Monday, June 08, 2009

Meaningful Mondays:
Getting the Right Balance

"But it is not just the world which uses its family life as an excuse. These are some who respond to the call of the Gospel and then allow "the cares of this like" to choke their interest. Family demands can be very great. A howling baby cannot simply be abandoned, the washing and cleaning, the house repairs, the garden, the car all need time and energy spent on them. They are not divorced from the life of the Truth; we do all things "unto the LORD". But we must find time for prayer and reading, and for our responsibilities in the wider family of the ecclesia. It is sad to see a couple who have bee active in the meeting fade into obscurity once baby arrives, it is not necessary. Babies can be taken to a meeting; when they cannot, parents can take turns- and the Bible class need not be neglected. When the children are older, both parents can attend the Bible class, with the children. Small cassette tape recorders are a useful thing today, as we can unobtrusively record an address so that our partner can hear the full version at home. Meetings can help a great deal by tolerating baby noises and children's fidgeting, as long as they are not too distracting, or perhaps by organizing a nursery/cry room or helping with baby sitting. As children get older, so our involvement in ecclesial life becomes their involvement. They should feel part of the ecclesial family and take it for granted that the help with bill distribution or getting the hall ready. Family Bible study weekends and Family Gatherings are welcome developments in Great Britain, while in America and else-where it has been taken for granted for a long time that a Bible school is a family affair. We need more family fellowship, so that we may work and worship together. It is possible then, with effort and will, to be involved in ecclesial life along with our family."

Bro Michael Owen, The Christadelphian Dec 1972

"The early year of childhood are supposed to be the most crucial. If our children are involved in ecclesial life then the habit is more likely to remain. If our newly born spiritual babes find themselves in a warm family atmosphere, it is more likely that they who will stay. In Ephesus, Paul taught not only in public places but "from house to house" (Ac 20:20). It is a very homely scene. The next chapter of Acts records that after a week in Tyre, "They all, with wives and children, brought us on our way till we were outside the city; and kneeling down on the beach we prayer and bade on another farewell" (Ac 21:5 RSV). Here is a moving insight into the family spirit prevailing in the ecclesia, with its sense of belonging, of involvement and care"

Bro Michael Owen, The Christadelphain Jan 1973

1 comment:

Mother By the River said...

I completely agree!!
I loved the sentence: "A howling baby cannot simply be abandoned" - made me laugh the way he said it. Also it brought to mind how my son behaves when he feels abandoned- he sits, doubled over so that his his head touches the floor as he cries.. it is so cute! (though sometimes annoying when he does it every time I leave the room to quickly fetch something- that's when Mommy decides it's nap time!)

My two favorite points that he brought up were: "we must find time... for our responsibilities in the wider family of the ecclesia." - VERY true. Our ecclesia being part of our responsibility. Family first but don't forget your other responsibilities!
And the second was "if our children are involved in ecclesial life then the habit is more likely to remain."
I never thought of the scripture he uses (Acts 21:5) to reinforce his point in that way.. but now I want to mark it in! A very useful verse to keep in mind!