When you hear the term “devoted family” what comes to mind?
Do you picture caring people, considerate of family members and “devoted” to God?
Does your family reflect this image?
The Old Testament teaches that the Creator of the wonder-filled universe purposefully designed marriage and the family.
In Genesis (8:20) Noah led his family in worship, and Abraham (Genesis 18:19) taught his household the “way of the LORD.” Joshua (24:15) spoke of his family’s devotion to God’s service.
Psalm 78:1-7 declares the importance and purpose of teaching children the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD. In New Testament times, Paul went “from house to house”(Acts 20:20) teaching and baptizing families. Even Jesus was raised in a family where he “grew in wisdom and stature (in mind and body) and in favor with God (spiritually) and man (in relationships).” (Luke 2:52).
Reformer Martin Luther recognized the family as a vocation in which each member has its divinely ordained calling.
The Lord designed the family unit to be a loving, need-fulfillment center. The healthy Christian home is the ideal haven to learn the indispensable traits of repentance, forgiveness, justice, grace, trust, intimacy, communication, evangelism (Gospel-sharing), and the establishment of individual and interdependent purposes. A faith-filled family strives to imitate the heavenly Father’s commitment to his adopted children. (I John 3:1).
The interdependent functions of a Christian family serve as a model for the local congregation, and also the whole Church in the Body of Christ. The same Spirit-fruits (Galatians 5:22) are blessings to be pursued in each: the community of all believers, the local church and the primary family unit.
Stable, spiritually-growing families will be better able to serve the church with their time, talent and treasures. Conversely, the local church will be better able to serve the families who are grounded in the Word and committed to Christ.
Strong families are a source of comfort, guidance, identity (giving roles and function), affirmation, and interaction among its members. Children need love, empathy, respect, responsibility, and emotional access to their parents, as well as a growing sense of their priceless worth in Christ.
A healthy life includes a balance of work and play, socializing and solitude, helping ourselves and assisting others. The family unit works as a learning lab that demonstrates the value of these habits.
What traits does your home strive to teach?
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best) rate your family’s strengths:
We are committed to spending time with one another.
We talk and listen respectfully to individuals’ goals, fears and opinions.
We try to eat at least one daily meal together.
Our family rituals and customs (game playing, story reading, prayers etc.) add
to our sense of oneness.
We gently help each other to cope with individual or group problems.
Each member’s spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual health is nourished
and purposely encouraged.
We affirm and appreciate each other’s gifts, efforts, and unique personality.
Add up your numbers.
A score in the 7 - 24 total range indicates that improvement is needed in your home situation. (But you already knew that, right? Pray and ask for encouragement from a Christian friend, or counselor.)
The range of 25 - 39 reflects a slightly lower than average support system. Acknowledging this is step one in your family’s task of goal setting.
A 40 - 59 score reflects a considerate, loving family with lots of blessings to build on. Pat yourself on the back if your score tops 60! You provide consistent nurture and balance by meeting group and individual needs in your home. Other families would benefit from your mentoring!
Don’t let a low score discourage you. Instead, using the following passages, ask God to help you use the results for family discussion and goal-setting.
I Timothy 5:8
Ephesians 4: 15-16, 29
Please let us know your family’s response to this Scripture study activity. Your application ideas and results may be just the spark needed to encourage other devoted families.
This article is an excerpt from the e-book Developing a Devoted Family: Reasons and Resources for Home Worship by Susan L. Fink (available through Amazon for any device)
”Developing a Devoted Family is an encouraging and energizing resource for Christian home worship. It uses Scripture and creativity to motivate participation in family devotions. Concisely written, topics include faithful families, excuses, busyness, prayer, memorizing God’s Word and establishing goals that glorify. Each chapter includes a “Your Turn” section with activities to do or discuss with your loved ones. Age-appropriate tools and tips are included to assist each family member to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”” (2 Peter 3:18)
Susan L Fink writing credits include the book, “How Christian Mothers Cope”. With degrees in Early Childhood, Education and Staff Ministry, she has been a teacher, volunteer coordinator, nursing home activity professional, Sunday School teacher and free-lance writer. She has been married to Robert since 1978 and they have three married children. Sue lives in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Read more of her writing on her personal blog and Facebook page.
Holy Hen House believes this resource is such a great tool for your family that we are purchasing and giving away FOUR of these e-books (one for you and a friend!) on our Facebook page. Enter here!