Posted in Children, Christian Family Devotions, Fostering Godly Character, Growing Up Together, Parents, Seeds of Faith, Uncategorized

Centered

“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give to you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Header ImageJesus is to be the center of marriage, home and family. But is He? What does a life and a family life centered on Jesus look like? Sound like? Feel like?

According to the Shema [Deuteronomy 6:4-9], we are individually centered on God when we understand who the person of God is and love Him with everything about us. Our whole heart–intellect, will and emotion–our soul–that which is eternal about us–and our strength–everything our physical body does. We demonstrate this love by keeping His commands, His Word on our hearts. And by nature, from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks [Luke 6:45]. So if His Word is on our hearts, then we will speak into life from His Word.

Our marriage, home and family are centered on God when we pass this same understanding and love for God onto our children, so that they too may know Him personally and find eternal life. This transmission of faith happens through regular discussion–when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up–as well as through media consumption–tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads; write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

In our family, we’ve done a good job speaking to God’s creation vs. evolutionary ideas whenever they surface on TV, in books, and even on family vacations to national parks. Our kids understand the biblical viewpoint. They tell us what’s wrong with what we’re seeing/hearing/reading before we even say anything these days. But there are other elements of faith and life that I see we have lacked vigilance in. Things that our children fall right in step with the world on that we never even mentioned in their growing up.

The beauty about grace though, is that it’s not too late. We can revise life to center it more on Jesus when we see where we’ve missed the mark.

Is your family Jesus centered? What aspects of life do you need to revise to keep Jesus at the very center of your life and home?

Posted in Children, Christian Family Devotions, Fostering Godly Character, Parents, Seeds of Faith, Uncategorized

Holy.

Image result for NativityChristmas Eve. Shopping finished. Presents wrapped. Eating with family. Choir singing.

But oh yeah, we forgot the Holy part.

Christmas morning. Read the Christmas story from Luke and Matthew. Opened presents next to the Little People nativity. Kept gifts simple and practical. Kids said thank you. Went to church. More eating with family.

But oh yeah, we still forgot the Holy part.

The message throbbed persistently the whole drive home after the candlelight service and throughout the next morning.

Holy. Set apart for God. Nothing else taking our time and attention.

Except the shopping, wrapping and gift giving did. Except the shopping, food prepping and eating did. Except the Christmas special and football game watching, and board games did too.

All the while God knocked patiently at my heart, beckoning in that still small voice, “Remember to keep it holy. Remember to leave room for me [God].”

But like so many Sabbath rests, we kept Christmas American instead.

Yet as deep cries out to deep, my soul longs to make the time as a family to keep a holy Sabbath rest. Leaving room for God not for His sake, but our own–as He designed it–and to keep His remembrances, feast days, and other holy days [aka holidays] set apart to Him as well.

“God forbid that I find you so familiar that I think of You as less than who You are,” sings Point of Grace.

“God forbid,” that I forsake Your holiness in my family life, echoes my heart and soul.