Revive My Family
If I may start by being transparent. God has used both marriage, and having children, to draw out just how selfish I am. I mean, I knew I was a sinner in desperate need of God’s grace but wow, could I really be that selfish? The answer sadly is a resounding “yes!” Having a spouse and kids changes everything, and it tends to expose everything. Our natural tendency is that when things are exposed we beat ourselves up. There were many nights I went to bed thinking I was a bad husband or a bad parent for letting my selfishness drive my decision making. If you're like me, this sort of beating yourself up doesn’t lead to change, it just makes everything worse. The reality is, I should not let my selfishness drive my decisions, the other reality is, I’m not perfect, I am a work in progress. When it comes to reviving our family life, it first starts with submitting ourselves to Jesus. This sounds over simplified but we all know it’s not as simple as it sounds. Philippians 2:3-5 states; “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” When it comes to reviving our families, we must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. We must surrender our lives to Him first, and regard the interests of our spouse and kids as more important than our own.
I am a husband so I want to speak to the husbands that are reading this though it can easily be applied to wives. A.W. Tozer stated; “I believe spiritual ministry flows out of a heart that has been in the presence of God. When we come into His presence, we begin to take on a ministry that can come from nowhere else.” How intentional are you when it comes to being in the presence of God? Do you make quiet time with the Lord and reading His word a priority? Do you make sure that you regularly attend church with your family, and do life with other believers as a family? Do we make time for family Bible reading or devotional? I don’t share this to brag, I simply share it because it is what I need to do. I learned early on in parenthood, that if I want to have any quiet time with God, I need to get up before everyone else, so I do. It’s obvious to me when I don’t get this time. When I choose sleep over reading and praying, I feel it. We must be filled up in order to pour out. If we want revival in our families, it starts with us. Our families are our first ministry. We are to disciple our family, and we can only do that if we ourselves are submitted to Jesus, having spent time in the presence of God, and are being discipled.
When I find myself making my walk with Jesus a priority, I also find my selfishness lessens. I am more attentive to my family's needs, and I no longer see them as an inconvenience getting in the way of what I want to do (which could be simply sitting down after a long day). We are all in desperate need of Jesus and our family needs to see us fighting the good fight, surrendering to Jesus, and pouring out our lives for them. I have not arrived, I am still very much learning and growing. Instead of beating myself up when God uses my wife and kids to expose an issue I have, I rejoice and thank God that He loves me enough to show me. We all fall short, yet God is rich in mercy, and He is good to show us in His word what needs to go so that we may correct it. Instead of beating yourself up, recognize your need for Jesus and make spending time with Him a priority, even if it means you need to get up early. May we see revival in our own lives, and may that revival bleed into our families, remembering it is only by the grace of God we go.
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