Missing the Votes that Really Count
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It was the day of our class elections, and I hoped to be elected class president that day. I lost by two votes. Later, I found out that my girlfriend and my best friend had somehow gotten so busy that day they hadn't gotten around to voting. While subsequent events showed me what better plans God had for that year, I wasn't too happy on that election day. Especially with two people who were pretty close to me.
You know, it hurts when the people closest to you don't vote for you...especially if it's your family. Something's wrong if the people who know you best aren't on the list of people who admire you, and respect you, and trust you.
God seems to think it's pretty important to have your family in your corner. He makes that priority clear even when He's spelling out the job qualifications for those aspiring to spiritual leadership. In 1 Timothy 3:4-5, our word for today from the Word of God, here's what He says about spiritual leaders, "He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?" In other words, if a person is having problems in his relationships at home, don't spread that infection to the church.
Now, the issue here is really larger than just church leaders. It's clear that God places a high priority on how each of us is doing with our wife, our husband, our children, our parents. In Proverbs 14:1, God describes the difference between a wise and a foolish woman, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." A woman has incredible power to either build her family up or tear them down. Later in that same chapter, God tells us that, "He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge." So, a man is either giving his loved ones a place where they feel safe - or another battlefield.
It may be that you have the votes of folks at work. They think you're great. You may have the votes of the people who know the public you - charming, giving. And the folks at church may hold you in high regard, too. But none of that is what matters most. What matters is what your husband or wife thinks of you, your children, your parents. They see the real you. None of the fancy speeches or public acclaim or public image you have matters to them. They care if you are someone who puts others first or yourself first, if your actions at home measure up to your words outside the home, if you keep your promises or you break them. Your family cares if you lie or tell the truth, if you put them first or they only get your leftovers, if they feel safe in your love...if you build them up or you tear them down.
And those are things that really matter to God. If you want to see what a person is really like, see what their family thinks of them. They know you without the image, without the mask, without the nice speeches. There is no greater honor than to have your family consider you a hero. There is no greater disgrace than to have your family not believe in you. If you don't carry your home precinct, you lose. You have nothing more important to do than to be what they need you to be.