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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Loving Your Family

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters -- yes, even his own life --he cannot be my disciple."
– Luke 14:26
Now I'm no New Testament scholar but I’m pretty certain that Jesus does not teach things that contradict other parts of the Bible. So that makes me pretty sure that Luke 14:26 is not a call for us to really hate our families.

One of my favorite teaching pastors explains this difficult passage this way… the idea is that we should love Jesus so much and He should take such priority in our lives that compared to Him, our other relationships look like hate. The New Living Translation says it this way – “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison…” Basically, we are called to love Jesus way more than we love anyone or anything else, including ourselves.

So that said... Dan is back in Uganda. He's missing stuff around here:
Today, Madeline had a little “graduation” ceremony from a Backyard Bible Club she’s attended for the last few years. As a rising first grader, she’ll be too old to return as a camper next year so she graduated and will return next time as a junior counselor. The ceremony was nothing major but it was very sweet and she was oh so proud of herself. Dan loves supporting our children in that kind of thing and I know he would've loved to have been there.

Over the past few days, Baby Charlotte cut her first tooth, learned to drink from a sippy cup and has started "scooting" (which I guess is her precursor to crawling) around the floor. Again, it's not as if she's taking her first steps or anything but missing any baby "firsts" is a hard thing for a Daddy who adores his baby girl.

And tonight, I discovered that my 4 year old son did something dreadfully, horribly bad to the headboard of his very nice, rather expensive mahogany bunkbed. I only made this discovery moments ago and am still too horrified to disclose the details... But boy oh boy I could've used Daddy at that moment. It was late, I was horrified (did I mention that already?) so I put the boy to bed and told him we'd talk about it in the morning.

Anyways, as I was saying, Dan is missing stuff around here... he's missing us and we're missing him. But that's ok -- because Dan is called to love Jesus more than anyone, and that includes the kids and me.

We talk so much in our Christian circles about the fact that our families should be our first and most important ministry. Well who says you aren't ministering to your family by getting out on the mission field? By comparison to many others, Dan and I have sacrificed very little for his mission work -- but this is a start for our family. Making your family your "first ministry" doesn't mean always being around and available to make everyone happy all the time.

Jesus calls us to count the costs of following Him. He doesn't tell us it will be easy -- in fact He promises it will not be easy. The costs of serving Him are high, but so are the rewards. While he's away this week, Dan is teaching my children and me far more than he could ever teach us than if he'd chosen just to stay home, stay comfortable and do nothing about the children of Mukisa in Uganda.


Melissa said...

I am so thankful for your husband and the whole team. Did they tell you they got to see Charles Tucker today? I will cherish the photos and video they took of him. What a blessing! I am praying for you families and the husbands that are sacrificing so much to be there.

DaddyDan said...

Melissa, You should have seen these 5 grown men over here, huddled around the computer screen, Ooohing and Ahhhing at pictures of him. He is mighty handsome.