Prioritizing Family

I have always found the following verse to be very challenging, direct, and instructional. Ready? “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) Two things which always catch my immediate attention are the words “provide” and “worse than an unbeliever.”

PROVIDE: Of course, I believe this means we are to do our best to take care of those in our
households by providing the very basics of life such as food, clothing, and shelter. But surely, especially for Followers of Jesus, it means so much more. It seems to me out of the duty and calling to love we are also to provide such things as discipline, time, Biblical instruction, fun, a listening ear, kindness, and a compassionate heart. Providing for those we love is not just about stuff. It is also about love which always desires the best and highest, going above and beyond the basics and fundamentals.

Many years ago, while I was attending a local Pastors meeting one of the older men made a
statement concerning how he had not taken a day off in years. He seemed to say it with pride as an admonishment to the rest of us. Even though I was fairly new at this pastor thing, I did grow up as a preacher’s kid, so I realized this was a rather misguided and somewhat uninformed statement. This was not at all properly providing for his family. A key element to caring for others is to invest your time and presence. How about you? How well do you provide for those in your family and care?

WORSE THAN AN UNBELIEVER: That’s a powerful and direct statement. If, as Followers
of Jesus, we are not doing any better than heathens in providing for those closest to us, then we are giving Jesus a bad name. True Love, Jesus Love, does not allow us the leeway to try and get by with as little provision as possible, only desiring to give the very minimum. Jesus Love always strives to go the extra mile. If you think not, then please explain the Cross of Jesus. This is why often during a Child Dedication here at Hope we will include these verses from Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is
one.  5  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
strength.  6  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  
7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  8  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  9  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates
.” Please note, all of these directives take intentionality and time.

NEW CORE VALUE: The thoughts above bring us to our New Core Value, which is actually
not new at all, rather has been a key part of what we have encouraged and practiced for many years. But now, it has been officially written down: “In order to most effectively be good ambassadors of Christ, our Staff and volunteers are encouraged to properly prioritize care for their families.”