Friday, September 5, 2008

7 Ways the Lord Blesses a Family Centered on Him

I came a across the blog, "The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take - Empowering Christian Parents to be Missionaries in Their Own Home," by blog author Deb Burton. She posted a great article on "7 Ways the Lord Blesses a Family Centered on Him" that I thought was very fitting for Blessings From Above.

The following is the post written by Deb Burton. Visit her blog when you can the chance to read more of her content and say hello to her.

7 Ways the Lord Blesses a Family Centered on Him by Deb Burton
Is there really that much difference between families who make God their focus and those who faithfully, but only, attend church and church-related activities? The whole focus here at TGMT is to get families into reading the Bible together, discussing God and His truths on a daily basis, and, in short, making much of God in everything our families do. Does it really produce any tangible results?

I can tell you hands down that the one thing God blesses a family with that is focused on worshipping and serving Him - as a family - is JOY. My experience is that this joy is proportionate to two things:

the obedience of the parents to teach their children about God;
the willingness of children, as they get older, to follow in their parent’s footsteps.

How Does The Lord Bless This Kind Of Family?

1. By making little everyday things special. I’m willing to bet that I experience more than my fair share of those heart swelling moments than the average parent: watching my family interact with each other, observing a child practice diligence through trial, welcoming my husband home after he’s been gone for a week. I think it’s probably almost unfair to others that I’ve been blessed with this much joy.

2. By transforming the family’s attitude toward serving each other. Many families will claim to do anything for their loved ones, but in fact spend a great deal of time focused on their own personal interests. The norm is to conveniently find an excuse not to lift a finger when someone asks for help. But a family focused on God learns self-sacrifice and helps each other, even if it’s inconvenient to do so. It’s a task to teach cheerful giving sometimes, but Matthew 21:28-31 plays out over and over again in families focused on the Lord.

3. By being able to laugh in the midst of trial. While challenges often produce tension in the household, those families with Jesus as Lord are able to find things to laugh about to help ward off the edge. When I was diagnosed with lupus in 2000, the simplest of things were fatiguing and painful to do. My oldest son, then fresh with his driver’s license, took over the task of grocery shopping. He did very well, but in his quest to follow in my frugal footsteps he made some purchases that I’m afraid even the dog turned his nose up at. Nonetheless, it gave us all something else to think about other than mom being sick.

4. By developing a 20/20 hindsight that smiles. When we’re in the middle of questionable circumstances, it’s hard to fathom the good that can come of it. Sometimes even the anticipation of something is enough to produce worry and disquiet. Knowing that God reigns supreme over our family helps us stick together, and when we make it to the other side, enables us to see more clearly His hand in the situation. That’s a joy that strengthens the family for when the next onslaught comes.

5. By finding humor in life’s nuances. Our family enjoys reading the funny anecdotes submitted to Reader’s Digest. I often wonder how people are able to remember those funny intricacies of life, but the truth is, they’re all around us. The joy of a God-focused family can be found in the good-natured teasing, creative imagination and wide-eyed studying of the world around us by our family members.

6. By endowing certain family members with the gift of drawing smiles and laughs. Everyone in my family has this ability, using it at different times. One recent Sunday morning before church, a time which can often be hectic and even irritating to get out the door on time, my oldest son, home from college, launched into a game of twenty questions. Only they weren’t your usual questions. What color are you? What animal would you be? What soda are you? What country would you be? The questions got us thinking, and before long, as we were pulling into the church parking lot, we were laughing at the absurdity of some of our answers. It was a great way to start worship that morning.

7. By enjoying each other’s company. I know a lot of parents who feel they need a constant break from the stresses of parenting. I can honestly say my husband and I have never felt that way. We enjoy the company of our children. It’s a running joke that we’ll plan a special date for the two of us, and one of us inevitably will ask the question, “Wanna bring the kids?” Families who are Christ-centered enjoy time together and can think of no better way of spending time than with each other.

Is there a lot of difference between Christ-centered families and those who regularly, but only, attend church? I say, yes. The family dynamics show obvious differences and can be seen even in church on Sunday morning. See if you don’t notice them yourself.

Deb's advice is great don't you think? I know when I have children I am going to keep it in mind! I hope you'll give it a try too.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

1 comment:

Gigi said...

GREAT post Denise!! My Sweet Hubby and I are empty nesters now - but there is still lots of truth here for us...JOY - yes!! Great joy!