“Then all the people departed each to his house, and David went home to bless his household” — 1 Chronicles 16:43, ESV.
This was a big day for David and the people of Israel. The Ark of the Covenant was being brought back to Jerusalem. This would have been one of those events that all of the tv news organizations would have been airing live, interrupting your regularly scheduled programming. Every channel would be focused on this. Every person in the nation would be focused on this day. THE Ark, representing the very presence of God, that had been carried around by Moses and the Israelites for some forty years, was coming home.
The celebration was explosive. The dignitaries were all in place. The people worshipped. The day was full and focused on this one event: bringing the Ark back home. And at the end of it all: “David went home to bless his household.”
As youth workers, we have a lot of things on our plates. There are big events that we plan for months in advance. There are last-minute “counseling” meetings with students and parents. There are social media sites to update. Messages to prep. Messages to preach. Kids to contact and visit. Campuses to visit. Camps to prepare and attend. Emails to follow-up on. Staff to disciple and train up. New ministries to try.
The list goes on and on.
But if we succeed at all of those things mentioned above and neglect our households in the name of ministry (notice I didn’t say in the name of Jesus), then we have failed miserably as Christian leaders. God has not called us to neglect our households in order to “minister” to the households of others. On the other side, he has also not called us to neglect our calling as youth workers and pastors in the name of “family”.
In 1 Chronicels 15-16 we see David “ministering” and working for the people of Israel. He had responsibilities that he had to fulfill. He had a “job” to do, and to do well to the glory of God. He could not say, “Well I can’t come and help bring the Ark of the Covenant in. I have a family.” He had to work. But he also knew when it was time to go home and bless his household, likewise bringing glory to God. There is a “balance” to this, and that balance is in staying obedient to God’s leading in the responsibilities that he has called us to, both at home and at work, doing both for God’s glory.
So, as big as that event was, as successful as that camp turned out, as life-changing as that message was, always go home and bless your family. To claim to be a Christian leader while neglecting your household only proves that you fail as a leader. However, to claim to be a Christian leader while neglecting your role and responsibilities where you serve Christ only proves that you fail as a leader. It’s both-and, not either-or.
Time to go and bless my household.