Hidden Nuggets Series #25 – “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” – I Timothy 5:8
I was saddened the other day when I went to visit the site of a personal finance blogger I had begun to read and saw that as of December 31st he had discontinued writing. I wouldn’t say we were close blogging friends or anything but he had commented here and I had commented at his site. Plus we were social on Twitter, so I guess that counts for some connection, right?
He left a really nice closing letter explaining why he was going on an indefinite blogging hiatus. That’s a really nice touch. Nothing says “I don’t care” to your readers like suddenly disappearing into thin air without leaving so much as a whisper as to why.
His reason for stopping – personal issues.
Blogging has become an integral part of my life. I have loved connecting with people online, sharing my story and hearing theirs. Outside of my family and faith, nothing is giving me as much pleasure right now as building this site and being social with people online.
But if I came across some personal issues or my family needed more of me for some reason, I would gladly give it up.
So I say “Kudos” to my colleague for being responsible and recognizing what held more value.
Of all earthly relationships, family should come first. I would step away from everything to provide for them in whatever capacity they needed.
This might sound crazy but sometimes we forget that. We get trapped (or we trap ourselves) into spending inordinate amounts of time externally focused away from the home. In those times, we over-give to whatever has captivated our attention – to others, to the boss, to our ministry, to friends, to…dare I say it…our blog (or any other hobby).
Consequently, the home life suffers.
As you can see in the Bible verse referenced above, the young man Timothy is being admonished by his mentor, the missionary Paul, to give support to his own, especially those of his household. The challenge directed at him was to be present and accounted for to provide the financial, emotional and spiritual stability for the home. To do any less would have made him in violation of a fundamental aspect of his faith.
This directive stands out for another reason that isn’t obviously apparent – Timothy, though young, was a leader in his church ministry. He was doing great things for God. Wouldn’t it seem that doing “the Lord’s work” would take precedence and carry more value than worrying about your family?
The truth is he could do both but there had to be balance. God wanted him to work in the ministry for sure, as long as he maintained perspective and didn’t allow it to interfere with his duties at home. In fact, by working in the ministry and no doubt being paid, he was very much so providing for the needs of his household.
Work, ministry, friends, hobbies – it’s all important and can be great fun. We would like to do it all. However, there will come a time when we simply have to take a break and let something go.
Because providing for your own is always right.
Have you ever been so externally focused on some task that the family suffered? How do you keep focused on providing for your family? Does this concept seem in any way selfish to you?