Too often in ministry our families get the last of us. They get the leftovers. We give so much at times to our jobs in ministry and often our families suffer from this. We give hours upon hours above what we are paid for at times to do "ministry" while our parents, siblings, spouse, and children get what is left of us. And sometimes that aren't even lucky enough for that.
I look back at the past fourteen years where I have put my family second or third too many times because I have been burning both ends of the candle in ministry. I see that if I would have had better time management and delegation my family would have had more of me.
Yesterday, I had an amazing day with my wife and daughter. We took a spontaneous trip down to the beach and to Charleston for the day. We played on the beach, had seafood, shopped in the market, and finished the evening having dinner with Jessica's cousin. It was an awesome day. Jessica and I try to make one day a week where we spend time with just us. A lot of times we go to the movies in the afternoon on a Thursday or Friday and have a meal together. We both turn off our iPhones and enjoy each others company.
Ever since my daughter was born 18 months ago, I have worked really hard to make sure that my family doesn't just get the leftovers of me. Sometimes it seems like they do, but I'm trying really hard to keep that from happening.
Here are a couple tips to keep from giving your family leftovers:
- Use your time wisely in the office
- Take your day(s) off every week
- Divide your days into thirds and make sure at least 1/3 is at home
- Set aside time for vacations
- Turn off your smart phone when spending time with your family
- Have weekly/monthly dates with your spouse
- Have weekly/monthly dates with your children
- Learn how to say No
- Track your hours and how you spend them
- Try to work only the hours that the church pays you (there is no need to work 70 hours!)
- Have someone keep you accountable on this
If you have any others please leave a comment.