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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Family

Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God. But those who won't care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers. (1 Timothy 5:3-4, 8 NLT)

It's been a crazy schedule lately to be sure.  Frank, our worship minister, returned from Florida where he had just said goodbye to his father who went home to be with The Lord.  His return was on Wednesday evening after spending many months back and forth, caring for his dad, mom, and now helping his mom transition into the new season of life she is entering.


On Thursday, I spoke with my mom on the phone and The Spirit nudged me to come down and visit my mom and dad and to pick up my daughter from school for spring break.  I'm glad I listened.  That Thursday evening and Friday morning would be the last time I saw my dad alive.  He left this life the following Sunday.  I didn't come home this past Sunday to preach/teach, but instead stayed here not only to grieve but to help mom begin her transition into the new season of life she is entering.  Crazy timing, huh.


When Frank returned from Florida, he was expressing remorse about how things with his family were getting in the way of his ministry.  I tried to reassure him that spending time with his parents is his ministry.  I can understand his struggle.  Many times in the business world I was told either directly or indirectly that my family did not come first.  The company came first.  I've even spoken with ministers who have been told that they need to "suck it up" for the sake of the ministry and not take the time to grieve and help their family in need.


God had a different idea.  His idea was that family would take care of one another.  That's part of the reason He gave us to one another.  My primary ministry is to my wife, Traci.  After that, God calls me to love, care for, and raise my children.  Here, He reminds me that while my parents can usually take care of themselves, there may be a time when they will need help and care.  When they do, I show "godliness at home" and "repay" my parents by taking care of them.  They've worked hard at taking care of me from birth through adulthood.  I should follow their model and help them when they are in need.


I know that I stretch people regularly when it comes to ministry.  Perhaps that is because God regularly stretches me.  This one, though, isn't much of a stretch for me.  If I can can give my parents even a small fraction of the love and care that they have showered on me, it's worth every moment.