They pay a price for your ministry, you know.
Before things get crazy busy for you during Holy Week and Easter, this might be a great time for some preventive family wellness.
It’s a bit like getting the oil changed before a long trip, or a good stretch before a run. You know that your car or your legs are going to be under some extra strain.
There are things you can do to help things run smooth.
Our families participate with us in ministry, sometimes in an active role in church life.
Sometimes by just carrying part of the burden of the hectic lifestyle we lead.
When a week like Christmas or Easter or any unusually busy season of ministry comes along, I think there’s one primary price our spouses and families pay.
It’s the price of our absence.
During critical stretches of ministry, like Lent and Holy Week, our focus on the importance of making the most of unique opportunities to share the gospel make us physically absent more than usual.
Those times can also make us emotionally absent.
I’ve found through the years that ministry families are extremely proud of the work we do. They consider the sacrifices that they make for the sake of the call their way of sharing in the Lord’s work.
Our families love who we are and they love what we do.
This might be a good time to keep those bonds of love and respect strong.
Here’s a couple of suggestions to help our families through a stressful time.
Tell them what next week means to you.
When our loved ones understand how important ministry opportunities like Holy Week are to us, and how long we’ve been praying and planning for them, they’re better able to be patient with our absence.
It’s also a good idea to share how certain seasons of ministry are milestone moments for the mission of God’s work in our midst. Explain to them how your busyness in coming days is part of the bigger picture of sharing the gospel of Christ.
Understanding breeds unity.
Ask for grace.
Tell your spouse and family how important it is to you to have them support and encourage you. Tell them that you know you will be unusually absent, and ask their patience.
And maybe even their permission.
And certainly their grace as you do the best you can to balance the competing loyalties of church and home.
This week might also be a good week to make plans for a special post-Easter family activity. Get their input on what you could do when things return to a more normal schedule, something to strengthen the bonds of love you appreciate so much.
Thanks for your service.
Thanks for reading.
Find more encouragement for a strong family life in “Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry” available at www.graceplacewelllness.org