April 9, 2013 by eric echols
Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of leading your family first. You can read more about it here.
Often times we can learn by example…and an example of a ministry leader that failed at leading his family is Eli in the Old Testament. By all outward appearances, his ministry was very successful. He was a respected judge of Israel and mentor for Samuel…but his home life was a train wreck. 1 Samuel 2:12 says, “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord”. Unfortunately, his lack of leadership at home caused Eli to lose his credibility, his job, and eventually his life.
How could Eli’s boys grow up under his roof and not know the Lord? I think Eli made the same mistake many pastors make today. He got so preoccupied with leading the people that he failed to lead his home.
I hear far too many stories of PK’s growing up to resent the church and eventually neglect the church just like Eli’s boys did…that’s why I’m committed to fighting for my family so that doesn’t become their story.
Here’s how I’m fighting to put my family first:
- Daily – We have a “no phone” policy at the dinner table. This gives us the opportunity to disconnect from technology and actually talk as a family. I want to be present at home by giving my family my undivided attention (which means ignoring emails and phone calls during time with the fam). My wife and I also spend time praying together everyday.
- Weekly – Every week we schedule a family night. We doing everything from playing board games, picking up a movie at the RedBox & popping some popcorn, to hitting the neighborhood pool in the summer time.
- Monthly – At least twice a month, my wife and I go out on a date. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it does need to be an investment in our relationship. We actually spend time talking, laughing, and dreaming together.
- Yearly – Every year we take a family vacation. Not a “working vacation”, but a time to unwind and disconnect from ministry. I’ve found it’s best when I can miss two Sunday’s in a row. Regardless, I turn off the cell phone and work email and simply spend time enjoying my family.
Share in the comments below how you make leading your family a priority.