[NOTE: If you’re following this 3-part rambling, you’ll know it is from a response I gave to a good dad in our church who felt that perhaps he was committing idolatry because he sacrificed so much for his family and loved them so intensly and actively. So he wrote me, and much of what follows about “actually spiritual families” is my encouragement to him.]
Finally, #3: Actually spiritual families watch out for two extremes: weariness and haughtiness. Balance is a word they love. So here’s a word of encouragement — just be persistent over the next several years and don’t “lose heart” in the fight (weariness) or “lose sight” of the finish (haughtiness).
You see, when we do the right thing for so long with decent results (family man, church man, etc.), there are two extremes we have to be on guard against: 1) getting tired and wanting to quit or 2) becoming proud and self-sufficient and thinking we won’t quit. Either is fertile ground for the enemy – Satan – who wants to crush your head between his evil jaws. So instead of wearing out (and waking up one day with the “sudden” thought of giving up) or being proud (and waking up one day realizing that you “suddenly” don’t need the weird ideas in the Bible or the church nuts), ask God every day to humble you while you keep doing what you know is right. Otherwise, you will get deceived, then destroyed, and all the while Satan is laughing loudly behind your back (actually, in front of your face because he’s kicking you right in the teeth).
This is why Paul encouraged us to “not grow weary in well doing” and to “take heed lest we fall.” Both weariness and haughtiness can lead us astray. Stay sensitive enough to watch for both of these each day. That’s what the really spiritual family does – they watch out for extremes, like depression (“There’s no use trying; nobody in this family cares anymore for anything.”) and/or pride (“Our way is the only way for everybody”). Whatever is inbetween is probably pretty normal, so don’t get all weird about the normal ups and downs. It’s the extremes that can cost you.
Now go and be the actually spiritual family I know you are…and may God be worshipped everyday among your beautiful tribe!