Part Two – Ministry Outside the Home

Finding the Elusive Balance 2.25.15Ecclesiastes 3:1

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”

I was taught from the time I was a young child that I had been given gifts by God which should be used to build up the body of Christ. I still believe that! I have always enjoyed teaching and am convinced that it is one of my spiritual gifts. I happily teach children at church, in a Christian school setting, and in other ministries.

However, when I began to have children of my own, I began to struggle with the time I spent outside of the home teaching others. With one child, I could still work my schedule to be able to teach on Sundays and even on some weekdays, without feeling like I was neglecting my home. Yet by the time children 2, 3, & 4 came along, I was struggling. You see I am a full-time missionary. I am financially supported by other believers to work in ministry! So if my spiritual gift is teaching, then how could I stay at home and not teach?

I looked at other missionary women who were so busy in ministry and thought I had to be that way, too. So for a while I tried to fit it all in. I taught at school and at church and tried to keep my home stable. And then I realized that my home was not all that stable! My kids were suffering because I was giving the best of me to others outside of my family and leaving the “leftovers” for them. And my husband was suffering, too. If I cannot give my best to my own family, then what example am I setting?

I came to understand that there are seasons in life. The time I have with my children when they are young is fleeting and I will never get it back. They have been entrusted to me for a short while, and should therefore be my very own disciples. I need to pour myself into their lives while I can, instructing them in the Word of God, loving them as only their mother can. I need to teach my own children!

Does that mean I sign off of every other ministry until my kids are out of school? Of course not! Instead, I seek ways to use my gifts without neglecting my husband and children. I involve my children in my ministries and show them by my example what it means to serve. I support my husband in his ministry roles and encourage him as he uses his gifts to serve others. I confess there are times when I feel I should be doing more at church or on our field team, and I am constantly re-evaluating to see if I am doing all I should. But I have learned to embrace the season I am in, to be content with what I am able to do outside my home while enjoying serving my family within my home.

I don’t know what the next season holds, but for now I will continue to invest myself in those closest to me, seek ways to invest in others, and allow the Lord to lead.

~Jenn

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