Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Family and Ministry

Your family is your primary ministry field. Faithfulness in the family is not just a pre-qualification for ministry in the church (1Tim.3:4,5); it is, in fact, the mark of a believer (1Tim.5:8). A husband who doesn't treat his wife with dignity and honor is blocked by heaven (1Pet.3:7). A father whose kids are indisciplined is not fit for the work of the ministry in church (1Tim.3:4,5,12; Tit.1:6). A woman who was not faithful to her husband and to her children was not to be listed among widows to benefit from church charity (1Tim.5:9). A son who claims to be a believer and is negligent of his family responsibilities (honor and support of his aged parents, especially) is, according to the Scriptures, a denier of faith and worse than an infidel (1Tim.5:4,8).

The New Testament is very strict about this, though in the Old Testament, in the Age of the Law, we have examples of bad parents like Eli, Samuel, and David (1Sam.2:12; 8:3; 2Sam.13:22). In the Age of the Law, many things were ignored and few things like polygamy, slavery, and divorce were even permitted due to the hardness of human hearts (Acts 17:30; Matt.19:8). But, the commandments of Grace are tougher and more demanding than the commandments of the Law (Matt.5:20; Tit.2:11,12). And, in the New Testament, a new image of the family is given. The relationship between a husband and his wife is a type of the relationship between Christ and His Church (Eph.5:23-25). Divorce is disallowed except in the case of infidelity (Matt.5:31). A man has to be husband of one wife and a woman the wife of only one husband (1Tim.3:2; 5:9). It is very important for one to first look at what the Bible expects one as a son, a brother, a father, or a daughter, a sister, and a mother to fulfill in the family first before thinking about what one dreams of doing in regions beyond one's family. God put us in the family first. If we can't be faithful in the shadows, how can we serve the heavenly?

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