Saving Souls, Losing Family

Christians in high-profile positions of ministry have suffered some embarrassing scandals and marriage failures.  I’m sure the reasons for this are very complex, but I’m going to take a look at an attitude that I think has contributed to it’s fair share of scandals and divorces.

The Show Must Go On

This old saying is traditionally used in the context of show biz.  Feeling sick?  The show must go on.  In a bad mood? The show must go on.  I believe that in some twisted way, many Christians in high-profile positions of ministry have come to believe that this is true of their ministry.  Kids out fornicating?  The show must go on. Marriage troubles? The show must go on.  Burning out?  The show must go on.

I believe that the root of this feeling comes from a belief that God cares more about the ministry, than He does about a healthy family.  The thousands of people I preach to are more important to God than the 5 people in my own house.  Maybe there’s even a feeling that God will just magically work out everything at home because being involved in this ministry is so doggone important that he couldn’t possibly expect me to take time off to deal with it.

Is it possible, just maybe,. that when we’re going through a crisis at home God would understand if we lay down the ministry for as long as it takes to heal those areas?

If I don’t do it, nobody will

This is another poisonous attitude that plages many Christian’s in ministry.  I know first-hand how this belief can grip you and make it impossible to tear away from what you believe God has you on this earth to do.  Besides being unbiblical, this is also prideful.  Somehow, in all his infinite power, God is incapable of reaching the people I reach, through anyone else.  The danger is, if we really believe this lie, taking time off to deal with our most important ministry ( family ), will be weighed against a false weight of people that won’t be reached if we stop.

What about the people?

The truth is, anytime we are active in ministry, there are people in our immediate sphere of influence.  If we stop right now, some of those people will not be reached tomorrow, next week, or maybe next year.  But it’s a lie from the devil himself that those people need me to save them.  God loves every one of the people I minister too.  But they are HIS people.  Not mine.

The belief that God needs me to reach this person and this person is classic role reversal.  The truth is, I am the one who needs him.  So often it seems that people in ministry hope that his grace extends backwards into their households, which they are ignoring.  Why can’t that same grace keep everyone else, while I deal with my family? 

Too Little, Too Late

Very often, by the time we hear about problems, it’s too late for the person in question.  I’m trying to remember a single case where someone in public ministry stepped back from the public eye for a while, and then had their marriage fall apart within the next year.  Most often I remember stories of people going through divorce, then having to step back from ministry.

Stepping back from ministry after the storm has done its damage is no way to live life.  Maintaining a balanced life that has correct priorities is the best way.  Stepping away from that which is less important to deal with family when problems start, is also wise.  But this attitude that the show must go on, no matter what’s happening at home is nothing  but deception.

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