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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

When the Calling and the Children Collide





We’re moving again. The kids will have new schools again. We’ll get to know new neighbors and new local shops again. How can this be good for my children? Kids need stability and routine, and we’re about to toss them in the air. Again.

My ministry responsibilities pull me away when they’re at home. What about my responsibilities as a parent, my calling to be a mom? What if they need me while I’m out counseling someone else?

They don’t know the Bible stories and the Sunday School songs other children know. They have no consistent Godly influences in their lives except my husband and me. I have to teach them everything they need to know about the Bible, God, faith, and Jesus! How can I possibly do that? (This was while we lived overseas.)

Does any of this sound familiar? I’ve thought…okay, said...all these things over the years.

The calling to be a minister isn’t an individual proposition. If your husband is called into church leadership or some other kind of ministry, his family is called as well. Chances are, you too are called, and no matter what, you want to stand alongside your husband in ministry. There’s seminary to consider for one or both of you, as well as possible cross-country moves and the inevitable odd demands of life in ministry: late-night visits, working while others relax, preparation for the next meeting. It takes a toll on your family life…on your children.

In fact, some of those ministry decisions appear detrimental to our children’s development. They go against conventional parenting wisdom. But here’s what I want you to know:

God loves your children more than you love them.

God not only wants the best for your children, but He is actively pursuing it. He knows their future occupations and experiences. He knows what they need right now to move toward their own callings. He smiles on children, loves them, protects them. Even on the days when you should have stayed home but you put the ministry ahead of your own family, He filled in your gaps.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:6-7

If He has called you far away from family and friends, He will take care of you. If the lean years of seminary mean you can’t afford a Christmas tree, He will sustain you. If your kids don’t get to go to Sunday School for all their elementary years, He will open their minds to His Word in other ways.

He did all that for us—and more. I’m counting on Him to continue, too, because we’re planning to move. Again.
Question for reflection: Do you feel the pull of differing responsibilities? Do you sometimes feel the clash between your calling to be a parent and to minister outside your home? How can you cast all that anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you…and your children?

Need more? Check out this post on my blog: When Guilt Grounds Me.

About the Author:

Carole Sparks is passionate about God’s Word—about how it can change our everyday lives! After years of globetrotting, she now lives, learns, and loves (plus a good bit of writing) in the hills of East Tennessee. Connect with Carole through her blog, http://notaboutme1151.wordpress.comor on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.








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