What’s your family identity?

My Family

Not necessarily the family identity you’re trying to create, but how others see you.

Let me explain: Do you know a family that you consider the ‘sporty’ family? They’ve always got new sports shoes, athletic figures and attired with representative uniforms. Or maybe the ‘outdoor’ family. They’re often off camping, the kids have backpacks with a zillion zippers and the family 4WD is always dirty from the last off road trip?
There is nothing necessarily good or bad about these identities, they’re just examples of how interests and passions can become a family’s identity, whether intentional or not.
Other identities I can think of are the ‘gaming’ family, the ‘Eco’ family, the ‘nerd’ family, the ‘footy’ family and the ‘beach’ family. I’m sure you can think of others.

Some families will be intentional about how they’re perceived, others are given a family identity by what is observed of them.

What do you think is your family identity?
What do others observe to be your interests and passions?
Is it different to the identity you want to exude?

As Christians, we have been given a family identity:

Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:10 NIV)

With this identity in Christ, having received mercy, we can still enjoy video games, the outdoors, the beach, be passionate about the environment and ….. nerdy things* ….. but let’s be more passionate about sharing Jesus. Let’s be intentional about creating a family identity that is on about Jesus.

Let your identity be in Christ,
be passionate about proclaiming Him to the nations,
then enjoy the good gifts He gives us.

 * This is not a derogatory term, rather an endearing term I associate with a family who knows of God’s mercy and proclaims His salvation through Christ (all of them, even the kids at school), they just also happen to be a family of self-professed nerds.

 


Do you find these posts helpful in parenting to the Glory of God?
If you do, then I’m sure others would too. 

Please SHARE these posts, and in doing so pray for a generation of kids
who have had the gospel of Jesus modelled to them by their parents.

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Soft reasons for skipping church – A LIST

Pick up the phone While I avoided listing anything in my last post to protect from legalism, I have been emboldened to create one. The last post looked at cutting out SOFT reasons for missing church. Here’s my list ….

  1. When you become aware that people you have a relationship with are not at church, make a list (mental or otherwise) of who they are.
  2. Make contact with them and ask about their welfare. It is nice they are missed and there could well be legitimate reasons they were not there. By lovingly enquiring into their lives you could well discover there are needs you can meet. Entertaining their children while sick parents recover from illness? Dropping a meal around? Feeding their pets because they’ve had to make an urgent out-of-town visit to a critically ill friend/relative? Visit them in hospital because they were involved in a car accident on the way to church? Who knows unless someone enquires? “Someone” doesn’t go to their church, but you do – you can be the friend who enquires.
  3. By making such enquiries you might become aware that soft excuses are entering into your friend’s life. Write down a few dates and reasons given. See if there is any patterns developing.
  4. Take the ‘log’ out of your own eye (Matt 7). Self-audit the times you have missed church lately. Were they for selfish reasons? Seek forgiveness and repentance if necessary.
  5. Pray.
  6. Be a friend – arrange to meet with your friend and raise the concerns you have, concerns you have for them. Seek to encourage them in their relationship with God. (Encouraging includes wanting what is good for them, not just what is nice for them to hear.)
  7. Listen without judgement. Never stop loving them. Don’t make it a personal crusade to get them back to church.
  8. Show them you are delighted to see them back at church – not because they are doing the right thing, but because you know it is a good thing for them to be gathering with God’s people, around God’s Word, to the glory of Him who saved us by mercy through Jesus Christ (Titus 3:5).

What does this list have to do with parenting? Not only is loving each other sincerely what Paul urges us to do (Rom 12), but we can involve our kids and show them what this looks like. In the car on the way home a conversation could easily go, “Did you notice any of your friends missing today? I think they’d appreciate a call, don’t you? How about you do that after lunch and see if they are okay.”

Not the list you were expecting? I think you know why I didn’t do that list. Jesus desires ‘mercy, not sacrifice’ (Matt 12).


Do you find these posts helpful in parenting to the Glory of God? If you do, then I’m sure others would too. 

Please SHARE these posts with a prayer for a generation of kids who have had this modelled for them by their parents.

Cutting out the SOFT reasons for missing church

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There will always be legitimate reasons for missing church, especially for families – sickness, travelling for weddings/funerals, family holidays, etc.

However, the selfish desires of the flesh and lies of Satan will convince us that SOFT reasons for missing church are legitimate reasons for missing church. If left unchecked, this process of giving in to temptation can have a generational effect on making the act of church (meeting together as God’s elect for instruction, worship, encouragement and service) less than #1. That’s sin in our lives and is opening sin into the lives of our children.

My temptation was to list off the SOFT excuses I have made over the years, but you know what they are. You know the times you would have trouble looking into God’s eyes and telling of the time you chose something else over meeting with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Compare these two examples,

“My parents showed me the importance and privilege of meeting as a body of Christ because there had to be a good reason for us to miss it. Even on holidays we met with other Christians, sang with them and encouraged each other in living for Him and telling of His saving grace. “

“I went along to church with my parents, but if there was a better offer we’d go to that instead. They are Christian, but didn’t really get involved in church. I stopped going when I was old enough to stay home by myself and don’t really see the point in it now, it’s their thing, not mine.”

I would hate for my laziness and/or selfishness to result in any of my children spending an eternity separated from God.

#1 some of the time is not #1 at all.