Growing up in a godly home where we were at church everytime the doors were open and then marrying a preacher worked together with my overachiever personality to make for a very busy church member! I loved the Lord and always wanted to serve Him wherever He needed. However, that meant saying "yes" when many, many, many times I should have said "no."
At one point, we had four precious children five and under, but I was still the drama team director, preschool committee director, Mission Friends director, girls' Bible study leader, and Sunday night youth assistant teacher. Insane, huh? All I can think, "My poor family."
I felt the stress and knew it was distracting me from serving the Lord within my family, but I still felt guilty. If I said no to all these wonderful service positions at church, then I would be the one the pastor preached at from the pulpit about just warming a pew!
The Lord then taught me from His Word, and I began to learn more about my ministry responsibilities within my home. A verse that reached down into my soul is found in Song of Solomon:
"They made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept" (1:6b).
My children (and even my husband, though I thought I was serving him by helping him at church) were only getting the leftovers because so much time and energy went into planning and preparing for my responsibilities at church.
The conviction from the above verse and others helped to reconcile my ideas about serving the Lord. Now I know my family is to be my number one ministry. The Scriptures clearly define my role to include helping my husband and training my children. The Scriptures do not clearly define my role including anything involving programs at church or elsewhere.
"What about evangelism?" you may ask. I have learned that this can be done clearly within the context of the family and even can and should be done (not only, though) within your home. It should definitely start here.
"What about discipleship?" Again, this is best done within the context of the family, can be carried out in your home, and most definitely should begin here!
"What about missions?" This is such a blessing when enjoyed as a family and can have many different looks. Missions at our house looked like one thing in July (mission trip to Central America) and something much different this week (ministry to a nearby widow).
It has definitely been a learning process, but God has grown us in new ways as we learn to serve Him in ways that may not look traditional (not always through church programs) but within our family, in our home, or even on the streets, in restaurants, etc.
I now pray that I will always be careful to what I say "yes" and consider its impact on my ministry to those the Lord has given me. May I keep my own vineyard with my whole heart and do it as unto the Lord.
In the Heart of our Home,