“God’s plan is a family plan!” -Cheezy isn’t it? But it is so true!
If I would have to picture God as a modern day Father, I would imagine him to be that Southern or Italian dad who loves to sit at the dinner table with his wife and kids. God LOVES family!
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba,’ Father” -Romans 8:15
God invited us into His family and we accepted that invitation once we accepted Him into our heart. The significance of God sending his one and only son down from Heaven to die for our sins and reconcile us to Him shows that God loves family. He created it, died for it, then recreated it- he is crazy about family!
[Let me make one thing clear before I get into this blog: I too, love my family! I have a great mom and dad. They have always backed me up in everything I do and have done such a good job of raising me. I also have two brothers and even though we argue and fight, they are some of the coolest and respectable guys out there! I am blessed to have such a loving family and I know that, I am truly so so thankful for them.]
On that note, let me be honest with you and say that for the past year I had grown bitter with my beautiful family. My parents got divorced last year and I never would have thought divorce to happen in my family. My whole family has also stopped going to church after I left for college to study ministry. My younger brother stopped going to youth group the summer I got home from college because our amazing youth pastor got fired. So here I am back at home, fired up for God and full heartedly pursuing my dreams in ministry…and I can’t even get my own family to come to church with me.
I started to grow bitter with my dad because he wasn’t the spiritual head of our family. I grew bitter with my mom because whenever I would share with her what God was teaching me, she never really knew how to respond. I was confused why my brother walked away from his faith on account of our youth pastor being fired. I didn’t get it! Why couldn’t my dad be the one sharing with me what he was reading in the Bible? Why couldn’t my mom pray with me? Why did my brother not show up to the small group that I was leading for his grade? Out of all places I had to be a spiritual leader, my house had now become one too?
Until this morning I couldn’t accept all of that. Until this morning, I didn’t even realize I felt any of this. Until this morning I have been a whiny Christian who wouldn’t take responsibility for her own family.Until this morning, I thought only dads were allowed to call shots on the verse in Joshua 24 that says, “but as for ME and MY household, we will serve the Lord!” It wasn’t until this morning that I declared it over my family.
Who am I to lord it over my dad’s head that he is not spiritually leading my family? It is not because he won’t, it’s because he can’t. Romans 8. My dad hasn’t experienced what I have experienced, he hasn’t been where I have been, he hasn’t learned what I have learned about the Spirit of God. My dad was raised in a culture where no one even acknowledged God. How could I ever expect him to create a culture within our family that honors God? He doesn’t know how!
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. -Hebrews 11:7 Noah’s family would have been left behind if Noah didn’t take the effort to build the ark. Build an ark for your family; in setting an example, in serving, in your prayer life, in encouraging, etc.
I tell the kids in my small group to take ownership of their schools, I tell leaders at youth to take ownership of their small groups, and I can’t even take ownership of my own family? I am done dreaming about what my family will one day look like while allowing my current family to fall apart. “As for me and MY household, we will serve the Lord!” -Joshua 24:15
If your family never brought you to God, bring them to God. May we love Christ so much that we take ownership of our family, no matter what our role is. God’s plan really is a family plan, even if your dad’s not paying the bill.