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In our culture it is admonished to work a lot, and so I do. I have a full-time job in marketing, a ministry-business in design work and marketing consulting, and I’ve accepted the call to work within GYC on the communications team. On top of this, I am married and have a one-year-old son, named Levi.
Filling most of the hours of the week with these responsibilities is a natural result. Going to work early, working late, coming home, and working in the evening. It looks like the only break from work are the Sabbath hours. This does not seem in contradiction with today’s standards and culture and it may in fact sound familiar to you.
It was only recently that I came across a quote from Ellen G. White:
Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home.... There is no missionary field more important than this – The Adventist Home p. 35
Reading this statement made me realize anew that there is, as with so many things in life, a gap between our culture and God’s ideal for us.
I remember vividly when the concept of biblical family-life was brought to my attention. It was before I got married, and even though at that time, family seemed so far away, the concepts were simple and practical. For example how unity between husband and wife resembles the unity between Christ and the church or how from that pure unity a child is born, resembling the relationship between God and humans.
In The Adventist Home it says:
“After the birth of his first son, Enoch reached a higher experience; he was drawn into a closer relationship with God. He realized more fully his own obligations and responsibility as a son of God. And as he saw the child’s love for its father, its simple trust in his protection; as he felt the deep, yearning tenderness of his own heart for that first-born son, he learned a precious lesson of the wonderful love of God to men in the gift of His Son, and the confidence which the children of God may repose in their heavenly Father.” (p. 160)
What if Enoch’s life would have been so full of busyness that he would not have had time to think about this powerful symbolism of God’s love? Would he have reached that higher experience? Would he have been drawn into a closer relationship with God?
I doubt it.
We often think of the patriarchs in the Bible as rugged men, who just war, reign over their large families with justice, increase their capital and receive oracles from God. While that was often the case, it is interesting that the life of Enoch shows yet another aspect. He actually reached a higher experience with God by spending time with his children! Sounds like a paradox, right? To our cultural standards it is, but not to God.
As I am writing this blog post my son is walking around the table I work on. He is looking up at me with eyes full of questions, waiting to be taught the lessons of life. I pick him up and start writing with him on my lap.
My family is not the third wheel on the wagon, it is the wagon. It is not the last thing being scheduled for the week, when there is hardly any time left, it is the first thing.
I am grateful that God revealed these concepts afresh to me this last week. For;
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? [addition: or their family] – Luke 9:25
You might not be married yet. You might not have kids yet, and you are wondering how this might apply to you?
Let me tell you this:
Every person on this planet is born into a family of some sort which needs their attention.
Take some extra time this week, to spend it with your family. Prioritise your life the way God wants you to, and ask Him for that higher experience that Enoch had.