Family; June 23, 2022

1 Timothy 3:5 If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?

I’ve always been struck by this enormously practical verse. It’s certainly not impossible for a single person to be a good pastor, as Paul himself illustrates, but I think it would be much harder. Even without children in the picture, there are so many parallels between running a household and running a church that it would be like practicing medicine as a pre-med college student. Conviction and calling are essential, but there’s a lot of training and experience that is helpful to say the least. The flip side of that is those pastors who seem to do well managing a big church, but who leave their families behind as an afterthought. Such pastors too make grave mistakes. A man who doesn’t relate rightly to his wife doesn’t understand the heart of Christ for His Bride, the Church, (Ephesians 5:25-33) and a man who can’t command the respect of his children isn’t likely to command the respect of God’s children either. Some seminaries seem to take this issue to heart, but many do not, and I think that’s a sad mistake. Many of the pitfalls that lie in wait for a pastor are directly related to his relationship to his biological family. That includes not only sexual temptation but also burnout and a host of other issues. It is very foolish to forget that the family is the first human institution God established, right there in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 2:24)

I have had the huge blessing of being raised by a man who loved both his family and the Family of God. He didn’t do a perfect job with either, but then none of us do. He set such an example of loving my mother that I couldn’t wait to do the same, and got married less than 24 hours after graduating from college. He was an enormously busy man, and occasionally his biological family got the short end of the stick, but such times were rare, I think. I wasn’t aware of the details of his relating to the Church, but I think I absorbed a lot as his youngest child, and I’m grateful. How well I’ve done with my biological and spiritual children should be asked of them, but God is the final judge.

Father, thank You for this reminder, and thank You for Your grace and patience toward me and my children, both physical and spiritual. May I continue to grow as the father and pastor You want me to be, for the blessing of all and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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