I’m reading a book called Sacrament of Sexuality: The Spirituality and Psychology of Sex by Morton and Barbara Kelsey. I found the following quote in a chapter discussing Sexuality, Love & Celibacy – I thought it a particularly insightful quote, so I thought I’d pass it on to all – enjoy! 🙂
We believe that once two people are in committed relationship and have children that their Christian priorities need to shift. If children are sacrificed for outsiders, something is wrong with one’s Christian priorities. We have tried to listen to God in the depth of our prayer and quiet, and we have come to the conclusion that we genuinely lose certain freedoms when we are married and have children. We become part of an integral unit and community when we are married and if we fail in obligations to this unity, we can damage ourselves, our children and the community.
I remember once, when working for the diocese, being in a particularly long staff meeting. We were, as a diocesan pastoral staff, being brought to task for taking time off from our work during the week. We brought up the point that, for many of us, our work involved evenings and weekends in addition to our normal 8-5, Monday to Friday work days. The comment a vowed religious made was that it was part and parcel of our particular work/ministry and that we should learn to live with it. I disagreed. 🙂
I believed then, and I believe now, that my primary ministry is to my family, then to my job. If I fail as a husband and a father, then it does not matter how good a job I am doing, how many classes I teach, how many deep theological discussions I have, how many conferences I coordinate, etc. I have failed in my primary vocation as a married man with a wife and a child if I put my job, even my religious job, before them.
I’m not always great at this – I can be a workaholic, and I know this about myself. But I pray daily for the grace to be able to distinguish when I must take off my “campus minister” hat and put on the more important “dad” and “hubby” hat.
Please pray for me as I struggle daily with this discernment of my primary vocation.
Blessings & Peace,