Thursday, October 1, 2009


I was recently asked to respond to the following question:

“The girls where my sister works are making fun of her because she won't go to a sales party since her son has a football game that night. They feel that she should skip the game saying, “He has to grow up sometime.”

She told them that she was taught in church that it is always God before spouse, spouse before kids, and kids before work. They told her they wanted to know where in the Bible it said that. What do you think?”

My response: I appreciate your desire to help your sister understand and live by God’s Word.

Although I’ve also heard this prioritizing taught as a Christian principle, it is not a written standard in the Bible. Obviously, God is to be at the center of every aspect of our lives; including our marriage, parenting and work. However, rather than attempting to force God into this box; our heart needs to be open to His Spirit’s leading in every situation. When we approach life in this way, we will find that He may direct us differently in each instance for various reasons.

To make this point clearer, I’ll offer some examples of how God may direct:

• “Go to the sales party this week. Someone is going to be there to whom I want you to minister.”

• “Don’t miss this week’s ball game. Your child needs the extra support and encouragement.”

• “Stay home with your spouse tonight; he is in special need of your undivided time and attention.”

• “Stay home with Me tonight. I miss you!”

Fulfilling what God sets forth for us each day should be our priority. This may mean occasionally setting aside our children’s events. However, if our children know that our desire is to pursue a God-directed life and they see us regularly living that out, they will honor our decisions. As an example, you might explain to them; "I really feel God directing me to go to the sales party instead of coming to your game this week. I believe there is someone there He wants me to minister to. I will miss seeing you play and will be praying for you and the other players. Would you please be praying for me?"

Missing our children’s events because we are being harassed by others is not a God-directed reason. However, locking ourselves into having to be at all our children’s events is closing ourselves off to His Spirit’s leading in each situation. We must be careful, though, not to use “God’s leading” as an excuse to do our own will in a given situation when we do not regularly show an interest in being led by Him. This will only lead to confusion and anger in our children.


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