Put First Things First
From the archives of Evelyn Roberts
In today’s busy world, we all have demands on our time. It’s so important to prioritize and remember that our families and relationships are really the most important things in our lives. Oral says he has learned many secrets from me that have helped him fulfill his calling. And one of the secrets was always to put our family first before the ministry.
When Oral’s healing ministry began, he was so busy that he didn’t have much time to spend with the children. He was gone three weeks at a time conducting crusades, and when he was home he was exhausted. He would love on the children for awhile when he first arrived, but then he’d let them go about their own business. After he would leave for another crusade, they would say, “Why didn’t Dad spend more time with us?”
Ephesians 6:4 says, Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The Bible specifically tells fathers to nurture their children. So I sat down with Oral and gently told him, “Honey, you’re not spending enough time with the children. When they’re grown up, they’re not even going to know you! A lot of preachers’ children turn away from the Lord because they haven’t had enough attention from their parents. They feel as though God took away their daddy, and they resent Him for that.
So Oral started doing things like taking the boys fishing or golfing and going horseback riding with the girls. It became a time that both Oral and the children looked forward to.
The family was established before the Church. It’s easy to let outside influences keep us from spending time with our loved ones. But our work doesn’t come before our families. God would have us put first things first.