I have always had a heart to see families succeed. I am a believer that if we are to maximize our potential for Christ, we need to have a strong family that builds each other up and encourages each other in the Lord. I think, across the board, a breakdown in families results in other kinds of evils. To reach this next generation, we must have strong disciple-making families.
I have been blessed to see my grandparents married for over 65 years and other Godly mentors that make marriage and family a priority. I am writing this to share some of the things that my wife, Christin, and I do to that makes a difference in our family. My wife and I me up with an acrostic for FAMILY that will develop this concept.
F - First God
Today I will start with F- First God. This is nothing new. It comes from one of my favorite verses in the Bible: Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” One of our common mistakes is to put family first. I believe God is telling us to seek Him first and do everything else, including family, out of the overflow of our relationship with Christ.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am a firm believer in the importance of family. I stick by the scripture 1 Timothy 5:8, “If anyone doesn’t provide for his relatives and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Those are strong words given to us by our Lord. Families and children have always been close to the heart of the Lord. If you have a chance, look at the words God gave Moses to tell Hebrew families before going into the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
Christin and I are busy a lot like the rest of you with jobs, four children, sports…and I could go on. So I don’t want to say this without leaving some practical steps that we do to make First God happen in our family.
Model the Life of Christ
We must be the ones that model God first in all that we do for it to stick with our kids. The first thing my wife and I do when we wake up every morning is set aside 30 minutes to an hour spending one-on-one time with God. We make Church and Small Group (environments of spiritual growth) a priority. Children see these things. A lot more is caught than taught, and children can spot a fake.
If we are not involved in making disciples, we are missing our true calling in Christ. I view my wife and kids as my number one disciples. Christin and I both are the lead faith trainers of our children.
Ask Tough Questions
We continuously ask ourselves tough questions. How is your time with God? How are we serving each other, our children, and others? Are we leading with zeal and enthusiasm? Am I putting anything before the Lord? Am I being spirit-controlled or self-controlled? These are just some of the questions. Often it is not the question itself, but the conversation that sharpens us.
I ask the Lord if I put anything before Him. Some common things that compete with God are phones, money, kids, education, relationships and hobbies. Pray through these things. God is faithful. He will reveal if you are putting anything before Him if you humbly ask.
Could you imagine what would happen if we became disciple-making families that put God first? I know neighborhoods and entire communities would be changed. Do not underestimate what God can do through your family if you put Him first. He used 12 to change the world.
To put Family First you have to put God First.
Check out Justin’s next post to read FAMILY (Part 2).