Raising children and ministry….

1 Comment » Written on September 12th, 2013     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories
This summer while caring for grandchildren, I reflected on the years of balancing ministry with raising our own children. I remembered the work done late at night just as I was doing this summer while waiting for teenagers to get home or younger ones to fall asleep. Balancing work and family (raising children, caring for parents, and now being present with grandchildren) has been the only path that I have known in fifty-one years of marriage, except for five years after the younger son’s birth. Initially, as a young parent I was teaching, completing graduate studies, and serving as a volunteer in local and conference ministry. My first paid ministry role began when our sons were ages 6 and 10. 

villageWe now enjoy watching our two sons live into a parenting partnership with their spouses — the type of partnership that we found essential. As Phil says, “each of us gave 70%.” I was blessed to have my husband along with grandparents, extended family, and close friends near. But, whether raising children with two parents or as a single parent, it does “take a village to raise a child!” Overall, we put boundaries on extras and committed discretionary time to being with the boys. Vacations as a family, simplified holiday celebrations, and dedicated evenings for watching TV together or playing games were “musts.” When I traveled or was absent due to evening or weekend meetings, we agreed that no attempt would be made to “catch up” or question decisions made while I was gone.

But, most importantly, I believe that having my husband, sons, and close friends value and respect my call was the crucial element. Although I was tempted at times to be a “supermom,” I lived with assurance from God and those close me that the concept was not part of the obedience equation when one is called to ministry. Rather, for me the equation was value + respect (husband + children + close friends) + call to ministry = lives transformed, both ours and others within my sphere of influence.

Evelyn M.R. Johnson

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One Response to “Raising children and ministry….”

What a wonderful reminder of what’s important.  Thank you Evelyn!

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