The following is a part of our weekly devotional series, which is a companion to the 2013 Foursquare Life Journal. This week’s Bible reading comes from 1 Sam. 3-16, 1 Chron. 1-5, Ps. 72 and 77, Matt. 1 and 2 Cor. 8-13.
2 Cor. 10:4 reads: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (NKJV).
Ministering to and bringing covering for our families is our highest call in this world. It is our first priority in ministry. The apostle Paul recognized this so strongly he set a standard for ministry that included being a good leader at home before one is qualified to lead in the church (1 Tim. 3:12).
With so many things affecting our children today, Christian leaders sometimes find themselves torn up in their hearts as their children are deeply challenged in their walk with Christ. When in the midst of a challenging season, the continuum of what is our part and what is God’s part is often a dilemma. Trusting our children to God is a part of our call, but it is sometimes so difficult to know what actions to take. Another important part of our call is bringing spiritual covering over our families.
Here are a few reminders and some promises to stand on in your daily prayer life as you strive to make your family godly:
- Continue to pray for your children daily, regardless of what you see. Stir faith into the equation (Heb. 4:2). In prayer, stand against that which is threatening them. Stand in the authority God has given you, and tear down the strongholds you discern they are facing. Release that which is good and godly (Matt. 16:19).
- Stand on God’s Word for your children. Declare that which God promises for you and your family. Isaiah 54:13 is a great promise: “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Read, study and stand on other great promises (e.g. Isa. 43:5-6, 44:3, 49:22 and 49:25; Ps. 71:18; and Mal. 4:6).
- Strengthen your connection with your family. Love is a great bridge. For love to be real, quality time is a must. Have regular “in their world” time rather than needing them to fit into your world. When you are with them, be there. Break the distractions. Put away the computer and mobile devices, turn off the TV, break away from studying, and pay attention to them when you are with them. “Doing” for your family is not as valuable as “being” with your family (Luke 10:38-42).
- Celebrate their lives, and listen to their challenges (Rom. 12:15). Life can be so busy with work, ministry demands and just “stuff” that the essential conversations are put on a back burner. Rekindling the reality of taking the time to laugh and cry with your loved ones is a great relationship-builder! Simple questions such as “share with me something I can be praying about for you” as well as “share with me something I can celebrate with you” can go far to establish connections that are healthy. It’s Romans 12:15 put to action!
- Resolve conflict. We are admonished, “As much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:18). If you and your kids need to have a talk, have that talk. Ask them how you could serve them better as a parent. Then listen. Listening is one of the greatest tools we have to resolve conflict. Owning up to where you blew it speaks volumes. My friend Jay Donnelly says, “Only speak if you are sure that what you are about to say speaks more to them than your listening does.”
The bottom line is, God hears our prayers. He hears your every prayer. Intercede for your family, and be present and intentional in your interactions to point them toward Christ.
By: Robby Booth, director of Center for Spiritual Renewal West and chaplain of Spiritual Care for The Foursquare Church
Download the yearlong reading plan (PDF, 80 KB), or sign up for the full, online version of the Life Journal. To purchase a Life Journal for your own use, or to place a bulk order for church-wide use, visit FoursquareJournal.com. Learn more about Foursquare’s 2013 Life Journal project.