FAMILY LIFE OF THE MINISTER
Pastor Wole Gbogboade
Text: 1 Tim. 3:1-7
The minister is a leader who is made to lead the flock by example. By the resume of a minister Paul has listed here, it shows that he/she is not a novice, v. 6 but well tutored, having not only the gifts of the Holy Spirit but essentially, the fruit of the Spirit in His or her life. In a way, his life must be whole: knowledge and understanding of the scripture especially living it and teaching his family to live it. His life in the faith must first manifest in his/life then in the Church of God. The leaders’ home is so vital in the New Testament Church to the extent that Paul, by the Holy Spirit said, if a man is not able to lead his family in a godly way, he is not fit to lead the larger family of God. v. 2, 4-5 The Lord spoke concerning father Abraham thus, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Gen. 18:19 (KJV) The leader’s family life is a proto-type of the Church he is building. What is the moral justification of a leader asking why his Church member’s wife is not coming to Church when his own is not always in Church. Remember, one reason the Lord said Abraham is His friend is that he will lead his family after him in the way of the Lord. Abraham was a model to his family in the things of God. “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates.” Deut. 11:18-20 (KJV) The first responsibility of a leader or father is that he should know the word of God. Secondly, he must live by the standard of God’s word. Our lives must be a reflection of the word of God. Thirdly, he must be able to teach his children and entire members of his household. Deut. 6:4-7. The same apply to the Church. The Pastor must be grounded in the word, he must be teachable and be able to teach others with patience so that they too will grow in the knowledge and lifestyle of the word of God. Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-3 “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” 1Tim. 4:16 The life of the minister is so vital to the extent that Paul said, i would rather watch over my soul, less i preach to others and i may not be a cast away. He told the leaders in the Ephesian Church that they should watch over their life before he said and the flock (Church) which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers. Acts 20:28. He went further to commit them unto God and His word which is able to give them an inheritance among the sanctified. v. 32. The word of God is our light that lightens up our lives and make us light to the world around us. That explains why Paul told Timothy to observe sound doctrine and live it so that he might save both himself and all that are under his teaching.
PROVISION: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” 1Tim. 5:8 (KJV) A father must work and believe God to provide for members of his household. It is good to teach our children the word of God but, if we don’t support them by providing food, clothes, shelter, pay their school fees, uniform, books and other things they may need to build their career and support them by our counsels to make them successful in their trainings, it will not only affect their morale, it will affect their success. A child that is well loved and supported by the parents will grow well. He or she will also reciprocate by supporting his/her own children because that’s the way he’s brought up. Secondly, he/she will not fall a victim of wolves in sheep clothing or deceivers. Why? He is practically built up in sound doctrine and knows the lifestyle of his life coach. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2Tim. 3:13-15 (KJV)
RELATIONSHIP WITH SPOUSE “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour… Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord… Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Eph. 5:1-2,21-22,25 (KJV) Love is the foundation of Christian home. Since God is love, the home is found on solid Rock that can never be destroyed. When a couple truly love each other, they will line up their lives under the authority of God’s word. The word of God will be the centre of the home they are building which is devoid of any rancor but everything is being controlled by the Holy Spirit. A couple that read their Bible together, pray together, eat together, sleep together, walk together will not find it difficult to work together. Even, their discussion will be mutual and they will understand themselves better while taking decision. Acts 18:26 Finally, there will be mutual respect for each other. The husband will not enforce submission on the wife instead, she will respect him of her own volition- he will not command respect because his wife knows he deserve respect like Abraham. 1Peter 3:6 “And may God, the source of patience and encouragement, enable you to have the same point of view among yourselves by following the example of Christ Jesus, so that all of you together may praise with one voice the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom. 15:5-6 (GNB)
SUMMARY In order to build a viable Christian Church, we must focus on first building a strong Christian home. Charity begins at home likewise the minister’s home must be of a good Christian standard so that both the Minister and his household can serve as a good model for the Church to follow. This is basically the work of God’s word and the Holy Spirit in their lives.
1- THE HOME ALTAR: It is important for the head of the family to lead his lead at the family altar. Worshiping God together to start the day enable the family to lead a godly life day by day.
a- This should be preceded by the individual member of the family’s quiet time where he/she worship God, read the Bible and pray alone.
b- meditation on the Bible passage read as the Holy Spirit inspires and lead him/her.
2- WORD: Every believer should listen, read, study, memorize, meditate and strive to live the word. Books and CDs of inspired messages and teachings will build our lives in the word.
3- PRAYER: Prayer and intercession is vital to Christian growth. 1Tim. 4:1-4
4- SERVICE: We must be willing to serve God in our Church and everywhere we find ourselves. Every believer will do well to witness Christ to others in order to win souls. We must do it joyfully knowing fully well that God reward our service which we render faithfully. Col. 3:17, 23-24
5- GIVING: Our substance should be made available in our service to the Lord. It is better to give and to serve in God’s vineyard even as we pray for His work to advance. Luke 8:1-3.