We Do Family Different: Love

Love never fails. It is one of the most simple and profound truths of life. Love existed before man and it will continue to exist after the earth has passed away. Of course this is God’s Love. Eternal and unchanging just like He is. This Love that never fails is free of human imperfections and cannot be corrupted, twisted or manipulated for personal gain. It is however, the foundation and framework God establishes all of our relationships in, especially family.

We use 1 Corinthians 13 in a lot in wedding invitations, showers and presents and I cannot fathom a more appropriate place for it, but it should not be relegated only to that place. In truth, it really should be a gift given at all baby showers and births because Love is the ultimate foundation for parenthood and family.

My husband and I have five amazing kids that span a total of 3 years. God rocked our worlds as He baptized us into parenthood. It is a refining fire. Reading 1 Corinthians 13 never fails to bring their faces to mind as I fix my mind on these verses. Not only because I struggle to put aside my own selfishness (yes, I did just scream at my kids while writing these very words), but because as their mom I am called to walk them through the process of setting their own selfish pursuits aside and learning to live this Love as well. Family is where we learn to love as God loves us: “while we were yet sinners.”

This is the Love we celebrate on Valentine’s Day! Here is a day to celebrate the enduring love of God.

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and pray Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8

Father, help me love my family as you have loved us: “in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Teach this family to love each other through our brokenness and imperfection.

We Do Family Different: Choosing a New Foundation

Before you do an overhaul on your family foundation, it is important to understand the meaning of Faith, Hope and Love: why they exist beyond all else, how they feed into each other and why it is imperative to foster these three into the foundation of your family. First, Faith is a longing, a knowing. Faith is an intrinsic, driving force by the unseen that results in action. Faith is what propels us forward into the fight and it is tightly bonded to hope.

Because we were made for a world without brokenness, without violence, without sickness, without death, there is an intense yearning for something better. That “something better” is our Hope. Faith drives us forward to find our Hope.

Love ensures we find it. God’s love makes the way. God’s love reveals the Hope. God’s love establishes our Faith. God’s love is the realization of our Faith and our Hope. This is why Love binds the three together and is the greatest of these. God’s Love partners with Faith and Hope to drive us forward through life and grant us access to that which lasts far beyond.  These three combine to create an during foundation for family.

Read Hebrews 11 and pray Romans 5:1-5.

Romans 5:1-2, 5 ICB

Father, lead this family to be “made right with [You] because of our faith. So we have peace with [You] through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through our faith, Christ has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the Hope we have of sharing God’s glory… And this hope will never disappoint us, because [You have] poured out [Your] love to fill our hearts. [You] gave us [Your] love through the Holy Spirit, whom [You have] given to us.”

We Do Family Different: Faith, Hope and Love

When we build our families upon Christ, we source our energy from His enduring faith, hope and love. They become the motivation for which we live and bind together.  While every member may not yet walk with the Lord, he or she will be equipped with the knowledge and ability to endure the storms of life. Faith, Hope and Love are not religious philosophies a family embraces. Faith, Hope and Love are the energy, the wellspring of life that spurs us forward. Faith, Hope and Love are the difference between a family living and family living well.

“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I [Jesus] came that [you] may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Jesus offers a very specific heavenly focused faith, hope and love. The three are timeless because they originate from a place where there is no time, only eternity.

We Do Family Different: Role of a Parent

Welcome to our new series on Family! Over the next several weeks we will be diving into God’s amazing Word on what it looks like to raise a family God’s way. To make sure you do not miss out follow our blog and share it with friends who would love it too!

Role of a Parent

God assigned parents the unique responsibility of determining the focus and priorities of the family. Parents get to decide where the family energy comes from, what that energy flows to and for what purpose. Parents are the gatekeepers of family activities, schedules, plans, and attitudes. As such, the parent is in a position to shape the future strength of the family bond. If your desire is to create a family with a strong bond able to endure the messiness of life, then your perspective needs to be focused on that which endures and your family energy used for that purpose.

Nearly all the things we commit our time and energy to fade away with this life. There are, however, three exceptions to this rule – Faith, Hope, Love – and as parents we can shift our family focus to activities that support and foster these three enduring qualities. Using God’s family as a model, which is the greatest blended and enduring family on earth, we too can build our families upon the same foundation using the same pillars.

Read Matthew 6:19-21 and pray that your family’s energy and time would be spent pursuing activities that are focused on that which endures beyond this life, binding your family together in Jesus Christ.

We Do Family Different: A Lasting Foundation

Welcome to our new series on Family! Over the next several weeks we will be diving into God’s amazing Word on what it looks like to raise a family God’s way. To make sure you do not miss out follow our blog and share it with friends who would love it too!

A Lasting Foundation

Despite our family failures and weaknesses God equips us with the things that endure beyond our brokenness binding us together in His name. While each family member is responsible for his or her own actions and choices, we can give our families the tools to succeed that God has equipped us with. As a parent you can build, or rebuild your family foundation on Christ aligning it with His three enduring pillars: Faith, Hope and Love. Do not underestimate them. Just because you see them on couch pillows and wall decor does not remove their enduring power to change the course of a family.

Start by praying today’s prayer of 1 Corinthians 13:13 over your family.

Reconciled to Joy

Sin separates us from the all-loving Eternal One. Earthly joy and love are but a mockery in our separation. But in Jesus Christ what was once an irreparable division between the Holy and the Fallen, is now reconciled. Joy denied is now overflowing and bubbling forth from a well of life deep within.

There is such joy to be had in this reconciliation. To be in His presence. To worship at His feet. To soak in His Word. To hear His voice. To accomplish the purposes He has ordained. To experience the love He offers while we are yet sinners.

Where is your joy? Do you lift others up or begrudge those who welcome the new day with a smile? Are you wearing a smile or scowl in candid photos taken? Does the Lord seem near or silent?

Spend time in the Presence of God. Real, scheduled, intentional time. Be reconciled to the One so full of love and grace.

Be present with those He has surrounded you with, not preoccupied and annoyed at every interruption.

If you find yourself reeling from a life that has beaten you down, perhaps you need to surrender your heart to God allowing Him to heal and restore your relationship with Him and others.

Whatever you decide to do, it is the Joy of the Lord that is your strength. Joy empowers you to endure. It is an identifiable characteristic of God’s family members. There is much joy to be found in your reconciliation to Him.

Discernment

So much to wrestle with and discern. Where to begin? The presence of God. Taking the time to soak in His presence brings perspective to that which we wrestle with.

Hope or Hopeless?

Did you know the Hebrew word for hope literally means a rope? A lifeline in the turbulent sea of life. God gave us hope in Him to carry us through the heartache and heartbreak, a rope to grasp onto as we fix our eyes on His faithfulness.

Yet, what do we say most often? “I do not want to get my hopes up.” Or, “Well, I do not want to jinx it.” We dare not hope because we want to protect our hearts. Disappointments will come regardless. In fact, the very reason God gives us Hope is to preserve us from defeat, to see us through those dark times. Hope is the joy set before us to endure. As the world and all it’s worries fade away, Hope is one of three that remains.

Hope

The One who calls things that are not as though they are. The One who calls the dead to life. The One who heals freely and joyfully. The One with a future and a plan. He is my portion. He is my strength.

We are beginning a mini-series on Hope. With suicides on the rise, both within the Church and without, there is a hunger for hope in our culture.

Humility

Pride takes credit for the hours spent in prayer, the number of verses highlighted, the volumes of notes written in the margins, bible studies led and attended, the teams you serve on. Careful, Pride. Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of your faith. All those accomplishments began first not in your thoughts, but in the heart of God.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10