Amid our busy lives, we feel the push to succeed. Sometimes our paths align with God and sometimes they start off that way and then veer off a little bit.
What I’ve come to realize is that, yes, God will take you out of your comfort zone. Yes, He will guide you down a path only He knows where it will lead. He will set you up to succeed, sometimes with success and sometimes through failures.
What He won’t do is make your family suffer for His work. This is not referring to monetary or worldly terms. This is referring to relationships within your family unit.
It doesn’t take much for us to be distracted. The enemy uses this. If he were to come at you in a blatant attack, you would know it was his sabotage and you would resist it. So, he takes God’s message or desire for you and tweaks it. You take this message and put it into action in a way that will have long-term harmful ramifications to your family. You won’t realize what has happened until some damage is done and, if you are lucky, the damage can be fixed easily.
Take a family in which a parent decides to quit his full-time, well paying position to go back to school to learn a new profession. All the signs and prayers lead to the belief that this is God’s plan. Except that the knowledge that the family has lost its primary means of income spurs the father on to commit all his time to studying. Once he graduates, he devotes his energy to finding a job to support his family. And then that job takes most of his focus because he has started in at the entry level and has to work back to a point where the income will equal what he made in his former profession. Only his kids never see him anymore. His wife only gets to see him for small pieces of time and their main form of communication is now texting versus actual face to face time.
Take a family in which a parent is led into volunteer work. She feels needed for the first time in a long while. At first, the volunteer work is still revolving around the needs of her family but soon it becomes a passion. It has such a positive effect on her life until it becomes all consuming. She still makes sure her family has what they need but the kids come to know that the needs of work become primary and they become secondary. She notices their comments about wishing she didn’t have to work but dismisses them with a belief that this time-hog in their lives is temporary.
Think this can’t happen to you? It can. The result is a family split in different directions. They believe they are following God’s desire for their lives but they have unfortunately taken what He desires and twisted it until they lose their family connection. The kids may be taken care of but how much time are you actually spending with them? Are you really helping them to know God in your family? How many years do you really have with them until they reach a time of independence? Will you have set the foundation for open communication or will you have led them to believe that their lives are less important to you than others?
However, there is nothing that God can’t take care of. If you keep an open relationship with Him, He will manage to get your attention some way. He will provide a way for you to make restitution. If you keep Him as the focus of your family, you will spend time with your kids and your spouse. Secondary to your relationship with God is your relationship with your immediate family. Everything else is just stuff.