Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I intentionally did not write anything. When I first began my ministry at FCC Murfreesboro, I resolved to write nearly every day, and I have stuck to that. Vacations, sick days, many others, I have written something for the church's Daily Devotionals, Yesterday, however, was different. Yesterday, I set the whole day aside to focus on my first ministry. I forsook entering the church (for the purposes of work, I came to get my sunglasses, which I left on my computer desk), and made sure that I was focused on my wife and kids. Why? Because much of my week is focused on others. Yet, it is this first ministry that God has given me, my wife and children, that He uses in His word as a qualifier for service to Himself and His People. I'm not trying to boast: my own experience is with my own family, so that is what I draw from. Many of us neglect our first ministries, we say "God will understand, I'm serving Him and His people." I've heard preachers preach this tragedy from the pulpit! Yet, for those of us who are married or married with children, I'm speaking to all believers in Christ, not just those in direct ministry to the church, our first ministry was given to us the day we made vows before God and said "I do."
It's important to support your spouse, as the Bible says we ought; this goes back to God's original design in the Garden, and a godly marriage declares, for all who are watching, God's glory! It is important to raise your kids in the fear and discipline of the Lord, godly children speak of God's blessing to Adam and Eve "Be fruitful and multiply!" God didn't speak of numbers when he said "Be fruitful." He called Adam and Eve "good," and called on them to produce fruit like themselves (as He made them to be). A Believing home is a greater witness to the world than a believing Church gathering: it proves that what is said on Sunday, Wednesday, and other days (especially in the Word of God) is true, and shows what the Spirit of God is still doing in the world. Do not neglect your first ministry! 2 Peter 2:13-3:7
2:13 Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.