From Malawi Reformation Network
I am Madalitso Isaac Dube married to Rose Mtunda Dube and blessed with two children, Joyous and Joanna. I was born in a Christian family, both of my parents were Christians of Zambezi Evangelical Church, hence I was raised with Christian values and principles. My parents used to send me and my siblings to Sunday school until the time I was baptised. Thereafter, the Lord saved me.
After I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour, I started serving him in different capacities such as Sunday school teacher, chairman of the fellowship of youth and treasurer of student Christian organization of Malawi. All these duties helped me to grow spiritually and in the fear of the Lord. Because of the love I had for the Lord and a desire to grow in the knowledge of Him, I applied for theological studies at African Bible College where I obtained my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies in 2007. Since my graduation, I have been serving God as an assistant pastor, church elder/treasure, youth executive member of Zambezi Evangelical Church and also as Zonal Chairman of Student Christian Organization of Malawi. Through all these services, I have come to know more of God’s grace, love, kindness, and mercy.
Since my graduation, I have been serving God as an assistant pastor, church elder/treasure, youth executive member of Zambezi Evangelical Church and also as Zonal Chairman of Student Christian Organization of Malawi.
As I sense God’s call to serve him as a minister in a Reformed church here in Malawi, I humbly submit myself to the call. I am really excited and humbled to work together with Rev. Confex Makhalira through Malawi Reformation Network (MRN). This will give me an opportunity to continue growing spiritually and mature in the Lord because I will be exposed to a full range of pastoral duties such as preaching, leading Bible studies, attending session meetings and doing evangelism.
Furthermore, working with MRN will help me gain more understanding of the Reformed faith since I was raised in a broader evangelical church. Apart from the above-mentioned responsibilities, serving as an intern with Confex will help me to be rooted and established in the Reformed faith through a more in-depth study of Reformed literature and discussions I will be having with Confex and my fellow interns. Through my internship, I hope to also help many who are being led astray by false teachings to see the light of the gospel.
Through my internship, I hope to also help many who are being led astray by false teachings to see the light of the gospel.
Finally, my wife and I are really happy and count ourselves blessed to be part of MRN work here in our motherland Malawi. It is our hope and prayer that we will see many people accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8). We really thank God for the grace bestowed upon us.
God bless you all, Amen!!!!!
On the Deception of False Prophets in Africa and a Call to Discernment
By Pastor Gideon Mpeni, Florida Baptist Church, South Africa
When we look at the benefits of a Metropolitan lifestyle, we see that it exposes citizens to the unique privileges of buying all they need in shops that are close to their residence. Members of the society are awarded the pleasure of window-shopping, and buying items from the shops of their choosing.
But once they buy items in one shop, and as they move into another shop, sometimes people are met with a difficult situation. They meet the security personnel in the next shop who either seal the parcel they are carrying, so that they don’t put anything else in that bag, or they are asked to put their bag on the “parcel counter” before they enter. This will also apply to those who find themselves in a city with a major shopping center or a mall.
I see a similar scenario happening in many churches on our continent, which has been known in the past as “the dark continent”.
We have seen the rise of men and women with different academic qualifications whether they be lawyers, chartered accountants, medical doctors, doctors of philosophy, engineers, architects, excellent artists (who tell their stories on the canvas to the point that one will begin to think it was a Nikon Camera that took the picture) or as you watch those actors who make you feel and think the story is real. Not to mention the gifted musicians, with powerful voices, and with melodies almost equal to the heavenly beings, and many who have excellent IT (Information Technology) capabilities.
A few of these wonderfully gifted people were depicted in two recent movies, “The Black Panther” and a true story of one of my countrymen, Malawian William Kamkwamba, in a movie titled, “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind”. These two movies portray Africa as a hub for innovation.
One depicts Africa in a modern civilized picture as a metropolitan city full of wonderful shops that enable this city to flourish and make it the desired destination for all other people from other continents. The other displays Africa as she really is—a place which embodies the same genius which could be ranked in the Guinness Book of Records.
With that in mind, the reality is that men and women in the city can move to any other platform, such as in sports, where they can critically think and analyze how the different teams are performing, critically and constructively bringing out ideas and voicing their opinions on how the coaches and managers should lead their teams.
Or when it comes to politics, we see the citizens taking to the streets if those entrusted to lead the country do not fulfill their promises or violate their terms of office.
It does not manner which field we are talking about, there are generally accepted standards of operation—in accounting, law, architecture, music, art, sports, politics, etc.–there is a strict expectation that you must abide by those standards, and apply your mind actively, by a way of thinking and constructively looking at the concepts presented for that particular field.
Now we come to the topic of how all of this relates to the African churches. For the sake of this article, I will use the term, “fields shops”. I am using that term “shop” not because that is the right way to describe the church, but we have increasingly seen that the modern “man of God” has turned the church into a marketplace where he wants to fleece the flock and has made it “a den of robbers” (Mark 11:17), with himself as a chief robber.
Though we have such a contingent of great thinkers, movers and shakers in our land, there is still a sad reality that deception thrives in the land and people are caught up in that deception in some of our local churches. The “man of God,” who rules the church, demands the ultimate allegiance from these men and women of such high caliber.
This is where we see the idea of a “parcel counter” as I described previously. In many ways as these brilliant men and women enter the church, they sometimes leave their brains on the “parcel counter”. They dare not question or examine what is said. It is for this reason that the church must stand up and be vigilant in discerning the teachings and claims that are made by these self-acclaimed prophets.
I will therefore look at the meaning of this word and provide a biblical basis by using the letter of Paul to Titus and that of Peter’s second letter to the men and women who obtained a faith of equal standing with that of the apostles by the righteousness of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1).
What is Discernment?
The English dictionary simply defines this term to mean the ability to judge well. Pastor John MacArthur describes it as the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Unlike the passive syndrome that we see demonstrated by many believers, this term makes us realize that we must be active participants in the local church, whether it be in practical affairs but more importantly in what is taught from the pulpit. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth.
The implication is that we must develop the skill of discriminating between truth and error, good and bad. To further clarify the point, we find another interesting eye-opening definition given by MacArthur in a book titled, “Fool’s Gold? Discerning Truth in an Age of Error”, he points out that the main Hebrew word in the Old Testament for discernment is “bin” and in all its usage this word is often translated as discernment, understanding, skill, or carefulness.
Interestingly enough, this word conveys the idea of the word discrimination. In the New Testament, the Greek verb translated “discern” is “diakrino”, which means to make a distinction as in Acts 15:9. Therefore, the man or woman in any context must be able to make a clear contrast between truth and error and be able to “test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every evil” (1 Thess. 5:21-22).
The word “test” is “dokimazo” used by Paul in this text as an imperative, implying that this is not a suggestion but rather a command for these believers to “test,” “analyze,” or “prove.” This is the process of testing something to reveal its genuineness. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.
Why do we need Discernment? The Rise of False Teachers.
In an age that glories in deception and which is governed by the arch deceiver himself, we have seen many churches with “brain counters” and the demand for discernment has not been as high as it is now for all believers.
Basically, deception refers to a deliberate misrepresentation of the truth, especially in moral and spiritual matters, in order to purposely mislead another person. And this is what most false teachers have set their hearts to.
In any given city, there is a church on every corner. Some are faithful to the Lord and their desire is to see believers edified and conformed to the image of Jesus. Then we have “many insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers” (Titus 1:10) as Paul would plead or warn Titus. These are men with a selfish agenda not that of Christ, “they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what ought not to be teach.” (Titus 1:11).
This sounds like the same description that Paul gives to the false teachers of the church in Philippi, who are described as “enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with mind set on earthly things.” (Phil.3:18-19).
These are men such as Joel Osteen in North America and many other preachers of the prosperity gospel, which is no gospel at all. Or on the soil of Africa, the false prophets such as Shephard Bushiri and other self-acclaimed prophets.
As you go into most of these churches, you will find that these men are an authority to themselves, in that they will barely open the Bible or teach from it. They devote themselves to their own dreams, visions or worldly philosophies, similar to what the Apostle Paul called “myths and commands of people who turn away from the truth,” (Titus 1:14).
The most evident trait is that these are people who “profess to know God, but they deny him by their works.” (Titus 1:16). The authority and sufficiency of Scripture is completely overlooked to the point that the members of these churches with “brain counters” do not take their Bibles to church because for them, they wait to hear what the “man of God” will tell them that day.
Contrary to the attitude of the Thessalonians, who are commended to receive the word of God not as a word from man but as the Word of God (1 Thess. 2:13), sadly these are the same believers who will fall prey to the hands of these men by buying items such as holy water, holy oil or bumper stickers. These are believed to be some kind of insurance or protection, to the extent that personal devotion in studying God’s word and devotion to prayer is neglected.
The false prophets and teachers have never been a blessing but rather a curse to God’s people. We are warned by Peter the Apostle of the Lord Jesus concerning this trend, which is in no way the latest trend but rather an ancient trick that has been employed by the serpent of old, the Father of Lies, the Devil of the Garden of Eden.
It was lack of discernment that led to the fall of our forefathers Adam and Eve but the Children of Israel were not exempt from false prophets, especially during the time of Jeremiah as recorded in Chapter 23.
We must remember that what we are seeing is a fulfilment of the prophecy spoken by the Apostle Peter (2 Peter 2), who reminded his readers that “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you,” and that they come with an agenda, which is to “secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them.”
Why do we need Discernment? The Rise in Disobedience or Immorality.
Sadly, when the church is full of men and women who leave their brains on the counter and do not engage at all among themselves or with their teachers, it falls into a trap of immorality, which is an outright disobedience to the Word of God. Due to lack of discernment among us, we see “many following their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2 Peter 2:2).
As stated earlier, these false teachers are exploiting many with their greed and false words. Their moral standards are so low that they go to length to commit immoral acts with their church members, “having eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. They entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption” (2 Peter 2:13b-14).
So how should the Church respond?
To combat these false teachers and the corruption that has come about as the result of their false teaching, any local church will honor and glorify Christ if they do the following–
1. Having a Plurality of Biblically Qualified Elders: Paul urges Titus to do the same in the churches of Crete. He requires that local churches should have more than one man running the show. These are men who will model Christlikeness (Titus 1:7-9) in the way that they will be able to protect the flock of God from wolves, by silencing them (Titus 1:11).
Secondly these men will also provide for the flock by teaching sound doctrine, hence it is required that they too “must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, and give instruction and rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9).
Unlike the common trend, where we have one man running the show, even in local churches that would have more qualified men who would serve in the capacity as elders. If we are to see change in the church in Africa and beyond, we need men who uphold sound doctrine and do submit to the Word of God and are accountable to others.
2. Faithful Preaching of the Gospel: There is no potent remedy to man’s sin or any kind of corruption other than the Gospel. Paul has urged Titus to exhort all men and women in the local church to live lives that are motivated by the Gospel as it is in Titus 2:11-13. He begins with the glorious grace of God that has appeared to all, to bring Salvation for all and consummated in the glorious return of Christ.
In reminding us of the Gospel Paul declares God as the Possessor of Grace, and sinful mankind as the Partaker of that Grace. He goes on to the third chapter and commands Titus to remind all Christians of their past misery and God’s perfect mercy (Titus 3:3-7).
Unlike the false teachers of our day, who sound as if they are already glorified and were born already filled with the Holy Spirit, Paul includes himself that apart from the mercy of God, he too was “foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another” (verse 3).
This is the message that is infinitely powerful to rescue sinners from the deadly traps of deception.
3. Living Lives that Display the Grace of God: This is imperative considering the moral decay and corruption in our day. Paul exhorts the believers to live their lives in a manner worthy of the gospel. He urges Titus to speak to instruct the believers to honor Christ in their households (Titus 2:1-10), this includes older men, older women, younger women, and young men. Then the attention moves to the workplace then finishing with their responsibility as citizens of a country (Titus 3:1-2).
To that end, we must be men and women who have been completely transformed by the Grace of God through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:3-6), realizing that when it comes to matters of Christianity, it requires more than a great IQ or EQ, persona, academic achievement or any of the most revered ingenuity in our society to allow anyone to understand the things of God. We need the transforming power of the Gospel.
Don’t be a victim of false teachers. It is high time we rise and discern what is taught and said by these men in shiny suits.
By Richard Jones–Malawi Reformation Network
When I was first contacted about the work beginning in the African country of Malawi, I had never heard of the country and had no idea where it was located geographically. But, I did know one thing…. Pastor Jason Helopoulos was involved, and if he was excited about a ministry beginning in Malawi, then I needed to know more.
So, I “Googled” Malawi and learned some basic facts about the country, like that Malawi is among the world’s least-developed countries with an economy that is heavily based in agriculture, that the British colonized what was then known as Nyasaland in the 1890s, and in 1964, the year I was born, Nyasaland became an independent country under Queen Elizabeth II’s leadership and became Malawi.
Then, after a phone conversation with MRN’s Chair of the Board, Evan Vanderwey, I learned more about Malawi and Confex Makhalira in particular. I was excited to hear that Confex is a Malawian who came to the US for seminary with great plans to return to Malawi and start a Reformed Presbyterian church in Blantyre. And I learned about the church in Malawi, how David Livingstone, a missionary and explorer first visited the area in the mid-1800s, how the Presbyterian Church had a great influence in the country, and how Malawi came to be considered as a Christian Country. But, sadly, how the influence of the false Prosperity Gospel has led the people astray and how the church no longer has the same prominence in the life of its people.
So, count me in! I don’t know how God will use me in this ministry, but I feel His call to move forward. Teach me Lord, how to pray for the Malawian people. Use me Lord, in the work of MRN. Help me Lord to get others excited about your work in Malawi. It is Your work! Use me Lord to help Confex however you see fit. Praise the Lord!
This is Part Two in a three-part series focusing on missions in the African country of Malawi and how missions work there affected a small church in Alabama.
In Part One, I talked about how Malawi missions became a reality for His Way Community Church in Prattville, Alabama and what the team experienced during a two-week trip to the country.
After a successful first trip to Malawi in 2016, the discussion began on when to return. Many on the original team were excited at the prospect while others whose life circumstances had changed, realized they would not be free to join the team.
It was decided however that 2018 would be the target for the next missions endeavor and the team started to form.
The group formed more slowly than two years prior as some tentatively joined the team then decided against their participation and others, like Worship Leader James Hammack, initially said no but then life circumstances changed and what was previously not a possibility, became one.
Hammack, although joining the His Way mission group a little late in the process, none-the-less began to prepare for the teaching opportunities that would come in Malawi.
The 2018 team, like the 2016 group, worked hard prepping, raising funds through many yard sales, and completed all the necessary documents.
The two-week trip came and went with wonderful and unexpected results and new relationships formed with a local reformed pastor and his church, a prison ministry opportunity and some heavy and fruitful biblical ministry.
“We had a wonderful time joining in with Pastor Mala (Malamundo
Chindongo) and the church (Antioch Baptist Church) there,” said James Hammack. “It
was great to learn what the local church was already doing and then partner
with them in those endeavors. I was blessed by the faithful saints there and
James discussed some of the issues he found that are facing the African church.
“In addition to the sin and temptation of worldly cares, there are many churches outside of Mala’s church that have fallen into the prosperity gospel,” he commented.
The His Way leader added that consistent and biblical preaching in both regular Bible studies and worship on Sunday would be the main remedy to the false gospel taking over many churches.
said that he believes the church in the U.S. and the church in Africa share
many of the same struggles.
“People may be in different cultures with various customs, but we are far more alike in our struggles with sin than we are different. And the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only remedy to our sin,” he said.
Many on the team had not been to Malawi before and James shared his thoughts on his first trip.
“For the most part, it was what I expected. This was mostly because of sweet time and conversation with Mala before we joined him on the ground,” explained James. “He prepared us very well for the needs that we would encounter.”
James also shared his thoughts on his missions experience from the perspective of American Christianity.
“I think there is a great apathy and even laziness towards mission efforts in the ‘American church’. Obedience to the will of God is the sustaining power and drive of his people. It’s our joy,” he said. “So, when we allow ourselves to succumb to disobedience through apathy and laziness, we forfeit the great joy of the Lord in obedience. That’s a sad place to be in. We need to return to the call that we have as kingdom establishing people. This will bring a fullness to our joy in Christ and display His glory to those around us.”
Darrell Bernard Harrison’s Wonderful Piece on Holiness and Purity
Lately, I’ve been ruminating on certain matters that are, or should be, in my opinion at least, of concern to professing evangelical Christians, but that seem to have gotten lost amidst the current climate of socio-political animus that exists, particularly within American evangelicalism. Among those divers concerns is what appears, to me anyway, to be an increasing disregard and apathy for purity within the church, under the guise that it is somehow obligated to offer to the world around it a kind of “big tent”, unoffensive, non-convicting gospel that is inclusive, not merely in terms of ethnicity or sex, mind you, but also of certain sinful behaviors and practices.
My disquiet is based largely in the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 11:2-3, and the weighty burden he carried for the purity of the believers in the church at Corinth, to whom he confessed, “For I am…
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When Work and Family Collide, who Suffers?
By Gideon Mpeni, Pastor at Florida Baptist Church, South Africa
On the beautiful African sunrise, men and women get up at the crack of dawn, in our villages, from the sound of the cock in the morning, birds chirp and men whistle while carrying hoes on their shoulders. As they get to their farms, or in our cities, where the streets are full of mini buses, well-known as taxis in our South African context, the hooting from trains and cars, everyone looking all geared up to do nothing but work, in whatever capacity this is done, we see all men and women rising up to plow their vocational fields in order to produce a crop.
Presidents lead companies, homemakers manage households. Some love what they do, and others dream of something better. Whether reluctantly or zealously, many get up each day and work. Some have to travel just a few minutes from their loved ones and spend long hours at work, while others commute for hours to work and spend as much time there. Still others have to travel from one province, country, even continent, for days and spend months and years away from their families to be the bread winners that will support and sustain their loved ones.
An important question we must ask however is this; how can we be successful without sacrificing our relationships with those closest to us? Further still, how can one be a successful provider or bread-winner without neglecting his responsibility as a parent to his children and a husband to his wife?
The tension lies here and in this article my focus will be on the husband in a family who is constantly faced with these pressures, but the principles may also be applicable to the wives.
A Biblical Basis of Work and Family
When we look at this issue from a Biblical basis, one cannot escape the reality that we were created to work even before the fall (Genesis 2:15) and that ever since then, work has been a big part of our daily lives.
Marriage likewise was meant to be a perfect union between one man and one woman. Man was made by God and was given a mandate to manage and rule over creation (Genesis 1:26-28) and was placed “in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.” (Genesis 2:15 HCSB) and the woman was formed because man needed a helper as his complement.
In God’s original plan, there was no conflict between work and family. But when sin entered the world, conflict was introduced into both environments. Man would henceforth struggle at work (Genesis 3:17-19), women would feel the pain of childbirth (Genesis 3:16), and men and women would struggle in their relationships with one another.
Looking at it from this side of Eden, you begin to see the conflict and struggles that exist between work and family, where one is perceived to be treasured or valued at the expense of the other, to the extent that we see many families falling apart, marital infidelity, children growing up with a single authority figure in the home or no authority figure at all, in cases where both parents are making ends meet.
You may rightly at this juncture ask, “How then do we strike the balance?” I believe that for leaders, professionals in all industries, pastors, teachers, homemakers, and parents, the issue is the same– we have a critical need to bring balance to our lives.
As a father of one and a husband, I have also struggled in this area and my attempt is not to give you a one-size-fit-all response to this question.
I would love us to consider what is the meaning of the word “husband” and the implications of that, then consider what the Bible has to say about our roles, then look at how we can allow our work to jeopardize the very family we presumably working for. The real challenging question we must ask ourselves is, how can we be achieving our goals outside the home when faced with the crucial task of partnering and parenting at home?
The general understanding of the term “husband” is a married man considered in relation to his spouse. But when you begin to uncover the meaning of this term, you will see that it is more of an action-oriented term than just a status or title. It has synonyms that include, to use economically, use sparingly, economize on, be frugal with, manage thriftily, conserve, preserve, save, safeguard, save for a rainy day, put aside, put by, lay in reserve, store and stockpile.
All these meanings have an implication that one who is to carry out these duties effectively is present, not absent, eliminating the common presupposition that one can execute his duties though he is away from his family.
I would like to examine the biblical roles of a “husband” in their homes and how this can be affected if one’s focus is primarily on the role of provision. In Genesis 2:24, we see that this is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.
The current norms of work do violate this passage in this way– when you choose to move away from the person that you once had committed to be knitted to, through the bonds of holy matrimony, you willingly were able to “leave your father and mother” to become one flesh; but now in search of provision, you make another step but this time around, you “leave your wife and children” for work, and the logical progression is that your “oneness” is affected and you end up being disintegrated.
This disintegration opens such a husband to sexual temptations or sexual immorality, which is so common. In fact, it was because of this, among many reasons, that you decided to get married even as the Apostle Paul admonishes us that “each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.” (1 Corinthians7:2).
Sexual temptation is a real struggle that a man will constantly face, even as it has been confessed by one of our church members, who is here in South Africa for work, but his wife and family is in Malawi. He points out that being accountable and knitted to a local church has been of great help to him and his work schedules enables him not to ponder his mind on that.
But still this a real struggle that ends up breaking the bonds of marriage. You cannot escape from the reality that a partner who is away from his wife or husband, is unable to fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband, and such depriving one another sexually, there by opening the relationship to Satanic temptation because of your lack of self-control (1 Corinthians 7:3,5).
Here is a description of such an incident–“Mr. Katswiri” (Malawian Chichewa name which means, The Experienced One) comes to South Africa in search of good perks while his wife and family are on the other side of Zambezi River. He decides to reside in a township where he then meets a South African girl “Amanhle” (Zulu name for The Beautiful One, The Prettiest, The Finest.). Forgetting the family back home, Katswiri falls prey to the seduction of Amanhle to the point that he starts an adulterous union, and he forgets the very purpose he came–to support the family– and hardly communicates with his wife “Odekha” (The Patient One), even to the point of no return.
This uncovers the reality that it will require Godly wisdom and obedience in order for one to be able to achieve his goals outside the home as he is faced with the crucial task of partnering and parenting at home. Whether in the city or village, we must ask ourselves the question, “How can we be successful without sacrificing our relationships with those closest to us?”
Living with Your Wife as a Co-heir of the Grace of Life
As seen in the passages above, scripture mandates and implies that a husband is to live with his wife, while complementing each other to the God-given task for that family, or meeting the marital responsibilities.
To sum up that point, as a husband, you are mandated to “live with your wives” with an understanding of their weaker natureyet showing them honor as co-heirs of the grace of life, so that “your prayers will not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). The living with your wife here negates all manner of abiding somewhere else far from your wife, whether physically or mentally.
In Paul’s words to Timothy, it is expected of both elders and deacons that they “must be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own households competently.” (1 Timothy 3:12). I will go on to argue that although this is talking of these two groups in the church, it implies that this should be a standard by which every Christian husband is to be measured on. The ramifications are that one cannot be an effective husband to his wife in absentia, or even be able to manage his children and household by correspondence. He is expected to execute his role in his household “completely“.
What Price are you Willing to Pay?
In the words of Jesus Christ concerning eternal life, he asked a profound heart-searching question to those who pursue worldly treasures at the expense of their own souls. He asked, “What will it benefit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul, or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8).
I would contend that family is vital to any man and it must be said, using that principle of Christ, that a godly man who makes choices in his own life will endeavor to never sacrifice his family for success. If he wins the world but loses his family, what has he gained?
Sadly, although we rise on the corporate ladders, something has to give and it’s often the family that gives.The sad reality is that while each of the promotions takes the family a step closer to reaching their financial goals, everyone of the steps on that ladder takes one away from that same family that he or she is making strides for. Each of them will also demand more of our time as well–time that a husband and wife know belongs to their beloved family, including the kids.
Here are some of the key realities you must remember as you chase after the well-being and financial sustainability of your family.
- Do not be obsessed with your provisional role.
As the husband, you find yourself chasing after the fortunes, the wife might be perceived as embracing her role with the same tenacity you are exhibiting in the marketplace. She might be seen as committed to being a team player. She might not always like the hand she is dealing with, but she accepts it and does the best she can. She holds down the Homefront while you work to build a bright future for the family. But there is always the frustration, the loneliness, and at times, the anger. Your roles of protecting, managing, leading, parenting and fulfilling her sexual needs cannot be executed in your absence. You are more than just a provider, you are a husband.
- Your family sees your actions, not your heart.
The conflict here is that we want to provide for our families, so that we give them protection or security for the present and the future, and any man will tell you that this is done out of love. But as is common, good intentions are not always good enough. You might profess to loving your family with your mouth and in your heart, but you don’t love them in your schedule. And they can’t see your heart. Whenever you compromise the interests of a family member in order to fill gaps somewhere else, you shuffle your priorities.
- Don’t take your wife’s loyalty for granted.
Our family’s willingness to carry out the responsibilities for us is born out of their desire to please us. Part of their reason for wanting to please us is that in pleasing us, they hope to gain what they value most, and that is our acceptance. They say “yes” with the hopes that their sacrifices will result in a deeper sense of appreciation and love. Their hope is that if they please us, we will find them even more acceptable. Taking “compensating for our busyness, putting up with our absence” is a way to capture and maintain our affection and loyalty.
Your wife may seem so loyal, but you husband with the realities of temptation and work schedule, there is not one ounce of loyalty from you. The loyalty that was intended for a loved one gets displaced and given to someone else. However small, it increases the emotional load they must carry. It may not seem like a big deal. But it sends the message, you’re important but right now something else is more important.
When we take advantage of their willingness to support our dysfunctional schedules and mis-prioritization, we send a message of rejection. When you take loyalty that belongs to your family and give it to someone else (your boss, manager, supervisor, coworkers, potential clients, investors, or even that girlfriend Amanhle), family members don’t feel your loyalty.
What you’ll see in all this is that its the family that loses in this collision and the damages caused cannot be repaired by the monies accumulated or the time spent on other endeavors. In so doing, one denies themselves of a God-given opportunity to be a blessing and to invest an eternal and godly heritage of faith to the upcoming generation.