Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.
This past week was rough. Last night I attended a banquet honoring the young people who will confirm their baptismal vows and become adult members of the congregation. The previous night I had a late afternoon visitation and an early evening funeral followed by dinner. The night before that, the executive committee held its monthly meeting over pizza. I was home for dinner the night before that, but the previous four days, I was out of town at a seminary board meeting.
Spending only one evening out of eight with my family made my week horrible. I could justify not spending time with my family by claiming I was doing the Lord's work or by asserting that my children don't need me around as much since they're grown up.
Yet while my family may get along without me, I can't get along without them. When I haven't had the chance to sit down at the table with the people who know me best and love me most, I do not feel guilty as much as I feel a deep sense of loss and disconnectedness—like I've missed out on something. My family doesn't respect me because of my reputation or position but simply because they love me. I shed my roles as pastor and board member in exchange for the role of husband and dad.
Over the last week I've engaged in wonderful conversations with excellent and hospitable people, and I have eaten some fine meals, ranging from pork roast to pizza, from lobster to lasagna. But tonight I'm eating with my family at home where we will talk and laugh, perhaps even weep and disagree. But I know that even if the main dish turns out to be baked broccoli, it will be a wonderful meal.
– Steve McKinley
Where will I eat dinner tonight?
When I sit down to dinner tonight, Lord, may the plates be filled with love.
Something to Think About
"What time will you be home for dinner?"
– My spouse
Copyright Tyndale House Publishers.
Used by permission.
This theme addresses various aspects of the family in church life—from raising a family in the midst of busy church leadership to helping your church act as a spiritual family. Stuart and Jill Briscoe share their perspectives on integrating marriage and children with ministry. Other articles examine the blessings of families ('"My Family Fix") and the need for renewal and reflection ('"Balancing the Demands" and '"Are You Emotionally Depleted?").