Monday, October 11, 2010

Support Networks - Your family

This series was originally posted on In Tandem, a blog for ministry wives

Support Networks: Your family

Not all of us will have an extended family that acts as a support network. But for those that do, you know the incredible benefit that it can be.

Across the spectrum we probably fall into a couple of categories:

1. Those with Christian family who are supportive. If you have this, do not ignore it. If your parents or siblings are Christians, you already have a depth to your relationship that the rest of us can only dream of.

And even more so if you have family members in full-time ministry. What a privilege it is for those who have watched their mother be a ministry wife and now they too are a ministry wife. You have watched it lived out. You have seen the highs and the lows and you are alert to the issues for your children.

Use these support networks. Be open with your family. Share the joys of Christian ministry. Be honest about what you find hard. They probably have a wealth of information to share. Similarly, those who have siblings that are going through the same thing can encourage one another as they work things out together.

Of course it won’t be perfect – families never are. But don’t discount it as a support network. It may well turn out to be the best you have, and it will certainly last the longest.

2. Those with family who are supportive. Many of us have families who are supportive, at least to a certain degree, with our decision to be in ministry. They may not be Christian, but they support your choices. Again, do not discount this. You are unlikely to be as open as you might be in situation #1, but your family longs to care for you and they love you. Let them in to your life.

3. Those with family who are not supportive. They will be just as many of us whose families (Christian or not) who were not happy with us going into ministry and wish we had chosen another path. In reality we are unlikely to get much support, we probably have to accept it and look elsewhere for support.

And in all of this, it’s probably also worth considering – what kind of support are you to your family? Whether they are Christian or not, are you a support they can rely on?

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