For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?” Genesis 30:30
When you have a gift that greatly benefits others, it will be in high demand. It can feel as if the gift is both a blessing and a curse. It’s hard to tell who your real friends are. You’re popular, yes, but is it because of your gift or because of the person you are?
Jacob had God’s blessing. Everything he touched of Laban’s prospered. It is no surprise that the gift Jacob gave of seven years of labor turned into a kind of slavery. Laban had no intention of letting Jacob go. At this point though, it was time to think about his own family’s provision. Their future was at stake.
In the generation before me, this was the philosophy of ministry: Give everything to ministry and God will take care of your family. As a teenager, I got to personally witness ministry families. Fathers would take off for weeks, sometime for months. Mothers raised the children. To this day, I see fallout from children who lived in a fatherless environment.
It is easy to give your gift where it is appreciated. Ministry can be an aphrodisiac and all the while, family suffers. Is today the day when you should go home? You simply can’t ignore the needs at home any longer. It won’t be easy to put your family first. Initially, their anger will be center stage over your absence. Persevere. Humbly ask for forgiveness and prove, with time, that you are sincere.
I’ve been in ministry 38 years. For many of them, I’ve sung to packed auditoriums and known night after night of standing ovations. It was addicting but also necessary to turn down great invitations in exchange for being a wife and mother. Believe me, I haven’t always gotten it right. One night in Canada some years ago, God brought a woman to me who offered this prophetic word. “Go home and cultivate faithfulness.” The spirit of conviction burned through my soul. I made some course corrections. Putting others before myself is always hard. I can resent them for needing me. What is the remedy?Letting God show me His will for my life and knowing that this is the way of blessing and peace. Ultimately, everything I do is for the glory of God and that often means saying no to the church and yes to a spouse or child.
Families are falling apart. The window of time to repair it is short. Show all of us who read this today how it applies. Amen
Journal Question: What would it mean for you to stand in Jacob’s place today and tell your ‘Laban’ that it’s time for you to take care of family?