Giving up your children for the kingdom

May 14, 2015

I don’t know if with age automatically comes wisdom, but I do know it brings perspective. Having grandchildren gives me a much greater appreciation of the cost my parents paid for my being in full-time ministry. Allow me to explain…

In December of 1987, Sharon and I packed up our twin 18 month old daughters and moved from Milford OH to Ft. Pierce FL, so that I could become the new pastor of the Immanuel Baptist Church. I was 27 and felt called to preach the word to whoever would have me and wherever that took me. Even if it was 1,000 miles away from home. My love for the Word, the Lord, His church meant that my extended family would have to play second fiddle. If I had to leave behind Mother and Father, Sister and Brother it was a price I was willing to pay.

I did not realize at the time that I was not the only one paying the price.

When my daughters graduated from High School, we had an open house and for the only time my mom came to PA. We had videos playing on the living room TV of my daughters when they were young. No one was really paying attention except my mom. As I happened to walk through the room the video of the day that I packed up my wife and daughters & drove off for Florida was playing. To no one in particular I heard my mom say, “That was the saddest day of my life.”

What was to me a great day of excitement, the fulfillment of a dream, an embracing of a calling, was to my mom the saddest day of her life. I took away her grandchildren. My kids have not really known their grandparents.

Now I am a grandparent. My daughter and her husband are in the ministry in another state. His desire and obedience to God’s kingdom may eventually take him across the country or across the globe. And it will take my grandchildren with them.

My parents were excited when I felt the desire to go into the ministry. I am proud of my son-in-law’s desire to serve the Lord. Am I willing to pay the price? Am I willing to give up my children, my grandchildren for the kingdom’s sake? For the cause of Christ? Are you?

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