I had an interesting email from a reader a few days ago. He said that he no longer considers himself a Christian because he doesn’t agree with living “some of the ways we should live as Christians”.
He says doesn’t feel bad or guilty about it, in fact he feels happy that he’s doing what makes him feel happy and what makes his family happy and secure.
He made a very interesting point.
I feel that so many Christians are so wrapped up in God, church, activities for the church, giving money to the poor, helping people in the church that they lose sight of their own brothers and sisters. It seems to me that Christians are too busy with all this Christian stuff that they forget about spending time with their own family (Mum or Dad, brothers or sisters and extended family).
While he didn’t want his name mentioned, he wanted me to throw this one out for some comment.
What’s your experience?
Have you encountered this kind of attitude in Christians? Have you found yourself so wrapped up in church stuff and ministry and everything that goes along with it that those closest to you have missed out?
Here’s part of what I emailed back in reply.
I’ve seen this kind of attitude far too often in far too many Christians. People get so taken up with what they see as their ‘Christian duty’ that they lose sight of what I consider to be their greatest ‘ministry’ and calling – their family.
This kind of attitude is especially prevalent in those working in full time ministry such as pastors. I made a decision when I started working in a Christian workplace that I would ensure that my family would remain a priority. I also make a point of not getting so wrapped up in ‘church activities’ that I don’t get to spend time with those who aren’t what we might call religious. A lot of the time I prefer the time I spend with those outside the church.
My relationship with God, through Jesus, is supremely important to me but all the extra stuff that people try to add onto Christianity isn’t.
The writer of the email is smart enough to know that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.
Maybe this doesn’t apply to all people, but it makes me feel unhappy with my own biological family. I have tried to talk to them about this in previous years and some change was there, but not enough to build a better relationship. Do I have to go back to God to have a better relationship with a member of my own family? Is this going to change anything? I don’t think it will.
What do you think?
So what are your thoughts? Are many Christians neglecting their families because they’re too busy doing what they think God wants them to do? Would God really want us to neglect family relationships? Are you able to maintain the balance between faith and family?
I think a lot of the answer could be found in the difference between what we ‘think‘ God requires of us and what he actually does require.
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