It’s hard to say that any of the four quadrants of health we’ve discussed in this series are more important than any other. The fact is, they’re all important because they’re all linked together. How you feel physically affects your emotions. Your emotions affect your spirituality. And your spiritual life affects your relationships.
But it’s easier to note that many of us struggle with one area more than another. For church leaders—and whether this is just a bad rap or the truth—we often struggle with ensuring our relational health.
We lead ourselves to believe that our relationships are OK because we’re invested in so many people’s lives. But the corollary to that is the cliché of the pastor’s kid—the one who rebels because his father’s always at the church and never at his ballgame. Again, that’s a broad assumption, but the cliché exists for a reason. It happens.
We sometimes allow the family of God to supersede the needs of our immediate families. As one who has made that mistake before, I beg you to take inventory of your relational health right now. Ask yourself:
- What do my kids really think about me right now?
- What does my spouse really think about me right now?
- What do I think about me right now?
- Am I as relationally available as I could be to the people closest to me?
If you’ve fallen short of your own expectations, don’t feel guilty. (Remember, we’ve all fallen short.) Rather, allow that conviction to lead you to change.
Take notable, practical steps to change your closest relationships today. Cancel a meeting at the church so you can spend time with your spouse and/or children. Show the ones you love that you love them. Back up your words with actions. Lead your family by modeling what it means to love Jesus and others well.
Establishing relational health is simple: Love Jesus. Love your spouse. Love your kids.
But putting that love into daily practice is where your beliefs collide with reality. If you begin to focus on your relational health, you’ll be sure to notice healthy changes in other areas of your life too.