I am a busy person. So is my wife. So are you. To be honest, I don’t know if I have ever met a person who isn’t busy, running from one thing to the next, trying to stay sane in the process. And living a life of ministry doesn’t make it any easier – meetings, conferences, retreats, staff gatherings, and church obligations keep us hopping.
In addition to all these church-related duties, I am also a husband and a father to three boys under the age of 10. Sometimes, finding a balance between ministry and family can be very difficult. Here are a few ways I balance my ministry and my family. Maybe they can encourage you as you seek that balance.
1. I honor my day off and protect it with my life. Thursday is my day to unwind, hang with Matthew (my 2-year old), do some graphic design, run some miles, and mess around. I guard it hard, and don’t plan any meetings on that day. It’s my family day, and I try really hard not to let people infringe upon that. Do you guard your day off so that your family knows that day is theirs?
2. We make it a point to try to eat dinner together every evening. Even when things are busy at the office, I come home for dinner and some family time in the evening. I may get out the computer again when my boys go to bed, but building that consistency in to our family has been a big deal. I even come home and eat on Wednesday at about 4:30 or 5, then rush back to the church for Wednesday nights at 6:00. Though they never say anything, I think our boys appreciate the time together each night. Do you have built-in time every day for your family?
3. We try to be deliberate with evening time. Our boys come home at 4, and we give them about 30 minutes to unwind, eat a snack, then do homework. After homework, we make and eat dinner, clean up, and then usually have some family time before bed at about 8:30. Some see routine as boring, but I see it as sanity. What is your routine? Is it working?
4. I communicate to my church as often as possible that family comes first. Whether through verbally saying this in a meeting or from the stage, or taking off early to go to a school program, meeting my wife for lunch, or whatever, I TRY to make that priority list clear. How do you communicate to your family and others that family is a high priority?
These are just a few ways I try to put my family first. I don’t always hit the mark, but I try my best to let me family know that they are valued and loved, not just by my words, but also by my actions.