One of the teachings in our “Relationships Restored” series was on the responsibility of Knowing, Living and Sharing God’s Story with our family. If you weren’t able to hear that message, you can find it on the Sermons section of our website.
The teaching part was essentially a coaching message, like “let’s get out there and win this one!” My hope was to stir of a sense of the priority and passion for engaging family ministry. After that morning, I had a number of parents, and some grandparents, say that they were encouraged to step up their commitment to bringing their kids into the Word and encouraging spiritual conversations. I thank God that He can use my story to bring encouragement to His people.
I confess: my kids are young and I’m just a regular dad myself, so I can’t pretend to have all the answers, but I’d like to offer some practical ideas for taking the first steps in family discipleship. But I’d like to frame this advice by using this a key passage in Deuteronomy that I’ll work over the next few posts:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”(Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
Hear O Israel: First, we need to be attentive to the Lord’s voice. Way too often, we can get an idea in our head of how we can “get right with God” and so we start to run with it in our own strength. This more often leads to frustration and failure.
It’s like when my boys opened one of their first boxes of Legos. They saw the picture on the box, tore open the plastic bags and started building with whatever pieces they saw would fit together. They were having fun and managed to make some progress on some of the smaller components, but they got frustrated. Parts were getting stuck together and some were falling off the table. They stopped having fun and realized that maybe looking at the instructions would be helpful. (Insert one of those “knowing” Dad smiles here.)
As parents and children of God, we have to willing to let the Holy Spirit take the lead in directing our efforts to disciple our family. Every fruitful effort to Share the Story, to evangelize or disciple begins and ends in prayer.
I say “as you begin,” because God uses a willing and obedient spirit. If we say we’ll pray before we move, we might not ever start moving at all.
Remember that God’s voice can be heard in prayer (if you’re especially sensitive to the Spirit), by His Word (read the Bible and listen for God’s voice in scripture) and through His people (ask friends for wisdom and accountability in this—in other words, Share your Story with others around you).
How often are you praying for the spiritual welfare of your family?
If you’re married, are you and your spouse praying together about your family’s salvation and purpose in the Lord?
Are you wanting to grow in this area? How can we as a church help you?