Daily Devotional for Wednesday October 10, 2012
Taking Care of Your Family
(1 Timothy 5:8)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I love my prayer life. I try to stay connected all day. When I go to bed I pray for many people and situations in my life, plus always give thanksgiving to our Lord. I get so relaxed that I sometimes fall asleep. Am I being disrespectful?
ANSWER: No! You aren't the first one to fall asleep. The disciples of Jesus fell asleep in the Garden after the Last Supper. The fact you are praying throughout the day, is a great thing. If once in a while you fall asleep while praying, don't worry about it. God knows your heart. If a person is praying right after they wake up, and praying when they fall asleep, it doesn't get any better!
For men and women whom God has given a great amount of energy and ability, one of the biggest traps the enemy uses is getting them so focused on daily work that they neglect other aspects of their life. It is common to minimize and not give enough time to that daily, intimate contact with the Lord that is so critical to anyone who professes Christ as their Savior. The other area that suffers is the responsibility to the home.
As one who fights this battle daily, I can personally attest to how easy it is to get caught up in our job or career. It is something that can happen in a very subtle way over a period of time, and without any bad intentions or motives. It is a very clever trap of the enemy that I want to expose today and share with you how to avoid at all costs.
The passage of scripture today very clearly lays out how God feels about those who neglect their home. If you notice, there are no exceptions. It doesn't say you are exempt from being an infidel if you are in the ministry. Or you are exempt from being an infidel if you have an important job. Or you are exempt from being an infidel if many people at work depend on you. God was clear and concise in that taking care of our home is a major priority in our lives, without exemption.
I am totally convinced in my own heart, that the reason our society is in such a bad state today, is because we are now reaping what we sowed, as far as the family is concerned, since the mid-60's. From the free-love, anti-authority days of the 60's and 70's, to the "me-first" 80's, to the self-indulgence of the 90's, we now have a generation who grew up without the love and nurturing of two parents.
Whether it be from divorce or parents driven to succeed at any cost, our society is now dealing with the problems of the breakdown of God's family plan. God tries to tell us in His Word, that after our personal relationship with Him, the next priority in our life MUST be our home. There is nothing more important that we do each day than to operate as the spiritual head of our house.
IT IS OUR FIRST JOB, AND TAKES PRIORITY OVER ALL OTHER EARTHLY JOBS AND PURSUITS.
How do we avoid falling into this trap? The best way I know is a two-fold approach. I HAVE to start every day in prayer and the Word, or it doesn't happen. It has become a discipline of mine over the years. That helps me to zero in on what is really important, and throughout the day gives me the type of God-centered focus I need to keep me where the Lord wants me to be.
Having started out that way each day, I then am reminded of my duty as the spiritual head of my home. To properly operate in that role requires sacrifice and planning on my part. I am very busy. I put in long days. But it is a priority each day to fulfill my role and obligation as the spiritual head of my house, so I plan into my day the things necessary to make that happen.
It boils down to time management, planning, and prioritizing. It is funny how we can always find the time to do the things we really want to do, the things that please us. That simply proves that it really boils down to our priorities. If we follow God's Word, and our home is a top priority, then we will find the time to provide the spiritual leadership in our home God has called us to provide, regardless of what else we do in our daily lives.
I love you and care for you, and am praying that He opens your eyes and heart to fulfill your responsibility to your home each day. I know that this is difficult for many to read. Many you are saying that it sounds good, but that it is not realistic in your case. Let me reiterate. It MUST be realistic, because it is what God has instructed us to do!
Of course, I have not even addressed the issue of single-parent homes in all of this, but that doesn't change God's command. There are NO exceptions. One thing I have found in my personal journey with the Lord, when we are trying to follow His Word, attempting to live in obedience to His commands, He will help us. Again, there may be sacrifice involved, it may not be easy, but God will strengthen you, give you wisdom, and part the seas to help you follow Him.
I pray that you will read these words today, sit down and pray, and ask God how you can fulfill what He has asked you to do in relationship to your responsibilities at home. In some cases, you may have to totally readjust your lifestyle. Again, God will help you. There are several passages of scripture that are very strong and very clear. This is one of those passages.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,