So many of us desire a home where Jesus truly is the center. But we aren’t really sure how to get there.
If we want to keep Jesus at the forefront, then everything we do in our home- our priorities, our speech, our behavior, and even what we allow into our homes- must revolve around Christ.
Here are five ways we can intentionally create Christ-centered homes this new year:
Read the Bible regularly with your kids.
Don’t leave their training in Scripture to happenstance or abdicate your responsibility to the church. Without thoroughly knowing what God’s Word says and how to read it, your children’s spiritual development will be significantly compromised. They’ll learn to depend on what other people tell them about Christianity.
Through holding everything they learn up to what the Bible says, your kids learn the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. By understanding that they are created in the image of God, they will believe in the sanctity of life and the great love of their heavenly Father not only for them, but for all people.
Once they’re able to read fluently on their own, encourage them to begin reading the Word for themselves. And I’m not talking about the watered down children’s version; I mean the actual, God-breathed text. The Adventure Bible is a great one to use because of its helpful, kid-friendly study questions.
I know a lot of people start with the Gospels and generally hang around the New Testament for a while, but I would advise starting with Genesis and progressing through until Revelation (okay, maybe skipping Song of Solomon). This is so your kids begin to understand how the Bible fits together as a whole.
I’m not exaggerating when I say our homes are under attack. But prayer has the power to dramatically shift the spiritual atmosphere in them!
The enemy just loves when chaos, tension, anger, stress, and frustration take up residence in our houses. And the more I partner with these things, the more I allow them to rule in my home. Praying means I stop agreeing with them, and start agreeing with God, asking Him to restore peace and change our perspectives.
Prayer is what allows me to extend grace and understanding when my kids are fighting and speaking unkindly to each other. Or when my husband is grumpy after a hard day at work. It’s what helps me fight the very real spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of the people living inside my home.
Invest in your children spiritually, individually.
If we’re intentional about it, spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, scripture memorization, and Christian service can be taught and modeled. We shouldn’t effectively make our home into a one-size-fits-all church program, though. Kids are ready for and interested in different areas of faith development at different times.
Write down three areas where you think each of your kids most needs to grow spiritually this year. Prayer? Learning to read the Bible independently? Understanding the basics of the faith? Studying apologetics?
Then ask each child to write down three areas of their own. Compare your lists and decide on a final list of three goals for the year together. Make an action of plan of what you’ll do to work on those goals.
Keep out anti-biblical influences.
Our homes should be a sanctuary from the world, but so often we end up not looking that much different from it. We become “of” the world, instead of merely being “in” it because we’ve consumed too much of its things through entertainment and education. Simply put, our homes need to be set apart for God.
Take some time to truly reflect on the behaviors, attitudes, and types of media that are coming into your home. What worldviews are they promoting? Decide which ones aren’t glorifying to God, and pitch them.
Change your mindset.
Though there’s no specific formula for parenting in the Bible (how I wish there was!) Deuteronomy 6 lays out a pretty good model for us to follow. As you can see plainly in these passages, discussions about faith were never something that had to be planned around school or other activities, or something to be marked in red on the calendar so parents wouldn’t forget. It happened as the family did life together.
These days family members are all running off in different directions. Our society has made it normal for parents to spend as little as 8 to 15 hours with their kids during the course of a school week, and biblical instruction gets pushed to the back burner. Most of these hours are also task-driven instead of characterized by true quality time.
We can’t just throw a handful of scriptures at our children in the morning or evening rush between school hours and expect them to become faithful, committed Christ followers. Frighteningly, 70% of youth leave the church after high school.
Our relationship with our kids should be characterized by loving care expressed through togetherness, affection, correction, and instruction. As mothers we hold the greatest position of influence over our kids, and make the most of our time, when we diligently train them and shape their character by the application of biblical discipline. This is unlikely to be accomplished if our children spend the majority of their waking hours away from us.
We create a truly Christ-centered home when we cultivate an environment that honors Him and places His Word as the highest authority. And when you make Jesus the center of your life personally, gentleness, grace, and thanksgiving will naturally flow to the rest of your family!