Thanks to a friend's Facebook post, I was deeply moved this morning by an article in the Dallas Morning News. With plenty already to do today as we aim to get settled in our new place, prepare for another little girl in two weeks, and try to run a business I've been completely stunned after reading it. Mentally, my mind is being tossed around like one of those front load washing machines. My only thought was to express this myriad of emotions by sharing through my writing as an outlet. There is nothing that I say that will seem fancy or deep. There is no particular goal in mind with what I am sharing or saying. Just a thought that I hope you will consider as you go about a day that's sure to be filled with emotions of stress, anger, and frustration. I truly hope you will consider clicking on the title of this post and have your Spirit touched by an article that is the same thing our God is all about...love.
Before you click, please consider this brief thought. It's something I've had the Lord share with me during prayer lately as well as in conversation with others. That thought is understanding the importance of loving your family. It's the number one priority, ministry and job in your life. To you followers of Christ, your ability to find life and joy within family is part of what makes you like the triune God. A God who manages to live as a family in perfect harmony, a family that is in essence one unit. To make your family the number one priority in your life is not to make God number two. Instead it is glorifying God by seeing this life through the lens of Christ. Jesus is so much bigger than a priority and we must not lose sight of the fact that following Jesus is not about something else we must do. It's about being transformed and coming to know what it really means to live by the grace of God. It means becoming the kind of person that can't help but love God and love others.
Loving others starts at home. Your immediate family is the first thing each day that tangibly allows you to love God and love others more than yourself. It's what allows us to find joy in the midst of sorrow and gratefulness in the midst of heartache. It's the place where we have the oppurtunity to share the love of God most frequently. However, with so much emphasis placed on "finding a ministry" for Christians these days I truly believe we are once again settling on great things while neglecting the best thing in regards to the aforementioned buzz word, "ministry". I would never argue that some are called to great things like heading to other Countries to build houses, help the poor start businesses, or making sure people are getting clean water just to name a few. Let's face it, even Scripture tells us that the poor will always be with us and by loving the "least of these" whether widows, children or poor we are undoubtedly blessing them and blessing God. However, we far too often miss out on the ministry that is our immediate family as well as the life that can be found in loving and serving them. Our family is a gift from God, not a curse that gets in the way of us doing "great things" for Him and the world. We need to expose this lie that there is a greater thing that we can on this Earth than to share what true love looks like, the undeniable, inclusive, unconditional love of Christ with our spouses and children. This love for our family is what makes the love of Christ come alive. We become hypocrites in our own home when we treat our husbands/wives or children in an unloving way.
Sadly enough, we within the Church have no excuse for having our own children feel neglected by Father's who are constantly focused on their businesses or on finding, growing and enhancing "their" ministry. We too frequently have mom's that are more concerned with looking the right way, saying the right things and having the right friends than they are with teaching their kids what true love looks like. I hope that after reading this article, though clearly a non-Christian one, we come to see how short this life is. Hopefully it also helps us to see the importance of creating an environment of love that allows us to leave a legacy when we're gone and ultimately glorify God more than any other thing we could have done.