Two of my favorite subjects are my family and the ministry. The Lord has blessed my husband and I with four amazing children. He has also allowed us the privilege of serving Him in the full time ministry for the past 18 years (I had to triple count to believe this number- the years have flown by!) We have enjoyed serving the Lord in every stage of our marriage and I believe it just gets sweeter as the days go by.
The following are a few tips I would like to share about serving in the ministry while raising children:
Serve Together as a Family
“For we are labourers together with God…” I Corinthians 3:9
When Clark and I had Charlie (our firstborn), I remember struggling with the feeling that we wouldn’t have the liberty to serve the Lord the way we used to. Yes, there are certainly adjustments in life and ministry when the Lord blesses a family with children, but that doesn’t mean you no longer can serve the Lord faithfully. We started deputation when Charlie was 3 months old and learned quickly that it’s a blessing to serve the Lord as a family.
Looking back now, it would have been a mistake to keep our children from participating in serving Christ at a young age. This is a crucial part of their training to be faithful followers of God. Proverbs 22:6 tell us, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Serving the Lord should be a natural part of life for the entire Christian family. I am often so blessed by the faithful families in our church who serve the Lord along with their children every step of the way. We serve together as a team- all of us for the glory of God!
Serve from the Heart
“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” Ephesians 6:6
Another important aspect of raising children while serving in the ministry is to do what we do from the heart. Our children will pick up very quickly if we do what we do because we “have to”. Our service for Christ should come out of a heart gratitude for all that He has done for us. After all- He gave His life for us, and it is our privilege to give our lives back to Him.
Serve with Rejoicing
“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” Psalms 32:11
While you’re serving the Lord together from the heart, don’t forget to rejoice along the way. Rejoice in the countless blessings of seeing God work in lives and realizing that God allows us the great opportunity to be a part of His plan in leading others to Him.
One last note- don’t forget to have fun along the way (can I get an amen?)! Many times we will stop on our way back from Saturday soulwinning and get the teens a treat to enjoy together. They enjoy the fellowship and who doesn’t enjoy a Slurpee on a hot day? (well, maybe you’ve grown out of liking them- but I haven’t).
Serving the Lord alongside of my family is a dream come true. I pray that my children will continue in what they have learned, and Lord willing, experience the same blessings with their families someday.