Billy Graham, the great evangelist of the 20th century was once asked “How do you balance your time for ministry and family. His response was, when the year comes to an end, me and my wife take the new calendar of the year. We count all the weeks of the year, set aside some for family and we live others open for ministry. He continued, when someone gives us an invitation to preach, on a date set for our family, we always tell them “our Calendar is blocked on that day”, and suggest the other available week for ministry.
If you look at this keenly, Billy Graham is wiser than many of the men of God in the scriptures. He had time for his family. Look at the life of Samuel, he had the anointing, he was the best minister ever of the gospel in the scriptures, but his family was morally not brought up to fear the Lord. He served God passionately, yet his children on the other hand, weren’t that much in God and his work. When Israel was looking for a king, Israelites actually complained that they couldn’t handle his kids. “They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.[”1st Samuel 8::5.] He was not happy with that news but later the Lord told him “Do what the people have said. He obliged
Eli, the man Samuel took the mantle of priesthood from was no better. Actually, he died under the judgment of God, because he could not as a father discipline his children. He appointed his children as priests but the worst thing is, they would sleep with women in the temple and use the privileges their father had, to take advantage of the sacrifices brought in God’s house. The bible says this about his sons “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD.[1 Samuel 2:12.]. What a bad testimony of the kids sons of a priest. Eli and his sons were later judged by the Lord and they died on the same day.
Brethren, all over scripture, we see a lot of poor parenting from the men of God. David never disciplined his son Amnon when he raped his sister Tamar. [2nd Samuel 13]. He heed it as a family secret and his hiding of this great sin, later made his son Absalom to take revenge and kill Amnon for raping his blood sister.[2 Samuel 13:23-39]. David refused to discipline his son based on the law and what we see is an evil following another evil. According to the law of Moses, Amnon was to be stoned to death [Deuteronomy 22:24] but the dad hid it , only for it to bring more harm to his family than expected. His son Absalom too, for lack of discipline, worked against his dad and nearly overthrew him as the king. Family wars over position were bad name demonstrated in the children of David.
Dear preacher of the Gospel, like Billy Graham, do you set aside time to bond and print your values to your kids? To the parents, what are you doing to make sure your home is full of discipline and honors the Lord as you do? Eli died not because he was not holy but because he never took time to discipline his family to adhere to the values of the Lord he served. He lost his life in one day, except Ichabod the son who was born as a lesson to us all, of what the it means to loose the glory of God. If you’re a keen reader of the scriptures, you see the Lord saying later, “no one in your family line will ever reach old age. [1st Samuel 2:32]. The Lord cursed Eli’s his family tree.
Printing your values in the hearts of the children God has given you matters more than standing on a pulpit every Sunday. On this issue, Rev Judy Mbugua, the owner and founder of FAMILY HOMECARE SPIRITUAL FELLOWSH, said in one of her preachings,” You would rather raise your children for God, and go to heaven with all your children, than preaching to millions of people, and loose your family, when Christ calls us home. (she can be reached on) IP
Brethren, as we do ministry to the Lord, let us beware that our children need to God to heaven, just as we passionately tell the people in our crusades. Don’t assume your children know God or will know God on their own. Be like Joshua who told Israel, “if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”( Joshua 24:15). Joshua prioritized his family and it’s my prayer that we will make an effort to make homes our pulpit too, for the glory of God. May God help us all.
God bless you.

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