Bringing Home the Bacon
October 6, 2021
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8 NASB
We usually think of bringing home the bacon as making the money to make a household run. That’s the way we tend to approach this verse from Paul to Timothy. But it’s far bigger than that. Harry Chapin’s famous song “Cat’s in the Cradle” tells the story of a man who “brought home the bacon” financially, but his devotion to work and nothing else cost him his children and family. Food on the table, a roof over their head, and clothes to wear are important for children, and there’s no excuse for not giving your best to providing that for them.
But if that’s all you’re bringing home, your children are incredibly poor. They need support, encouragement, safety from the storms of life, engaged listening and helpful input, acceptance and affirmation—you can add to the list. It’s wide and long. We need to get to know them and provide not only what any child would need, but as we know them personally, ask God to help us meet the needs of their unique and wonderful personalities.
Paul was a leader of people and had plenty of opportunity to see families, parents, and children. He called it straight; exactly as he saw it. He said a person who is focused on anything, ANYTHING, that prevents them from providing for their family, has a spiritual issue. That’s anything, friend. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You don’t have to have an addiction, an affair, or a big secret that steals your provision for your family. It can be your job, your friendships, your hobbies, your “self-care,” your devotion to the house, even your church activities and volunteering. Anything you do to the detriment of providing for the essential needs of your family, Paul says amounts to denying the faith and becoming worse than an unbeliever.
I can testify to the truth of his words on the impact of a professing Christian who is applauded by those outside of the family for his or her accomplishments in varied arenas, but the children involved know a different story. As a pastoral counselor for 40+ years, I have seen these children in parades leave the church and Jesus because they have no faith in what their parents have said and shown. The children of unbelievers will give the church and Jesus a better shot than those of the disillusioned Christian parents who blew it. Those people are in my office over and over when the window of opportunity is largely gone.
Your kids need what only you can give. Bring HOME the bacon. Make your greatest service be in the place where you can’t be replaced.
- Ask Jesus to help you see your kids of all ages through His eyes, and then act on it.