There is nothing I love more than spending time with my family. Sure, I could go without some of the sleepless nights and all the shenanigans that accompany a family of five, but I honestly wouldn’t trade it for the world. There truly isn’t a dull moment in our home, and for those of you who know us, you know we do life pretty loud. I prefer the word fun, but loud is probably more fitting for our home. I had someone ask me the other day how Renea and I had it “all together.” I laughed. On our very best day, we struggle and fail. In fact, I’m pretty sure if you looked up “dysfunctional” in the dictionary you would see our family picture. I’m just thankful for God’s grace, patience, and unconditional love!
While marriage and families are gifts from God, we must recognize when those gifts become more important than the giver. I am guilty as charged. It is so easy to get wrapped up with marriage, family, and life in general that we place our relationship with Christ on the back burner. You see, that’s what happened in my life not so long ago. As we began to have children, I quickly began to think of how I wanted the absolute best for them. I practically placed my marriage and our children in somewhat of a bubble and was intent on making sure everyone was comfortable and provided for at all cost. I wanted to make sure they had the best clothes, the best friends, the best opportunities in sports…the list goes on and on. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the best for your children, we must not forget to ask ourselves, “What am I teaching my children about following Jesus?”
We must understand that our service to Christ doesn’t end when we get married and have children. It doesn’t end when life seemingly moves in fast forward. Somehow we as parents have bought into the idea that our relationship with Christ will take care of itself while we worry about our marriage and children. Do you realize that worrying so much about ourselves, our marriages, and our children is causing us to miss out on the life that Christ has in store for us? Not only are we missing out on life, but we are turning away our children by the droves because our Christian lives are not the adventure that they read about in the Bible, and they are not experiencing the awesome power of Christ. Unfortunately, their experience is like a Christian version of the American dream that’s watered down, and we as parents are ok making excuses for them and idolizing our families rather than really putting Christ first in all that we do.
Statistics tell us that over 80% of high school seniors never make it back to church once they graduate. How are we losing so many of our children and teenagers? Maybe it’s because they’ve never seen what an awesome adventure it is to truly follow Jesus. They’ve never seen God come through for them in an amazing way because they’ve never had to trust God for anything due to us spoiling them to death. When is the last time you and your family had an answered prayer? I mean one of those prayers that you stood back and said, “Wow, what an amazing God!” In other words, as long as we are happy in our comfortable bubbles, how is God ever going to show how awesome, powerful, and faithful He is to your family? I want my boys to have personal experiences of seeing God do God size things in only God-sized fashion so that they want Jesus…that they crave Jesus….and want to share Jesus. I want Jesus to be more to them than just someone they hear about on Sunday. I want Jesus to be personal to them!
When is the last time you took a risk for the Lord? How are you showing your kids to walk by faith and not by sight? What kind of Jesus are you presenting to your family? What are your priorities as a family… does He take precedence in your home or is He simply someone who will be there when nothing else is going on? I encourage you as parents to evaluate how you’re leading your children. I want to see a generation rise up that loves the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind. May we lift one another up in prayer as we battle together to raise up warriors for Christ who are bold in their faith and can tell others about the mighty acts of God that they experienced. May we as parents live our lives in such a way that our children crave the same Jesus that has proven Himself to us time and time again.
Praying for you always,