Generation Cedar

Family relationships.

To me, they’re everything. To others, they’re overrated. I’ve heard of Christians who focus on building the family be accused of “idolizing the family” or placing it above the gospel.

While it is true, Jesus said “anyone who loves father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.” But be careful understanding that…He was clearly speaking to a culture where often it meant family abandonment if one followed Christ. He said we must choose Him if we are forced to choose.

But the Christian family, all throughout Scripture, was seen as one. It was not divided. Furthermore, the gospel itself is given in the paradigm of family–The Father and Son. Christians are represented as “a family”…and even closer as “a body”. Our very relationship with God is compared to marriage–the bride of Christ with his church.

Understanding the crucial role of family AS a vehicle of the gospel, we cannot underestimate our work. Jesus left one command: “Go and make disciples”.

It is insane to think that we are to pour our energies into that command with those around us while failing to obey it in our homes first. I assert that we lose virtually all power to spread the gospel if we fail to make disciples of each other at home.

It is nothing short of appalling to think we can create programs and ministries to “reach the lost” if we are not reaching our own children, passing our faith from generation to generation. And statistics are downright horrifying of how many young people leave the faith of their Christian parents. Something is terribly wrong.

What is a disciple: “A disciple or apprentice, then, is simply someone who has decided to be with another person, under appropriate conditions, in order to become capable of doing what that person does or to become what that person is.”

Relationships. That’s discipleship. Think of how Jesus taught his disciples…what comes to mind?

I think of how often he was with them. After all, how does one “become what that person is” without spending enormous amounts of time with him?

I think of his intense effort to teach them the things of God in every situation. He was almost always “ON”. Quoting related Scripture, pointing their erroneous thinking, walking, talking, encouraging them to keep looking to the Father.

And this is our job. With each other, with our children, with all the Lord brings into our lives. How much time do we pour into discipleship? Is is the most important thing?

“He who would save his life must lose it.”

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my Word remains forever.”

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5 Responses

  1. Good you brought up this topic, which is often misunderstood. I often feel like I should be doing more "out there" but my responsibility lies with my own family first:

    But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1 Tim 5:8

    It is also still common that those who seek true salvation through Jesus must face either being disowned by their own families, persecuted by them or even worse. This hinders many from coming to the faith.

    To a lesser extent I can apply that to my own life where after years of trying to live the life with unbelieving family members hindering any growth. Finally there had to be a good deal of separation, & very minimal contact.

    It is hard, but well worth it to follow Him.

  2. We live in a society that values accomplishments that can be outwardly seen and praised. Our accomplishments at home, behind closed doors, are not out there for the world to see and measure immediately. It is so easy to fall into the trap of “making a difference” in the world that we fail to make a difference at home.

  3. I agree. We can ‘win the whole world’, but lose our own soul, in the form of our chidlrens souls.

    I think if much emphasis is placed on programs, outreach, church activities…and your children and home are only ‘appearing’ to be in order, this is bad news for your kids. Its also bad news for everyone else, in the long run.

    I see sometimes people serve others with a vigor they dont serve their kids with. Or, they have good relationships with others, but not their children. Now Im NOT talking about mountains and valleys we go through with our children. We all have those.

    I *am* guilty of this as when I was in the IFB church, much emphasis was put on service. My husband and I were talked to on a few occassions because we were not at all the services, we werent helping out that much, etc.

    I will say however that we all have gifts to supply to others, and we cannot judge others on what their calling is, or judge them just because they use their gift outside the home. I do not believe in a ‘hierarchy’ style of priorities…therefore we will naturally use our talents and gifts to bless other people, even when things are not perfect in our home. If I did that, Id never use my talents for others, id be chained to my home, cause it will NEVER be perfect!

  4. If we are making disciples of our children, the natural progression will take us outside of the home.I have noticed this with my daughter. She likes to share Jesus with her friends and she does so without any prompting from me or her father. The things she shares with them tells me that the Lord has truly given her a spirit of understanding.

  5. Very good. I know a single (widowed) mother who is EXPECTED to do so much for others that she does not have the strength left to nurture her own children. She knows that she should say “no” sometimes, but she feels guilty so they end up getting to bed extremely late every night. She feels trapped though because of others’ expectations of her (and because others have been there for her, she feels the tug of obligation). It’s a sticky situation.

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