Husbands, fathers, pastors, when does your day end? Is it when you leave the office? Is it when the kids are in bed? When are you finally done? The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:24 - 27 to run in a way that will obtain the prize. Let's call the race we are running "today". We all want to run this race to win. I guess my question, is at what point of this race (today) is it finished? And what is the prize?
When today ends
Bottom line, your day doesn't end until your head hits your pillow. Just because you left the office doesn't mean your work is done. You are now heading into the most important ministry you will ever have, your home. Your home is like a little church and you are the pastor. Your wife and kids need your time and your attention. They need to experience patience, grace, and leadership from you. Essentially, they need to see Jesus in you.
What your family does not need is you hiding behind a newspaper, or a TV, or your favorite electronic device. They need to experience your presence not just the fact that you are present. This requires intentionality on your part.
What is the prize
The prize for doing this is twofold. First, you are receiving the "imperishable wreath" of passing on love and faith to your spouse and to your children. By your family experiencing your presence in this way, you are demonstrating the gospel to them. You are showing them where true and lasting health can be found, in Jesus. You are preaching to them not just in word but also in deed. Your family needs you to lead them closer to Jesus, this is your responsibility. In this way you are serving your wife and your children.
Secondly, by doing so, you do not disqualify yourself from this role that God has called you to. This will require discipline and self-control on your part, which you need to be looking to God for. Men, do not waste this time, do not "run aimlessly", do not "beat the air". This is part of what it means to be the spiritual head of your household. This is part of what it means to pastor your family.
Run in such a way to obtain the prize. Finish the race of "today" well.