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.

God’s Sovereignty v’s Our Kids Free Will

Who's in control

Who saves our kids – God or us? On the surface, there is really only one answer – God.

Underneath, however, there still lies a tension for most Christian parents. That tension goes something like this,

“I understand that God is sovereign and calls His elect into relationship with Him, made possible only through Jesus death and resurrection. I cannot save my kids. I want them to be saved, I pray for God’s mercy to be revealed to them, but I know it will not ultimately be up to my efforts. Does this mean I do nothing? If I leave my children to their free will I know they will choose for themselves every time. How will they ever know of Christ’s mercies if I do not tell them and lead them towards knowing God and being in a restored relationship with him? I have to do something!”

It comes down to an understanding of God’s sovereignty v’s free will. I found these words (and article) helpful:

So if you’re tempted to say that your choices don’t really matter because God’s in control, you’re ignoring that God is at work even in our choices. And if you’re tempted to be overwhelmed at the weight of human responsibility, remember, you’re not a demi-god whose autonomy extends beyond God’s will. He’s still in charge.

Derek Rishmawy in “God Doesn’t Play Soccer With You

Glorify God by doing what you know pleases Him and keep praying for His mercy to be revealed to them in His good time.