By Katie Pearson
"He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” 1 Timothy 3:4-5
Parenting is perhaps the most demanding calling for emerging kingdom leaders. It is also humbling because there is no pay, no status, and no accolades for sleepless nights and thankless service. Parenting also requires tremendous physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. Who has more calloused knees than a faithful parent? Yet, such dedication combined with appropriate, consistent discipline usually results in respectful, productive, and joyful children who trust the Lord. Godly parenting pays off and can build leadership potential.
However, Paul’s instructions are not a black-and-white mandate that our families must be perfect. Not at all. Rather, we must recognize that our homes are where we have the greatest influence in discipleship. What if you have a teenager acting out or questioning their faith? While others may comment on your family and parenting, be less concerned with outsiders’ opinions, and be more invested in your family’s souls. Trying to force your family to conform to an image will only cause more rifts and even rebellion. You are also not obligated to share all that goes on at home, as your family’s privacy should be protected.
Your children are your primary investment in the kingdom and should never be overlooked for more “important” endeavors. So is your marriage. In Ephesians 5, Paul eloquently compares a husband and wife to Christ and his bride, the church. Your marriage is ministry, and the intimacy you share will impact everything else you do, including your children’s well-being. Furthermore, we need our inner circle to be a supportive, safe haven that we can return to when leadership responsibilities start to take a toll. Home should be a refuge, even if it is not always idyllic. Servant leadership begins at home.
Reflection: Spend some time letting Jesus search your heart in this area. Single or no children? This still applies to you. Ask Jesus how you can best love your earthly family (by birth or by faith). Prayerfully: Heavenly Father, please give me the strength, wisdom, and courage to focus on my family first. I pray for the well-being of every member, for their protection, and for physical provision. May your unconditional love for each of us be reflected in our love for one another and, in turn, for this broken and hurting world that desperately needs your Son. Amen. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Why is trust so difficult? Unlike all the broken promises of this world, God’s redeeming promises are absolute, trustworthy, and true. The covenants of God afford us with abundant reasons to trust God with his plan for our lives. Trusting God: Redeeming Promises of the Word small group Bible study explores the six major redeeming promises of God found in his Word. Learn more about God’s commitment to his people, the nature of a covenant, and how you can find your security in being a child of God’s redeeming promises. Learn more about God’s promises today.
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