If you have a family, do they share your commitment to BAM?
NOTE: This section was written by my wife!
My husband asked that I write about the family’s commitment to BAM. I know that my Lord knows each of our four children, knows me and my husband, and I know He has called us all together to proclaim the name of Jesus here. When I first arrived, I was searching for the exact way that wives should help their husbands and include their children and be effective in proclaiming, but found several very different models that worked well.
Some wives primarily worked to have a peaceful home that enabled their husband to work and declare. Some worked alongside their husbands and included their children in visiting and hospitality. Others worked in a separate sphere from their husbands, but prayed together and supported each others’ work.
One of my dearest friends found it very important to have a home that was ordered and welcoming. Her husband was an incredibly effective proclaimer and worked hard in his business, but he could not have done all he did without her help. When he came home with visitors, she put on the teapot and spread out the cookies. Countless evenings were spent hosting meals. She didn’t go out visiting a lot, but she did learn the language and made sure that her children were comfortable in the culture. As a family, they modeled well how to love Jesus, work with joy, and proclaim Him.
Another young couple did their job of training students together. Both husband and wife were heavily involved in teaching, and they often taught from their home so that their boys could still have them around. When the children were at school, they would each meet with friends as a part of their work, or as an opportunity to disciple.
My husband and I have very different spheres of influence. His friends are mostly other businessmen and they sincerely enjoy spending time together, whether going out to the traditional baths or out for coffee. They discuss politics and how Jesus changes daily decisions. The friends God has sent to me are in quite different and desperate conditions. Our children usually come with me out visiting in the afternoons, because some of the friends are unable to leave their homes either because of health or children or because of their husband’s rules. We pray together before we go out; the children play with the neighbor’s children and we study the Word together.
No matter which way your family works best, it will take commitment on behalf of the entire family to honor the calling of the Lord.
A few thoughts to think about:
- The Lord does not just call husbands to the ministry–He calls the entire family;
- Your kids are a blessing and a huge responsibility – they are your disciples;
- Some families return back to their home countries because the wives never adjusted to the new country. They did not learn the language or engage with the new culture; and
- Your kids will go through struggles, but your Father knows and cares about them.
Commit, as a family, to the lives as tentmakers. The alternative model you offer as a business person and as a family will make your witness that much more effective.