Can You Serve Both Family and Church? Do You Have To Choose?

Speaking of “social networking“, Twitterfox has led me to many an interesting thought or post I might have otherwise missed. Today it lead me to read over @ Rodney Olsen.net. One of his posts got me really thinking, and I left a comment and had this thought: maybe others, reading here, might want to think more about this topic- so here’s a short synopsis of Rodney’s post, my comment and the invitation to jump over to “Replacing Our Families With Faith” in order to read all of the post, and the additional comments that are there, and perhaps leave your own thoughts.
Rodney wrote:

“Have you found yourself so wrapped up in church stuff and ministry and everything that goes along with it that those closest to you have missed out? ”

[and partly answered] “I think a lot of the answer could be found in the difference between what we ‘think‘ God requires of us and what he actually does require.”

I replied:

“My initial response is “yes, we get too busy”, because I have struggled with this for much of my adult life. Raising a large a family, meeting extended family obligations, and “church” often seemed to conflict. But soon after the initial “yes” many other matters came to mind.

It isn’t just Christians…what about the cliched “workaholic”? Humans tend to get obsessed with their interests, in whatever category, we shortsightedly weight our sense of what is important. The answer is not to “stop being Christian” as if it were an outside influence, but give ourselves honestly to a different standard. It won’t always go over well with “the audience” of others in our lives.

Can we truly gauge our lives by others demands? Some families are reasonable in their ideas of time investment, others are not… if we do not strike some sort of inner balance, how can we know what is reasonable? Christian church activity and family time are not mutually exclusive. Does our family value the spiritual side of a life? That will make a difference in how those activities are perceived.

The complications to all this are the many social pressures that squeeze family time out of our lives. We are “too busy” on many fronts. Modern Western standards of life tend to fragment the family, we are pressured into very individual schedules and pitched many lines about what we should spend time doing: making money, living a certain lifestyle, – the whole “information age” – enough said about that!

Unfortunately, our corporate Christian lives have added to that pressure and reflected a worldly standard more than a godly one- which is exactly where you’re thinking much of the answer is found, and I agree. The trouble is if we don’t fix the problem that is “inside”, our living relationship with the Lord, how can we fix the other relationships of living?”

-What do you think?