Ministry, husbandry, fatherhood, and life choices.

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I've chosen to be a full-time youth minister and I'm finishing up my 9th year making that my career. One of the most exciting parts about my job is that I get to go out and experience new things in the area and take people with me. Another cool aspect of my job is that I've learned many different life skills, using all kinds of new technology, and social media.  While I've chosen a career path that God has led me to, that doesn't mean my life is mine to control.  If you're like me, you realize that most of our life is out of our control. My hope is that I'll get to share some of the things that I've learned that make the controllable parts of life for you, easier. So, when the uncontrollable aspects of life seem to weigh you down, you aren't already stressed out with aspects you have control over. 

For instance, I don't spend a lot of my time worrying about how much money I've been given. I just try and be a good steward, no matter how much it is. We've been told that we "live below our means." All that means is, we spend less than we make.  Using what you've been given is called stewardship. This is a part of my life that is controllable. What does that look like for a middle class American family? For one, my wife and I have spent most of our marriage being debt free.  We are debt free right now.  We just don't buy things we can't afford. Does that mean we have never been in debt? No.  We had a plethora of college loans, a mortgage, and 2 car loans. Some temporary debt is ok. Credit isn't bad, if you can master it. I know many people who mishandle credit and are held hostage by their debt. Life is so much more enjoyable when you don't have to worry about people wondering if/when you are going to pay them back. Another thing my wife and I are very dilligent about is our spending choices. We very rarly pay full price for clothes, household items, restaurants, electronics, and personal services. We are constantly researching and asking for deals, specials, coupons, and price cuts. Never be afraid to ask for a "for-profit," consumer-driven, company, for a deal. If they want your business bad enough, they may come down on their asking price. But that doesn't mean you need to beg or always threaten a company when they don't get serve you perfectly. Be gracious, and be frugal.  Build a relationship with the company, and their customer service team if it's possible. I find that showing love to people in customer service, raises your chances of them helping you save money.

    We also choose to reuse furniture that friends and family have offered, or passed on to us. We have been taught by our parents how to live and spend responsibly. Never under estimate the wisdom, and power of what you learn from your parents. Teach your children good stewardship from a very early age. In our family, stewardship means giving God what's already His. That means, we shouldn't be building up store houses of things in this life. We should be taking care of others, and sharing everything we have, which builds up treasures for us in heaven.  Also, it means giving the church a portion of our earnings every week and looking for ways to support the church and its efforts in every way. This is a huge part of our stewardship, and responsibility as a Christian family.

The second most important purpose and priority in my life is my fatherhood/marriage.  The first, is following Jesus. Fatherhood and marriage go hand in hand in my life, because they constantly rely upon each other to succeed. I would say that I work at husbandry, since I've chosen to be a husband. But, it turns out husbandry means to care and cultivate crops and animals. So, lets just say that I'm constantly looking for ways to better my marriage, and be a better father. But this is hard, because we never "get it." I've known great parents and marriages, and none of them have ever said they figured out parenting or marriage. It takes a lifetime of commitment, as well as trial and error, to become a good father and a good spouse. I've chosen to be committed to that, and that will never change in my lifetime.  Gena and I have recently celebrated 10 years of marriage. It was a huge milestone for us, and worth celebrating, even 3 months later. Never stop celebrating your marriage to your spouse. Make a big deal out of anniversaries, and birthdays, and Valentine's Day. Those days may be the only accountability your marriage has to pause and celebrate.  Every day, you choose your spouse, and hopefully your spouse chooses you.  Don't ever take that for granted. I love my wife, and am so thankful for her choice to be with me.  She works so hard for the Lord, for me, and for our family.  I'm so proud of her work over at www.captainfussybuckets.com and how it's been my inspiration to start this blog.  Thanks honey! Tomorrow we have a date, and are going to see the movie "War Room." I hear its great, and I can't wait to tell you about it.   Got any questions about marriage? I'd be glad to discuss what works for us, and what hasn't worked.  Leave me a comment or a question. Choose to love God and love others. I'll do what it takes to bring Him glory.

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Ben is the youth minister husband of @gingercasa1 and father of three awesome boys, ages 10, 8, and 5! He loves sports, music, and ministry and hanging out with his family.

Comments

  1. Awww sweet picture…

     

  2. You are an amazing and God loving young man!!  The handprints of the Father echo loudly!!  Praying the Father continues His work in and through you, Gena and your children!!!  Love to you all!!

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