Do not neglect your gift…
1 Timothy 4:14a
There are many wonderful gifts God gives us. One of God’s best gifts is family. A very common issue facing families is emotional neglect, which is ignoring, minimizing, and even shaming the emotional needs of loved ones. Emotional needs include being loved, accepted, understood, appreciated, connected, seen, and heard. This type of neglect can lead to broken relationships, mental health problems, and even physical illnesses. The main symptom of emotional neglect in marriage is the feeling of being lonely although your spouse is physically present with you. You can’t talk about your true feelings or have deep conversations because your spouse usually responds with silence or criticism. Similarly, parents can be unresponsive and unavailable to children’s needs for affection, support, and attention. Sometimes, we, Christian leaders, can commit emotional neglect in our family in the name of serving God. We ignore our spouse’s request to spend quality time while making other people’s needs a priority. We justify it by saying, “This is my duty as a pastor or a leader.” Due to our busyness, we sometimes readily dismiss our children’s struggles and fail to support and comfort them. Let us gently remind ourselves today not to neglect our gift from God, our family, and to take time to make meaningful connections with them.
God, bring to our awareness how we are committing the sin of neglect and keep us healthy emotionally. We pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.