By Jess Brower
What a privilege to work with families in sharing the light and love of Jesus Christ with this world. This is the work we do, this is the gift we get to share with others so that they, as a WHOLE family, might be empowered to do the same throughout their neighborhoods, communities, cities, nations, and continents. Family transcends culture and borders. It is the powerful work of our Creator…He is the original creator of family.
Isn’t that why we do this work? Isn’t this what God is already doing? Our King wants to rescue, redeem and restore His family to himself. This is the big picture and motivation behind this ministry. When we have a fractured picture of “family” from our family of origin, it distorts the way we view God the Father. Our heart in this ministry is to restore families so that we might have a clearer Kingdom picture how God intended it, restoring us to himself, to the original family.
Now, I know many of you already understand the work that Family Ministries does throughout the world. I know that each of you reading this serve and give and work and push harder to meet more deadlines and you come through for those you work with, serve and live next to. You are incredible. You are amazing. You are enough.
Now stop. Take a breath and think of how you can minister to YOUR family. Your spouse, your children, your family. I mean it, actually take three deep breaths that completely fill your lungs, close your eyes, and think of what you have been holding off in coming through for your family that you have been meaning to. There are many good reasons, many good excuses: work, deadlines, pressure, the next place you are speaking, meetings, and on and on. There will ALWAYS be work. If you were waiting for permission, a sign from God, or just don’t know how to stop…well, here it is. Stop, breathe, think about how you can minister to YOUR family. TODAY.
It is easier to raise strong children than to repair broken men.
– Frederick Douglass
We are either feeding or starving our relationships. Now, I know most of those reading this are wonderful, well-intentioned people, so most of your relationships get fed…at least somewhat. But just remember, a slow starvation is still, in fact, starvation nonetheless. Here is your permission, or maybe reminder, to feed your family with your time, your attention, your affection, your words, your eye contact, your laughter, your physical touch. No one can replace the role you have in your family. There is no teacher good enough, no after-school program engaging enough, no counselor empathetic enough, no neighbor kind enough, no grandparent present enough to fill your role. You are vitally important to your spouse and your children. YOU are needed. Your presence helps write the story for those you love the most for how they will engage with their Heavenly Father and faith. I know these are all the things we teach and preach but often the best teachers, practice the least. As the writer of this piece, all fingers are pointed back at me as well.
Remember, you do AMAZING work, now go love on your families 🙂
Ben & Jess Brower are from the Pacific Northwest of the United States. They have been married for 16 years and have two wonderful rambunctious little boys, Lucca (7 years old) & Nico (4 years old). Ben is educated in the area of community development and sustainable building and Jess as a pediatric critical care nurse. It’s been a long road back to YWAM after initially taking their DTS’s in 1999 and 2000 in Kona, Hawaii. After the birth of their second son in 2015, and witnessing many marriages in their community deteriorating, they felt deep in their hearts that it must be possible to not just survive the season of raising small children. They felt an urgency to help others walk through these hard seasons with more hope and connectedness not just in their marriages but also their families and wider community. In response to this, they took their FMS in Matamata, New Zealand in 2016 and have continued to work with families through Family Ministry since that time. Their heart is to see unity and restoration in marriages and families. Family being the base of all societal structures, they seek to strengthen them, give them tools, and lift them up so that they may influence their societies for the Kingdom of God. They currently serve with the Family Ministry team in Grimerud, Norway.