October 15, 2023

1 Samuel 7:17

“But he always returned to Ramah, for his home was there. There he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the LORD.”

There’s something very special about Samuel’s ministry. Verse 16 says that Samuel, “went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and judged Israel in all those places,” and yet, despite his very busy travel ministry, the Bible says that he always, “returned to Ramah.” Why? “For his home was there.” Samuel traveled quite a lot as he served Israel, but he was careful to always make time for his family. For this reason, he also made Ramah his ministry headquarters and built an altar there. Irrespective of wherever he went or whatever other altars he built, he ensured that there was a functioning altar at home. We need to respect Samuel for that.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many leaders today. It’s sad to observe that so many leaders spend so much time away from home, and this habit undoubtedly must have a negative impact on their family life. They may justify it as “zeal for the Lord’s house,” but is it God’s will to build God’s people and neglect your home? Is that God’s purpose and pattern for the family?

Some leaders don’t see their families for weeks and months and don’t have any time to build their family altar. This is wrong!! I confess as a leader, it can be very difficult to make the right balance, but this balance is essential for a balanced life and ministry. Whether as a man or woman, leaders must prioritize family.

As we labor to build the Church and serve our generation, we must not neglect family. Too many Christian homes are broken down because there was no functional altar at home. Too many marriages are frail because spouses don’t spend enough time together. Too many children lack effective home mentorship because parents don’t have time for them. As pilgrims, irrespective of our occupation or responsibilities, whether single or married, make time for family.

Don’t neglect your family because of other pressing “out of home” assignments. Serve outside. Serve everywhere. Grow your ambition. Pursue your dreams. But please, prioritize family!

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