We labor diligently, especially if it’s work to which God has called us.
But when that labor hurts those we love, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it, it means we examine our motives and the call.
This has nothing to do with misusing our time—but we may not be prioritizing. Perhaps, however, there is something deeper.
In business circles, if you want something done right, find someone that’s busy, and turn it over to them.
We are designed with the innate tendency to work hard and be successful. The result is that when opportunities arise—opportunities to do something for the Lord, it presents a conflict.
Not every opportunity must be pursued, but how should we determine which opportunities to accept and which to decline when all of them are good?
In Luke chapter 14:26-27, Jesus states;
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
Does this imply we shouldn’t care if we leave our families behind, especially when in verse 33, Jesus goes on to say;
“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
But if we were to turn our backs on everyone, Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 5:25 would make no sense when he states;
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.
Again, in John 19:26-27 documents Christ’s words as He was hanging on the cross, dying;
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
If we are to abandon families, would Christ have made that connection between the disciple and his mother. It was out of love for them both that He made that statement. It reveals His character and His heart. He expects and demands our devotion and dedication to the point of turning our backs on the things we love.
Yes, it is critical for us to be fully dedicated to what the Lord has called us to do. At times, we are to leave our family members behind as we carry out His work. We are to follow Him and not the pursuit of worldly desires and treasures.
If we are to radically abandon what this planet tells us is important, and be obedient to His Word, it may require leaving the stuff to which we have become attached, and our comfort zones—and go.
But one thing is certain—God expected men to positively impact their wives, children, grandchildren and others. It is not a responsibility to be taken lightly, or passed to someone else.
As I move forward, I will do my best to spend as much time with my family as I can. I have a new resolve to do so. I want them to miss me when I’m in Africa, and I want them to want me when I’m home.