Resignation for the Family

February 11, 2017

 

Husband's Chief Role

 

As I have been reading through Scripture, it has become abundantly clear to me that a husband’s chief role in the home is to love his wife (Ephesians 5:25) and raise children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  The central point is that as fathers, we not only need to provide financially for our families, but we must be the spiritual leaders of our families.  Making money at a job requires time.  Loving your wife requires time.  Raising children also requires time. 

 

Making the Choice

 

Today, January 19, 2017, my boss came to me to talk about my intent form.  My intent form stated, “I intend to come back next year, but not in the international program.  I would like to teach.”  He came to tell me that he will need a formal resignation letter from the international department, but without the promise of a teaching role in August.

 

Why on earth am I doing this?  Simple—my family is worth it.  We have a fourth child on the way in two months, and I never want my children to think of my ministry as the very thing that took me away from my ministry to them.  I never want them to say, “He always had time for other people’s kids, but never had time for us.”  The role of international director was asking for a lot of time, to the, at times, negation of my family.  I would be travelling for six weeks abroad a year.  But Zanger, that’s not a lot!  To me, it was.  Not being there was a cost too great.

 

My conviction is plain—I have a specific number of days that these children will be in my home (and what everyone tells me is that those days go far too fast), and I don’t want to look back in thirty years with regret on what might have been.  Secondly, for anyone in the church to be an elder, there are multiple characteristics, but two skills—He must be able to teach (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9) and he must manage his household well (1 Timothy 3:4-5, Titus 1:6).  As one who loves the church and wants to serve her faithfully, this is yet another reason to make my family a priority.

 

I will hand in my resignation letter on January 20, fully confident in the complete sovereignty of God over it all (Romans 8:28, Ephesians 1:11).  Please don’t read this as a holier-than-thou-look-at-me-I’m-so-awesome creed.  Please also don’t read this as a “you must quit your job!” declaration.  (I’m going to find a job as soon as I can, just one with a more favorable work-life balance.)  Instead, take it as an opportunity to have a dialogue with your wife, or to entertain this in your prayer or journaling life, or to simply look in the mirror.

 

I want to finish with a poem by C. T. Studd.  It’s amazing.  Consider its implications on your life:

 

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;


Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;


Only one life, twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;


Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;


Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice


Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;


Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;


Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;


Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;


When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;


Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;


Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;


Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;


Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;


Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;


And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;


Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

 

 

 

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