The other day I was listening to the news on the radio. They ran a story about a busy working woman. When this lady went to her car at the end of the long workday, she let out a scream. To the woman's horror, she found her five-month-old baby still strapped in his child seat in the backseat of her car. It had been an extremely hot day, and the infant was dead from heat exhaustion. While crying hysterically the woman stated that while driving to work she had simply forgotten to drop her baby off at the daycare center.

Now, this is an extreme case of someone whose busy lifestyle killed a member of their family, but many other people are killing their families in less obvious ways. We have become a society of two-income households, longer work hours, farther commutes, more childcare, and less family time. People have bigger and bigger houses, two- to three-car garages filled with cars, a television in every room, name brand everything, but zero quality time with the family. Marriages are disintegrating, children are raising themselves, and households are suffering because people are losing sight of what is most important -- the family.

I realize that people have to work to survive, but what price are you willing to pay to "get ahead"? Who is going to be burned because you do not put your family's well-being first? And I am not speaking of those people who are scraping just to make ends meet. I am talking about the men and women who have bought into the mindset that more is better. I'm talking about the people who believe that they are not successful unless they drive a certain kind of car or own a home that is so many square feet. I am speaking to those of you who are single or divorced mothers and fathers who are so into doing your own thing that your sons and daughters barely have a parent.

Ask yourself these questions:

* Do your children spend more time with the TV than they do with you?

* Are you so tired after you have given so much of yourself at the office that you don't have anything left when you get home?

* Do you find yourself arguing with your spouse over the fact that you are at the office too much?

* Does your spouse play the role of mother and father because of your absence?

* Do you teach your children values and morals and Christian beliefs, or are you expecting them to learn that at school?

* Single parents, in your desire to still date and go out socially, do you leave your children with baby-sitters for extended periods of time or leave them at home alone?

* Are you getting more and more success materially, but drifting farther and farther away from the people who you are working so hard to provide for?

I believe that many people are sacrificing their families because of selfishness, greed, or just twisted priorities. We even convince ourselves that what we are doing is for the family, while all the while the family is being torn apart. And do you know what? Sadly, this is nothing new.

Back in biblical times, some people worshipped a false god named Molech or Moloch. This was a Semitic deity who was honored by the sacrifice of children, in which parents would cause their children to pass through or into the fire. People would let their infants burn at Molech's altar. It was thought that the sacrifice of one's child in this way would prove the family's devotion to Molech and guarantee success and prosperity for the family's future. People selfishly murdered their children under the guise of a future "greater good." Jeremiah 32:35, "And they built the high places of Ba'al, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin."

Today people do not lay their children before a false god on a burning altar of fire, but many people sacrifice their family in other ways. People get so wrapped up in trying to prove something to some company or get ahead and make money and climb the ladder of success that their family gets burned because of it. We have children becoming sexually active younger and younger because they are looking for love they are not getting at home. We have children joining gangs because that is the closest thing they can find that resembles a "family." You have kids with too much time on their hands delving into the occult because no parent was there to teach them about Jesus Christ. You have wives or husbands committing adultery because they spend more time with their coworkers than with their spouse.

I am sure that there has been many a person lying on their deathbed who realized too late what was most important. I don't think that a man or a woman's last words are ever, "If only I had spent a little more time at the office" or "I wish I could have bought just one more new car." But I'm sure that many have said in their final hour, "I wish I would have spent more time with my son, with my daughter, with my husband, with my wife."

I believe it was the multi-millionaire Rockefeller who was asked, "How much money does it take to make a person happy?" And his response was, "Just a little more." There is always going to be a bigger house out there or a newer car or some fancier clothes, or some function or event that you are invited to. You have to set your priorities and make your family the most important thing in your life. Sacrifice your career, not your kids.

As the old saying goes, "You can't take it with you." And we read in the Bible, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return" (Job 1:21b). Job understood that earthly gain and material wealth are temporary. I don't think I've ever seen a hearse pulling a U-haul trailer. The only things that are lasting are the things that you do for God and the impression you make in the lives of your children.

Stop being so busy with the things of this world. Don't believe the world's lie that you are not successful unless you have X, Y & Z. Make God number one and your family number two on your list of what is important to you and then live your life accordingly.

Matthew 5:19-21, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Psalm 127:1, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it."

There came a time when a king finally put an end to the sacrifice of children at Molech's altar. King Josiah destroyed all of the altars and high places that had been set up for this horrendous form of worship. I hope that you, too, will put an end to anything in your life that is forcing you to sacrifice your family.



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