This verse grabbed my heart this morning:
“[An elder] must manage his own family well, having children who respect him and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?” 3:4
My commentary adds this at the bottom of the page:
“Christian workers and volunteers sometimes make the mistake of being so involved in their work that they neglect their families, and especially the firm discipline of their children. Spiritual leadership must begin at home. If a person is not willing to care for, discipline and teach their own children, they are not qualified to lead the church. Don’t allow your volunteer activities to detract from your family responsibilities.”
It’s so tempting to try to find your identity in doing. I love God’s heart for families and relationships and how they take priority over Being Someone in the church. In his time on earth, Jesus never cared about his title. He humbled himself constantly and served his people.
Over-committing to serve the church doesn’t seem like a crime. But this verse reflects so many other values that are in the Bible. God values obedience over sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22), he tells us repeatedly that we are saved by faith, not by works. He urges the importance of valuing children.
Reflect on this verse today. What are you family responsibilities? Are you over-committing and misplacing your time and energy? You don’t have to have your own family or kids to learn from Paul’s words. It’s a reminder that your place in the church or in ministry somewhere isn’t somewhere to perform, but to serve.
This verse also makes me thankful for the spiritual leaders in my life who live this out so well. Take time today to pray for your leaders who are constantly balancing their role as parents, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors and pastors.