Last week we talked about creating an environment in our home for ministry to take place. I truly believe the first place our kids should experience God's power and presence is in their home. It's our job as parents to create an environment where God can dwell and move in our family life. The question is "how do we accomplish this?" There are many ways to invite God's presence into your home, but in this short space, we will talk about two. I will cover one today and the second in part 3 next week.
The first thing that must be done in order to create an environment of ministry is to acknowlege the Lord at every opportunity. In other words....talk about Him A LOT! At the end of Joshua 24:15, Joshua declares, "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (NIV). Your children will know who is Lord in their home by who is given the most attention. In conversation, it should not be unusual for His name to be brought up. Questions like "I wonder what God would say about that?" or "How would Jesus handle that situation?"
We must give Him praise at every opportunity. Psalms 113:3 says "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised" (NIV). This verse is referring not only to when something great happens, but when something difficult is going on. Our kids need to see us calling on the Lord, praising His name, relying on His strength in ALL THINGS. The ongoing acknowlegement of God is critical to creating an environment where ministry can take place in your home. Your children need to know...Jesus is ALL this family needs....He is enough...in good times and hard times. They learn Jesus can handle anything that comes our family's way.
When our children are toddlers, we point out the greatness and wonder of God in a beautiful sky or a butterfly as it floats by. In the elementary years when our child is hurt by a unkind comment, we teach them Jesus' instruction to forgive and pray for those who hurt us. In junior high when our child comes home frustrated because math is too hard, we point them to their "Help in times of trouble", and pray with them for understanding. During the high school years, when our teenager is fighting to be strong in a culture totally against everything you are teaching, remind them they are not alone - that God is with them in every hard decision. We remind our college student of Jeremiah 29:11 as he is navagating his career choices and other important decisions. We bring God into EVERYTHING.
So, try it this week. Bring His name into your conversations...talk about what He might say in certain situations. Give God praise with your kids. Let your kids know who is Lord of your home! Next week we will talk about the power of prayer in our home. Come back and join us!
Last night I tripped climbing our two little wooden stairs that lead into the kitchen. I came down full force on both knees and as I did, the ceramic cereal bowl I was carrying careened across the floor splitting into a million pieces. Sean rushed up from the basement to find me bent over, holding both knees. He knew I was in pain and immediatly began to pray while putting his hands over mine. When he was done praying I eeked out the words "I think I'm going to need some ice." Elin came in and sat down next to me and asked if I was ok. I respond with a groan that my knees really hurt....she puts her arm around my shoulders and begins to pray out loud over me. It was so cool.
While I sat on the couch icing down my two knees I was very aware of the sweetness that had settled in my soul as my hubby and daughter took such tender care of me. They ministered to me. Ministry. We think of that word in regards to church and pastors and national ministries, but we don't tend to connect it with home. Ministry. What is it? It's caring for and "being" Jesus to others. It seems to me that "ministry" should be alive and well in our homes first. That makes sense doesn't it?
I think God loves when we as families are intentional about creating an environment of ministry in our homes. If the only time our kids hear about God and hear people pray is at church, they are missing what God is all about. On a daily basis, we as parents are called to live out our faith and love for Christ in front of our kids....inside the walls of our homes. We have to be intentional in getting across the point that God is not a God for Sundays only, but a God who wants real, live, thriving relationship with us everyday.
So how do we go about creating this environment of ministry? In my next blog I will be talking about two ways to go about accomplishing this critical and awesome task. I'm excited as I think of the wonderful ways God is going to touch you and your kids as you begin to create this culture in your home. I hope you will join me!