WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 26, 2022
TOPIC: PRIORITIZE FAMILY LIFE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations” (Proverbs 27:23-24 New King James Version).
Family life refers to life with one’s family. Give attention to your family. Spend time with them. Ordinarily, we start each day from home. But it is possible to hurry out of the home or stay too long away from home and thereby disconnect from the family. We can even be at home, stay under the same roof with our family but still neglect them – no healthy interaction. This could be because of an obsession with work or other reasons.
Some people spend nearly all day outside and still, habitually, bring work home to do, having no time for the family. It could be that they’re doing more than God wants them to do per day. They’re not applying the wisdom of God to do their work without neglecting their family. They’re cooperating with Satan to destroy themselves and their homes.
Fathers who close at work and spend all their evenings at the club will not be able to make on their children the kind of godly impact that God expects from parents through biblical teachings and examples. Absentee parenting is not God’s ideal for raising children that will give parents peace and joy now and in the future.
Parents must reorder their priorities and spend enough quality time with their children; husbands must spend time with their wives not using as an excuse the fact that the times are hard and they need to run around to provide for the family as the bread-winner. Don’t win bread while the devil is winning your family!
Proverbs 27:23-24 says, “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations” (New King James Version). Know the state of your family and put your heart into caring for them. Don’t pursue money-making, ambition, fame, or power at the expense of your family. The New Living Translation puts Proverbs 27:23-24 this way: “Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be secure for the next generation.”
Taking care of your family goes beyond providing money for their needs. Some people have lost their children whom they did not only give enough money to meet their needs but also to live destructive lives! They had no time for them to inculcate in them the right values and guide them in life.
Some of such children who threw money around and live ostentatious and reckless lives ruined their lives, becoming nothing in life despite the great opportunities they had. Some of them are in prison because of the kind of lives they lived. Providing money for your children alone cannot make them turn out well in life.
Be careful! Don’t be a workaholic and neglect your family. Whatever values you fail to inculcate in your children now, you may never be able to do so later. Proverbs 22:6 says to train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it. Money is not everything. Spend time with your children to teach know them, guide them, advise them, and play with them.
Don’t neglect your wife also. Ephesians 5:25 says husbands should love their wives, just as Christ also loved the church. Colossians 3:19 also tells husbands to love their wives and not be bitter toward them. The Bible says while there was a famine in the land of Gerar, Isaac spent time playing with his wife! Yet he wasn’t a lazy person – he was a worker. But he didn’t allow the famine to put pressure on him and create tension in the home. “Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife” (Genesis 26:8b American Standard Version). Sporting with Rebekah! What does that mean?
The New Living Translation says Abimelech saw “Isaac caressing Rebekah.” The New King James Version says Isaac was “showing endearment to Rebekah his wife.” The Bible in Basic English says “Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looking through a window, saw Isaac playing with Rebekah his wife.” It is not possible for a husband to do that in absentia. He must be at home. Many husbands have denied their wives the endearment or love they need because they are too busy with work. They don’t play with them.
The wives could also be emotionally starved. There is no time for intimate communication. Ecclesiastes 9:9a says to live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life! We have limited time to spend on earth. We are strangers and pilgrims on the earth (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11).
Some career women have lost their husbands to other women because they neglected their children and husbands while being busy with their career goals. Some managed to take care of their children but asked their husbands to take care of themselves! Some men did the same thing. They’re regretting today, living a lonely life. Why?
The children grew up and went to start their own families and the businesses or careers these mothers devoted their lives to don’t need them again, either due to retirement or retrenchment. They’ve estranged themselves from their husbands over the years. Your success at work can never compensate for your failure at home.
The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 does not neglect her home despite all the ventures she is involved in. Verse 27 says she watches over the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Create time for your family. Don’t be an absentee husband, wife or parent.
If you’re a minister of the gospel, don’t fail to spend time with your family. In Billy Graham’s autobiography entitled “Just as I am”, written when he was 78 years old, he spoke on his regrets and many things he would do differently. One of them was spending more time with his family. He said, “For one thing, I would speak less and study more, and I would spend more time with my family. When I look back over the schedule I kept thirty or forty years ago, I am staggered by all the things we did and engagements we kept. Sometimes we flitted from one part of the country to another, even from one continent to another, in the course of only a few days. Were all these engagements necessary? Was I as discerning as I might have been about which ones to take and which to turn down? I doubt it. Every day I was absent from my family is gone forever. Although much of that travel was necessary, some of it was not.”
My friend told me how painful it was to him when his father died. They were not living in the same town so he had not seen him for some time though he was sending money to him. He kept on postponing when he would go to see him until one day when he received a message that his father had passed. His attention was needed. He could no longer postpone travelling home to see him but just his corpse. He created the time despite his busy schedule. Thereafter, he would ask me, “When did you see your parents?” May I ask you too, if your parents are still alive, “When last did you see your parents?” Some don’t only fail to visit them; they don’t phone them or provide for them. This is not good.
Take care of your parents while they’re alive rather than spending a fortune on their burial. The Bible says to honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Ephesians 6:2).
While David was running away from Saul, who wanted to kill him, he still remembered to take care of his parents. “Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, ‘Please let my father and mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me.’ So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold” (1 Samuel 22:3-4 New King James Version).
Also, Jesus, on the cross, arranged for his mother’s care despite having family members that could take care of her. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:25-27 New King James Version).
Rahab the harlot cared for her family. Although she had a bad job, she had the right attitude toward her family. She was not concerned about only her safety when the two spies came to spy on Jericho. She pleaded that the lives of her father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all that they have should be spared. “Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death” (Joshua 2:12-13 New King James Version). The spies promised to protect her and her family.
The Israelites kept the promise made by the spies when they took the city. They spared her and her family members who were with her in the house as agreed. Joshua 6:25 says, “And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho” (New King James Version). We wouldn’t know what lured or pushed Rahab into harlotry, but she cared about her father’s house. Unfortunately, unlike Rahab, some have good jobs but don’t care for their families.
Don’t neglect your family. When people are near death, they don’t bother about their money; their concern is their family, especially their immediate family. Money, business empires, worldly accomplishments. and the likes will not matter when death comes. Don’t neglect your family. Invest time in your family. Care for your family. Life is not about possessions but relationships. The first of such relationships, after the relationship with God, is the family.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of any way I have failed in my relationship with my family, especially my spouse and children. Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me also for not honouring my parents as I should in obedience to Your command. I commit myself henceforth to giving priority to my family. I shall no more neglect my family spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially. I receive the grace to train up my children in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it. Father, help me not to fail You over my family in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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