Recently I watched a movie where the father had become so busy and preoccupied with his work that he was beginning to neglect his family, specifically his children. He finally had his dream job, the one that he had worked so hard for years to achieve, but soon realizes his mistake of neglecting his children. After much turmoil the father decided to quit his dream job and settle for a lesser job. Some close friends were critical of his decision, to which he responded: "Nothing I achieve matters if I screw up raising my children."
Ministry is similar in many ways. As a husband and father I have a responsibility to shepherd and pastor my wife and family before those that I am equipping and discipling outside of my family. We see these truths in both 1 Timothy 3 and in Titus 1. To be a minister of the gospel is a great privilege and honor, but if I get so busy doing ministry that I neglect my family in the process than I am failing at priority number one, my family.
The truth is that until Jesus returns there will always be more ministry to do, but I only get so many years (18) to raise my children. If I screw up at raising up my children as disciples that follow Jesus than nothing else I achieve really matters that much. If in the end I cannot manage and lead my own household well and I cannot raise up obedient and faithful children than I am not really qualified to be out doing ministry amongst others.
Men specifically, our number one priority in ministry should be our wives and children, but many of us our guilty of putting them second or some even last. It can be easy to pretend to be this great godly man at church, I know because I have done it before, but then be failing miserably at home.
For some of you that may mean that for a season you need to step down from public ministry. I recognize that will be tough to do, but think about it, in the end it will be much better if you have a family that is well taken care of spiritually than to neglect them for years and have it end in a worse way. So my challenge is for you to remember your number one priority in ministry and keep them as number one because if you screw up at that than nothing else you achieve matters as much.