Balancing Marriage, Family and Ministry: 3 Questions that Help Prioritize

It was a delight for me to have all three sons home for Christmas for the first time in a few years. After being empty nesters since 2012, it was quite a change. Our home went from quiet and orderly to busy and unkempt! Ministry and life discussions with Jim needed to take place behind closed doors instead of out in the open. I was vividly reminded of the amount of work it is to be in ministry and to have children at home needing to eat, process, eat, have clean clothes, eat and to be valued in various ways. Each son is unique and each one is blessed differently!

Those years with little boys, doing ministry in our home and on campus, are a blur to me now. One thing that isn’t a blur is the impact it seems our family had on students’ lives. Welcoming them into our home opened up aspects of ministry and life that many had not experienced coming from broken or unbelieving homes.

During the years with our sons growing up, I loved being a wife and mom and knew my most important role was in our home.  But I was in chronic pain, didn’t sleep much, and homeschooled as God was building a ministry on our campus. Jim was occupied with ministry things and even at home, he was often envisioning ministry. Things came to a screeching halt in 1999 when my health got worse and his ministry work increased.  I was on campus and managing our home but I was running out of steam fast. I cut back from campus and women with whom I met went to other staff women for investment. It was hard. During those critical days we began to ask ourselves three questions that we still ask today.
  1.  What is it that only I can do? Can someone else shoulder this task or activity? When do we need to say “no” to something “good” for the “best” thing?
  2. Five years from now, what will we wish we would have done differently? We realized we needed to get about those things now to live without regrets.
  3. Is this event we have planned/anticipated a goal or a commitment? If it was a goal, it would likely happen. If it was a commitment, it was set in stone! We realized that Jim was thinking many things were goals and I had my heart set on them being commitments. This led to some intense discussions in our home! This clarification of goal versus commitment helped me to clarify my expectations as well as to give some freedom and grace in our relationship.

These three questions have served us well during our years of balancing marriage, family and ministry. I offer them as an encouragement to you as you are in the thick of doing just that. Your home, husband and children as well as ministry look different for each one of you. You are highly valued by the Lord and by us!  Our prayer is that in some small way our team can bring encouragement and blessing as you seek to “Know Christ and to Make Him Known” to your precious family, staff, students and friends.

Welcome to the Mommy Missionary Blog!Praying for you,

Beth

Beth suggested 3 great questions to ask yourself when prioritizing. Which one most resonated with you? What do you already do that might encourage another mommy missionary in this area? Please use the comment section below to share your thoughts, ideas or just to let us know how we can pray for you! 

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