On December 9th, I was married to my beautiful wife for 1 year. It’s been the best year of my life.

I love my wife Janice so much. She is currently pregnant, and a week or so ago we found out that we are having a baby boy! I’m so stoked!

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She’s glorious!!!

Although I always wanted to have kids, I wasn’t really ever in a rush to do so and still kinda can’t imagine it? It’s a surreal feeling and I can’t wait to be a dad (not that pumped about changing nappies, but I guess no-one is?? Anyway… ). So as I go through this season in the lead up to getting to meet my son in May of next year, it’s caused me to think more and more about ‘family life’.

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Love building church with Janice

I think in life it’s easy to get caught up in building an impressive public world. You know, the parts people see when they look at your life? Your job, your status, your ministry, your skills, your connections, your achievements, your health, or what you own etc. Are you successful? Influential? Wealthy? Etc.

These things are all good (many are blessings from God!), but sometimes, with unhealthy priorities and focus, the advancement of our public world can come at the cost of our private world. The world most people don’t see. Our relationship with God, and our relationship with our spouse/family. Sometimes we make the wrong kind of sacrifices in private, in order to look good in public. I think this is dangerous.

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I surprised her with a proposal in Tokyo after Lifehouse Conference!

The verse that got me thinking about all this is found in 1 Timothy, and I came across it in my journaling. Paul is basically advising Timothy on how families should take care of each other. In this instance he’s talking about taking care of parents/grandparents.

1 Timothy 5:4 NLT
But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.

While I recognize that this is specifically talking about caring for widows, there is one sentence here that jumped out at me which I believe goes beyond just this context.

My “first responsibility is to show godliness at home”…. Wow.

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Our home: Hong Kong!

As I thought about this scripture, I felt that I wanted to make this principle something that I lived my life by.

Your public life can be stripped away from you in a moment. Getting fired, loosing money, people betray you, loose reputation etc. But if your home life is healthy and your relationship with Jesus genuine and life-giving, I think you can get through any public crisis! The reverse can not be said. No amount of public success can make up for the damage of a neglected private life.

Of course I want to be successful in both my private life, and my public life. However if I could have only one, I would choose success in my private life, hands down! I want my wife and kid(s?) to respect me and know that they are loved! I want God to be pleased with me. I want to have a godly private life!

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Pumped to meet my little boy!

The language I use towards my family, attitudes in the house, encouragement, honesty, showing love, working through disagreements, bringing God into our decisions, priorities, spiritual disciplines, time with God etc. I want those closest and most important to me (my family) to see that I live with integrity in my values, and in my relationship with Jesus. And I want them to know that my first priority, is to practice godliness at home. Being like Jesus at home. Forgiving. Gracious. Gentle with words. Loving. Encouraging. Spending time with them. Generous. Disciplined. Patient. Purposeful. Unselfish Etc.

I’ve got a lot to learn in how exactly to apply this over the coming years. I definitely don’t have all the answers now. But I’m excited about growing into this and becoming a great husband and Dad! And building a stronger relationship with Jesus. I wanna live by this principle; Making my first responsibility to show godliness at home. I believe that only from that foundation can our public world truly expand into all that God has destined it to be.

Richard

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