"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What Is the Focus of Your Family?

The modern family – what exactly does that mean? (I wasn't around – but according to my grandparents) the family unit looked much different 60 years ago.

A lot has changed over the past several decades. We've seen the divorce rate climb, more and more children are being raised in blended families, by only one parent or by parents of the same sex. We've seen the power struggle between the father and the mother. We have fathers who refuse to lead and mothers who refuse to nurture. But more than anything – we have seen the central focus of the family move from God, to the child.

I am a “millennial” – so really, I am ignorant to what a God centered family would look like. My parents didn't come to know Christ until I was a pre-teen so the central focus of our home was NOT Jesus. I was the common goal – the only child – their central focus. (Thankfully I didn't grow up to be a spoiled rotten adult – no really!! I didn't!)

To be honest – this is a struggle for me – for my family. Society tells us that the child is what’s MOST important. Every decision made, every action taken must be in the interest of what’s best for the child…how can we really disagree with that??

Let’s be honest here – I want what’s best for my two daughters. I want to give them every advantage I can in this life – it’s a tough world out there.

And what’s the best thing we can give them? What one, single, solitary gift can we give them that will provide them with the ONLY advantage they could ever need…


If you are like me – you have felt the pressure to get your child involved. (after all – idle hands are the devil’s workshop, right???)

We send them to the best preschools, we put them into sports, we sign them up for music lessons, karate lessons, art class and AWANA. We read to them, take them to the library, do crafts at home, have family game night. We speak life into them, we encourage and motivate them. We have them do Bible study and memorize Bible verses. We teach them manners and how to save money. We sacrifice date night for family fun night – Saturday mornings are full of soccer practice, ballet practice and basketball games. Travel sports consume our schedule all for what…

To give them an advantage?

To prepare them for the real world?

To make them better? More skilled?

While all of these things (even the ones directly pointing them to Christ) may be good – what is the eternal value here?

Whose approval are we seeking? Are we trying to please our children or please our Heavenly Father?

When we fill every second, every spare hour of our schedule with activity we leave little room for relationship.

Relationship between mom and dad.

Relationship between parent and child.

Relationship between Savior and self.

We are creating adults who will never know what it means to be STILL - adults who are pre-programmed to live overwhelmed and overstretched.

What we need to do is take the focus off of the child and put the focus back on Christ.

We need less soccer and more songs of worship. Less TV and more family Bible study.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

We need more discipleship and less distraction.

We as parents should be seeking God FIRST! Our children need to see us on our knees, in our Bibles, giving in offering. (Believe me, I am preaching to myself here!!!)

We can cheer them on, on the sidelines of the soccer field – and still pour into them, Godly wisdom.

We need to teach them humility, sacrifice and kindness. That’s a hard lesson to learn when every part of their day is spent being catered to.

They do not NEED every new toy, to play every single sport, to have every second of their day spent doing something!!

If we’re being honest here – that’s a lesson most of us adults need to learn. We focus on work, that next promotion, the new home project, our next committee meeting – but we can’t take 30 minutes every morning to meet with our Savior – we fall asleep during bed time prayers – the Bible on the shelf collects more dust each day.

We have lost our focus…

I encourage you today – look for areas in your life – where you can make improvement. Make Bible study and prayer time in your own life a priority. Come alongside your kids every evening and meet the Father with one another. Sure – teach them free throws, field goals and front hand springs – and teach them the 10 commandments, what it means to love others, and how to meet Jesus.

And just in case some of you find yourself in this position – seek what God wants for your child rather than what YOU want for your child.

Is your home child focused or Christ focused? How do you keep your priorities in order? Any suggestions for the rest of us trying to shift the focus in our homes?

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