I once heard a youth pastor say, “The reason you don’t hear pastors preaching about the importance of family is because we ourselves are not doing family very well.”
Let that sink in for a moment. Has this been true of your experience?
This post isn’t to bash the church. If you count yourself as one redeemed and called by Christ, you are a part of the church—His Bride. This post is to simply ask a question, “Are families still important to the church?” What evidence is there to support that churches still value parents as the spiritual guide—#1 pastor—in their children’s lives?
How does your church support you as a parent? What resources do they offer to equip you to pray over and disciple your children each day?
Look, I know it’s really easy for me to get on my soap box to vent about all that I believe is wrong about society and culture. Unfortunately, my soap box just happens to be next to a mirror and I often trip on my way up.
Let me keep this simple: If I truly want to see a revival that impacts our society, it has to start with me. It has to start in my home. What if I could shepherd and serve my family in such a way that my home was fertile soil for a revival of His Spirit in my home?
What is revival? Very simply it is to “restore to life” or “to make operative or valid again.” Sounds like something my family and marriage could use; what about yours?
Here are some thoughts about having “revival” in your home:
- Studies have shown that families who are intentional in telling the intergenerational stories of their family have children who are more emotionally resilient and healthy. Think about this spiritually. When was the last time your children heard your testimony? Have you talked about all the emotions and feelings you had the day you made your marriage vows? When kids hear that family life is worth pursuing, no matter the ups or downs, they understand that they have worth and value. They begin to see their part in a bigger story.
- Are you praying and reading God’s Word together as a family? This is such an important, but sometimes the most neglected, aspect of family life. There are some amazing devotionals out there for families that really take the guesswork out of what to read and what questions to ask. I know some families that read a Psalm during dinner or bedtime. The other day at dinner, I showed a video on Facebook of someone reciting Psalm 66:10-12: “For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” The more you engage with the Word of God the more it becomes relevant in your day to day. (Did you notice how it related to the first one?) As we dig into the Word of God and share our stories of God’s faithfulness in our own journeys, don’t be surprised if God shows up in amazing ways. This is another example of something our family does.
- Whatever you believe about life will be passed on to your children and grandchildren. They will grow up either accepting or rejecting the truths that you have passed on to them. My son and I were on our way to the store and he asked me a very personal question because of an observation he made. I confessed my fear of failing, how God was “stretching me,” and how I needed to trust Him in this process. I then asked him, “What do you think I should do?” He said, “Do your best and trust God.” I couldn’t have said it any better, but I also know my son is a lot like me and struggles with the same things.
- An open heart is the key ingredient in making sure our home is the right environment for revival. Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love Me?” It opened the door for repentance and Peter was commissioned to fulfill his calling. The same is true for us. Jesus asks us as parents, “Do you love Me?” We are told to “love Him with all of our hearts, minds, and strength and then impress these things on our children.” You cannot impress what you don’t have.
Truthfully, I cannot answer the question, “Are families still important to the church?” I know God designed them to be. But this I do know—If you long for revival don’t wait for your church to make it happen. Jesus asks you, “Do you love Me?” If you do, “then feed His sheep” that are living within the four walls of your home. This is where faith is truly passed down through the generations. Imagine how vibrant our churches would be if that occurred.
This post originally appeared on Dad Matters and was republished with permission.
- Real Men - July 8, 2014
- Are Families Still Important to the Church? - April 8, 2014
Great read! Thanks for the reminder that taking time to put God first in the lives of your kids will have lasting rewards! Being a mom of a large family I find that there is never enough time in the day!
So true! As a PK I can attest that pastors need to be encouraged to lead their families well – just like everyone else.
Great article , I truly believe that families are still very important to the church, both my girls are alter servers and my wife an I are both Eucharistic ministers, we also help run the youth group.