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Does God want us to put our families before His mission?

March 21, 2012

This is something that I struggle with even today. I will use Martin Luther King, Jr. as an example since his story is pretty much universal. He died working to enrich the lives of colored people. We revere him as an American Hero and change agent. However, should he be praised or admonished? The fact is he left a young family behind fighting for the lives of many. He didn’t have to. He was an educated man from a stable family. However, he elected to get into the trenches. But do we give the same credit to modern day fighters in in our circle with their work God called them to do? God don’t only call preachers. He calls everyone to partake in a mission, whether religious or secular, whether professional or blue collar.

Today, we carry the mindset that our “families” come before our jobs. Does this mean we are admitting that the jobs we are in are not the jobs God called us to do? If God called us to do these jobs, then would that mean our jobs come before our families? This is a very sticky discussion to explore because our jobs pay us and are not really seen as mission work. Well, then again, the job of a preacher is often paid work too. So how should we view the work we do daily? People break-up, have poor relationships with their children, and sacrifice their social lives to do their “jobs” but when these people are within our circle, we criticize them as working too hard, not viewing what they do as God’s work, especially if they are not in a pulpit. So my curiosity lies in, how should we balance our personal relationships with our professional aspirations? If we know we are doing God’s work, should we care what others think?

Do you have an answer? I know I don’t. That’s why I am asking you. Are you faced with this situation now? How did you handle it? We definitely have a tendency to uplift the noble works of strangers. Our personal friends and family, not so much all the time. We are sometimes selfish to our own benefits and if time with that person is being stripped away from us, we view it as evil, rather than the work of God, unless that person wears a robe to work.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2012 10:45 am

    I was in this situation and got a divorce because I was not given support from my ex. It wasn’t like, I am leaving you because you don’t support me, but him not supporting the work, career that I believe my God (Yahweh) has given me, started him doing things against my work and against our marriage. Those little things that causes a person to act out against our dreams and goals in a negative way, we call resentment. Over time, it builds up and causes major problems in relationships. It became to problematic to bear and couldn’t deal with it and keep my sanity at the same time. To not go in details, it got really bad for me.

    I stand alone to do my work now. I had got many offers for relationships. Some were even entertainable in thought, but getting into relationship takes time and commitment, which, because I am focus on my course don’t have it to offer. Even just speaking to potentials on the phone, I get questioned about not returning phone calls in timely manner, or why I didn’t speak that day. There may be some days where you can give some quality time, but not many. It’s hard to give full focus to 2 things at the same time, all the time. And really, you can’t. Something has to take 2nd, 3rd or 4th seat. The only way even in a relationship or marriage this will work is if that partner has the same understanding you have about meeting your dreams, your goals and support what you believe God (Yahweh) given you to do.

    If you support a stranger with what they do, then you should also believe in and support the person you are committed to in a relationship even more. If one really care for their partner and stop putting their selfish needs in the way, maybe it will work. It didn’t for me. But in turn, leaving that person behind, or anyone else (family, friends) worked out best for what I am set out to do

  2. Diva permalink
    March 21, 2012 12:18 pm

    A construction worker, working on the side of a busy highway has just as much potential to lose his life; as MLK Jr. If that construction worker has a family they too are left behind. Putting your physical person in a physical place where metal can meet flesh and cause death is just as dangerous as standing and opposing racism in a hostile racist society.

    A man will want to provide for his family; A man will want to make a definite impact and imprint on the lives of others and those he loves; because he is engineered by God to do so; the balance of that mission should come from those positively contributing to his life.

    Working hard vs. being a workaholic, working hard vs. running your health into the ground, working hard vs. spending no quality time with your family, therein lays the culprit; there has to be balance and achieving balance can be a feat within in its self.

    Losing one’s life can occur under any circumstance, regardless of the profession therefore Dr. King should never be admonished for being a man of strong convictions and pursuing his God given purpose. Yes, it is sad and tragic he left a young family behind and equally sad is grieving families left behind due to a man losing his life during an armed robbery or a drug deal gone wrong.

    Death is certain and sure for each and every one of us and we should respect those that have lost their lives enabling a noble cause; and/or taking care of their own. we can see family photos of Dr. King spending family time and a better testament to his balance was the fact that his young family remained on course even after he was gone and today as a result we can see his legacy

  3. Chandra permalink
    March 21, 2012 10:47 pm

    Another provocative question posed to your readers. Thanks! Tonight I was just informed that a young, single mother of twins committed suicide. Her father is a minister. This sad news strengthens the validity of your question for me.

    True, MLK’s calling and intentional journey was not about a paycheck. The term some may use is suffering servant. In the case of men in clergy, many times they tend to hurt their families with their indirect and direct choices, whether those choices are thought as holy or harmful.

    True, there is no rote answer for this one because our life’s song and choices seem to either help or hurt some of our relationships. We are passionate people and we tend to do our important tasks with great passion and hope. True, God calls so many to work in ministry outside of a predetermined preacher-type role.

    Maybe it not a 50/50 well-balanced model for passion work and family work. All involved make sacrifices. I hope that all involved are willing to say, when it’s all said and done, it was worth it. I have to ask myself this very important question too.

    I hope I can care what others think (to a certain healthy degree) while doing God’s work only because I believe God cares about those people who have questions of me and they desire some truthful answers from me. I know I can’t and won’t always please them, and that’s okay too!

    True, there are many instances that strangers are uplifted and the Bible also lets us know that the “prophet has no honor in his own home.” (Hopefully that is not true in every case).

    How do I handle it? Well, honestly, although I’ve worked here and there throughout my marriage, I can’t say working has been my main focus. Our children has been a big priority and we made some unconventional choices there. One, what works for one family may not work for another. Two, I can’t help but think of gender roles here when thinking about children. With that said, in about another two years all of that will change. I hope my family can understand my shift. Then, I will be an ordained chaplain (right God?) and I will be propelled to different work, focus, and intent. Hopefully, we all will be ready for that change, but I think we are already moving in that direction slowly for acclimation purposes.

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