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Ministry Or Family First In Life

In prioritizing my life, I was taught that my relationship with God comes first, then my spouse and kids, then my career, even if it is a ministry. Is this good advice, or should my ministry/career come before my family?

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 ---Madison1101 on 8/24/06
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God should be first then family(if have husband/wife, YOUNG kids) then ministry. Any ministry that requires a lot of time away from home for a recent married couple is not good. I almost lost my family because I was in church almost every day out of the week. My husband felt like he was in competition with the Church. Look for ministries where your entire family can be involved. Remember, anything you do that brings glory to God is ministry. Children are a gift from God right? Let's cherish those gifts then. God loves families it's a great representation of Him on the earth. Be a part of a ministry where your family can be involved. As things changes with your family's needs and commitments, you can venture out into other things.
---Tiffany on 1/19/10


Though it may be hard, God has to come first in your life. I learned this in a faith sharing group from an acquaintence. It was all she could talk about for a relationship. Basically anything that you do, let God be #1 =]
---Lisa5554 on 2/18/09


I do know that God said to me one time, "No matter who I might put in your life in the future you must spend as much time with me then as you do now. Ofcourse, that's putting God first. I believe family should come before your ministry. You can be guilty of worshiping your ministry if you are not careful.
---catherine on 2/15/09


Jack, what a beautiful post, thanks. Yes, I agree with these sentiments. When should we pray? Without ceasing. Every thought should be taken captive and made to conform to the Word of God. There are also times when we can go away into the wilderness and be alone with God.
---frances008 on 2/15/09


A spiritual father (can't recall name) said, "If you are conscious of praying, you'r not really praying." He viewed prayer as a way of life where we are appreciative of our God consciousness. I believe we will know God is first in our life when our priorities and realtionships reflect our God consciousness is present. At times we are not consciously thinking "God first", those around us will be touched by our love for and devotion to God--they will see his Spirit permeating our entire being.
---Jack on 2/14/09




many years i've heard that the first ministry is the home, i can't find that in my Bible, maybe those who say that have a different one, yes it is common sense to devote and do as the Word says, ...Deut 11:19, but all this stuff about ministries,leader in cell groups and so on, it's not ministries that are on the Bible, we all have one call, to preach, teach the gospel and to baptize them in the name...remember that is what Christ our Lord said to do, then we have the spiritual gifts, and the ministries Ephe 4:11, not all this weird title churches have now,
---Diana on 2/14/09


with that said, I beleive that the Gospel is one, for a wife, like myself, a husband and children, your family will do, what you do, not what you tell them to do, if i am a teacher, my whole family will benefit from the fact that i teach them and others the Word, If i am a prophet they will benefit by the fact that I speak God's heart to them and my generation...ministry and family are not one second or third, God is first and them he will do what is best for you and your family, the problem is PEOPLE don't let God be God in their life and think they can use His Word as they feel like it.
---Diana on 2/14/09


A proper relationship vertically with God will affect everyone around you, as will an improper relationship with Him. Performance oriented believers often tend toward "ministries" rather than people, including their families. There is often very little glory in ministering to your family, in your home, out of the public spotlight. If I were a leader and looking for someone to come alongside me, I would talk to his family first before I talked with those outside his home. Many times it is easier to hide behind a ministry than to face the real issues. Being away from home all the time ministering to others keeps you away from those who really know you and are intimate with the real you.
---Linda_G. on 10/9/08


I have seen so many situations where the home life was nothing like the public life, with the minister treating others better than his own family, extending grace in the spotlight and withholding it privately. Family will not only begin to resent you but also God when they discover that you care more for others than you do them....and all in the name of God who was the first to ordain marriage and family. Such a contradiction causes more problems than can be listed here but the results are the same...division and death to the relationships in the home...and eventually the ministry itself.
---Linda_G. on 10/9/08


James 5:16: "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
Job?
---Nana on 10/8/08




Job's dilemma in the Bible represented a man that neglected his family for the sake of memorializing God just in case his family sinned against God. God took everything away, because he didn't teach, he prayed in case they sinned, and they did. God gave unto Job the opportunity to teach his new family and they learned to go to God too. That is the fruit that comes from Godly men obeying "forsaking mother father, etc." Love God first makes a true Christian husband, father, minister to family first so it become easier when outside ministering, secured that all is well at home because he has taught family to Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul. Then your neighbor as yourself.
---mch9j on 10/4/08


As a minister, my family comes first. They are first my congregation, they are first my responsibility, they are first God's proof that I am a minister or not. "You will know them by their fruit"."How can I or anyone minister to a congregation (other than family) and neglect their own flesh and blood? Many do because of congregational pressures, but that doesn't make it right.
---Jim on 6/12/08


Pastors who took too much time pastoring lost touch with wives and ended in divorce. Bible,temperence in all things. Your family is your first Ministry,God gave them to you to teach His Word,ways,to love and nurture. The Bible says if any doesn't provide for his own house he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel 1 Tim 5:8. God first can be Intercessory Prayer Warrior,doing good deeds from home. Family after God,job and then Church. God is with you everywhere. Bloom where you are planted.
---Darlene_1 on 6/11/08


Recently I had to step down from our Praise and Worship Ministry. My heart is still there, it is a desire of mine to serve in this ministry. But until about 1 month ago, I was forced to make a decision between my family and ministry. I occassionally missed services to leave town with my family due to my children being involved with a particular sport. I had to make a choice to stay behind and fully committ or step down and be with my family 100%.
---JESS on 6/4/08


#2 In my life I know God is first, I have a wonderful family and I see God working continuously through it all. Although it hurts that I had to make this decision, what hurts more is the mentality of those who feel you have to committ 100% to ministry OR 100% to family.
---JESS on 6/4/08


#3 I have learned, if you are patient, put your trust in God, live your whole life trying to please Him. When you have to make a decision in your life you will have peace about it. But when you are forced to make a decision that you do not have peace about. Well, that is not God lead anymore. So I agree as well, GOD (your relationship with Him), Family (the family God gave you), Ministry (where God uses you and your family).
---JESS on 6/4/08


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This is a question I struggle with everyday. If it were up to me, I'd spend every second with my family. Through good and bad I love being with them, seeing them grow and helping them with their struggles, also receiving their forgiveness for my faults. How do I commit myself to God and do his work when I still need to pay a mortgage and other financial obligations, plus run my kids around, take care of the pets, house, yard, etc?
---BobbyC on 5/7/08


#2 God does not change our minds or the action of our hands or the way our feet move as His first priority. He goes to our central organ, our heart, and changes that first than everything else will follow suite. If we have God at the center of our lives than the spokes will all come from the same source and we will roll along doing His will.
---Ryan on 4/26/08


Many preachers have given up family for the Lord. The right relationship with God first then your first ministry is to your family.
So many preacher, in past years, gave up their family and went out preaching God's word. They later found their family went to the dogs. If you don't take care of them spiritualy as well as physicaly it could happen to you. God expects you to take care of them and do your work for Him at the same time.
---ms on 7/23/07


that is very good advice,the lord first then family then ministry because you as a family minister for the lord,you have to all be renewed and shaped in the image of him,you go into ministy without putting your family first it wont work .the lord works with the family first ,home,
---nikki on 7/23/07


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There is a difference between those you minister to, those who work closely with you in ministry and your own family. God DOES NOT WANT YOU to neglect your family, He loves them. Do not sacrifice their own needs for wants of others that is not as important even in His own eyes. This is a tricky subject.
---OK on 7/20/07


"If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good! But there are preconditions: A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife...He must handle his own affairs well, attentive to his own children and having their respect"
1 Tim 3:1-4

"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
1 Tim 5:8
---OK on 7/21/07


When you get save your whole worldveiw is transformed into God's worldveiw, your family becomes anyone you are ministering to or anyone who is ministering to you. Remember Jesus said who is my Mother? My mother and my brother and my sister are those who hear and do my word. The whole body of Christ regardless to what denomination they may be in- they become our family. We share a encounter unlike any other, Our encounter with God who has revealed himself to us.
---Marcia on 7/20/07


Matthew 10:37

[37] He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

The words of Jesus Christ. He does not lie. I would not teach against it.

Luke 21:20-36 The Lord explains why we need to be worthy. What to escape. It is serious.

Frank3443
---Frank on 7/19/07


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Family, family and then family. In John 8, the Jews said to Jesus:
"Abraham is our father" and then later "...we have one Father, even
God". Well..., having a Father who happens to also be God and
us then being his children - Isn't that Family?
---Nana on 7/19/07


2)
I have seen some awful things done to earthly parents by their very
own children in the name of God! Even some say that Jesus taught
them that way of acting with their parents! Those people love to
quote verses like Matthew 10:37: "He that loveth father or mother
more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or
daughter more than me is not worthy of me." and one other that
goes on like "Let the dead bury their dead...".
---Nana on 7/19/07


3)
Whether single or married, the "family" is the #1 priority. Do
anyone thinks they have left all for the kingdom of God? This
subject is well covered in Mark 10. In Mark 10:30: "But he shall
receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and
sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions,
and in the world to come eternal life."
---Nana on 7/19/07


4)
Surely one's own blood "family" is included in that promise. Note
it states "hundredfold", hence the use of the plural form. The im-
portance of our relationship with one another shows clear in
Matthew 5:24: "Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy
way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy
gift." That, Jesus taught.
---Nana on 7/19/07


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5)
What did Jesus do himself, say about his mother?
John 19:26: "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple
standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman,
behold thy son! 27: Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy
mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own
home."
---Nana on 7/19/07


That is a good question. I believe that it should be, God first, Family second, and third your ministry.
---catherine on 7/18/07


Your family come before Your ministry. Your ministry is not your relationship with God, it is a part of that relationship, but your family is also a part of your relationship with God. Your ministry is a relationship with others to touch them and aid them. But don't neglect your family. Sacrifice your family's desires, but don't sacrifice their needs. God doesn't want you to.
---OK on 7/18/07


Linda, I tried to keep it simple and leave out a multitude of counsellers.
The fact is we are commanded (all of us) to love the Lord more than family. Jesus said it and he does not lie.
How much more a preacher?
He has to feed his family and flock.
Frank3443
---Frank on 7/18/07


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Notice: every time Jesus asked Peter, "Lovest thou Me more than these" and Peter answered, "Yes", Jesus told him to "feed the sheep and lambs". I believe the point Jesus was making here was that if you love Him, you will love them as you love Him because they are His body. They are inseparable.
---Linda on 7/18/07


The Lord asked Peter "lovest thou me more than these?"
A man of God better love the Lord more than "all" to include family, flock and friends!
Frank3443
---Frank on 7/18/07


Charity begins at home and then spreads abroad. Sweep your own doorstep first then your neighbors. Take care of your family first(ministry) then tend to the other ministry(outreach). What would it look like feeding the hungry in Viet nam and your own children are starving here in the States. Don't make sense. Does it? God is not in the business of destroying families. This is surely what will happen if you run off tending other families and your own is lacking.
---Robyn on 7/17/07


Yes. Good advice indeed, this is the way you should prioritize your ministry.
---Marcia on 7/17/07


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As humans we look at things in order of priority. we label something comes first than second and third etc...etc. I Believe this paradigm is incorrect. We should look at it more in terms of a wheel. God should be at the center of the wheel and every spoke that comes off the center should have equal attention. This I believe is divine order.
---Ryan on 7/17/07


Just remember that Paul advised that it would be 'better' for believers to not marry, as this would always be a source of conflict when trying to prioritize decisions in life ... and YES you should put your family first ... over your career (even if it is full time ministry). Putting God first is something else ... as it has to do with staying in God's will in all matters of life.
---Mike_P. on 3/12/07


Is God First? Our lives get unbalanced if we serve because we like to be needed, successful, or anxiety-free. Our families get lost in the wake of our self-centered lives that are disguised as ministries. Set an example by treating your wife they way Christ would. Stay connected to Christ as the highest priority of your life. Don't be so busy doing stuff for God that you forget to spend time with God. This ensures that your schedule stays in submission to him. <>--Happy Pastor's Wife, 13Years
---Melodie on 9/3/06


John: Do you really think that Jesus meant to break up marriages and leave children fatherless? The Epistles written to Timothy and Titus outline the requirements for ministry, and that includes handling family matters well. No man or woman should leave their spouse and children to go do ministry. That is plain wrong.
---Madison1101 on 9/2/06


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If family were the first ministry then why would Jesus say to leave them if you want to be a disciple? And tell us that if we leave them for His sake that there will be rewards? I do agree that family is a ministry but doesn't God promise to take care of everything when we go out as a disciple? Did He encourage any of His disciples to be dedicated to family or business affairs after He called them?
---john on 9/1/06


I always thought that family was the first area of ministry for any believer.
---Madison1101 on 9/1/06


If God called you into the ministry then it should come first.
---Rebecca_D on 8/31/06


There was a woman who had 11 children went up to her pastor all excited and said "I believe the Lord is calling me to the mission field." The Pastor replied "you sure are called ,right there at home, to your 11 children!". This just shows often we look at the far view and miss the mark. It is God,not Church,Family,Job,and then Church. God gives us priorities by their very nature. Who would do all areas of our work in life if not us?
---Darlene_1 on 8/29/06


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Yes ... I had not thought of that ... that Ministry does not equal God.
Too often there is the temptation to think of all the things we can "Do for God", when the most important thing is to love Him, qand you can do that just as well whilst caring for your family, as you can in the wilds of some mission field
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/26/06


God is always supposed to be first
meaning he is {no.1}in your life
but your family is your ministry or your ministry begins at home
IF A MAN CANNOT MANAGE HIS OWN HOUSE HOW WILL HE MANAGE THE THINGS OF GOD
also
HE THAT IS SINGLE IS ABLE TO LOOK AFTER THE THINGS OF GOD
HE THAT IS MARRIED MUST LOOK AFTER HIS WIFE
God gave you the family will he want you to neglect them.???
---very_concerned on 8/26/06


Too many folks confuse ministry with "God." A personal relationship with God is first, then family, then ministry.Ministry does not equal God. Too many folks have made their ministry their god and grew cold in their relationship with God (too busy working for Him to spend time with Him) and their families felt unloved and abandoned.
---Gena8493 on 8/26/06


God knows better than you do that you have a family to take care of. If God has called you into a ministry, you must put God first, and He will in turn take care of your family. He loves them even more than you do. Always remember, God will not call you without providing the means for every aspect and concern of your life. My husband and I left family and friends to answer the call of God. He then eventually brought our family to us and provided for all of us.
---Debbie on 8/25/06


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For those of you who say family first maybe you could give me your explanaton of Matt. 19:29 and Luke 14:26-33. Maybe I'm understanding it wrong? There seems to be a definite order. I have lived the last 22 of my 34 years of marriage placing the ministry first and have no regrets and God has totally taken care of everything I would have normally been worried about.
---john on 8/25/06


Madison, I agree wholeheartedly with this advice. 1 Timothy talks about Overseers needing to be able to manage their family, for if they can't manage their family, how then can they manage their church? Although not all of us are Overseers I think it's still a good rule of thumb to live by. Manage what your role is in the family unit, and then go outside of that as opportunity arises.
---Katie on 8/25/06


For me it is the Lord first, ministry second, wife and kids third. I wouldn't trust a man with my soul that put anything before the Lord and his ministry. Even Abraham esteemed obedience to God before Isaac.
---Frank on 8/25/06


#2. However, in the case of a non-Catholic minister who is already married I believe there is no question that his marriage should come first. Just as Catholic priests take a sacred vow to serve the Lord in celibacy, the married minister also made a sacred vow when he married that is binding for life.
---augusta on 8/25/06


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I just wanted to add to Jack's post first. I'm in favor of celibacy for just this reason. Paul wrote: "He that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord: how he may please God. But he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the world: how he may please his wife. And he is divided...And this I speak for your profit, not to cast a snare upon you, but for that which is decent and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment." 1 Cor 7
---augusta on 8/25/06


while in the flesh it hard for us not to and then to feel like we need to prioritize.But I would say your relationship with God first cause everything else works better if thats right.
---tom2 on 8/25/06


God first, others second, yourself last. Part of our ministry is in serving and obeying God in whichever way He has called us. It is not a case of ministry before family, they are interwoven. If God has given us a family they are part of that ministry. Whether it is husband or wife called to minister in some way, spouse and children need ministering to also and in doing that God is being put first. Caring and nurturing are just as much a part of ministry as is preaching and teaching.
---M.P. on 8/25/06


I would suggest that men as head of their households are also supposed to be the priests/ministers of their families,responsible 1st, for their spiritual well-being. P.
---Pierr5358 on 8/25/06


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Your family should always come first...Also a kind reminder that the Ministry is a vocation..a calling...and jesus called the first 12..here and now in the 21st century it is a wee bit different...unless you go overseas...
---steve_esteban on 8/24/06


I submitted to my husband, when I was married, in my career choice, because that is what I was told to do by the Christians I knew. To do otherwise, would have caused marital strife, and probably would have brought our divorce earlier than it was. I can say that I obeyed God's Word in my marriage.
What is exciting is to see how God blessed my career path after my divorce. Is that strange or what? I wonder if I had not submitted, if God would have blessed in the same way. I doubt it.
---Madison1101 on 8/24/06


Matt.19:29 says no one who has left family and home etc. for the name of Jesus shall go unrewarded. Luke 14:33 Whosoever forsaketh not all that he hath cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26. If any man comes to Jesus and hates not his own family and himself, he cannot be a disciple. What it boils down to is what has God called you to? If he called you to be a disciple then ministry comes first. If not then maybe you are doing just fine already.
---john on 8/24/06


Ministry can't come before family, or family before ministry because your life with your family is part of your ministry.
They are integrated and the effect one has on the other has to balanced carefully.
The Bible tells us to rule our house well, and again that if relations break down that our prayers can be hindered; imagine how that could impact your ministry.
God first does keep this balance, and the law is love.
---Pharisee on 8/24/06


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Madison, now you see why Latin Rite priests are, for the most part, unmarried, don't you? It's strictly a practical matter to avoid the conflicts you mentioned.

There was a Pentecostal preacher who once said, "If God calls you when you're single, plan on staying single."
---Jack on 8/24/06


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