“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
In order for Christ to be present with you as you walk the streets and interact with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the acquaintance/stranger, in order for you to truly be a witness to all others around you, Christ has to be present in your home.
It makes sense, right? That what we do in our intimate settings will affect what we do in our public settings. Faith is something that must develop and grow at home before it can exercised in the community. If nowhere else, it should be obvious by how we interact with our immediate family that Christ is abiding in us and we in Him.
Yet, so often we find that even with those whom we consider to be great spiritual role models struggle in having a Christ-like manner with those closest to them. Children, parents, spouses… They see the best and the worst in us and for whatever reason often take the brunt of the negative sides of our characters. But if we’re truly seeing to abide in Christ, wouldn’t that mean He would change how we interact with those whom we say we love most?
I’m not saying that circumstances necessarily change. Your spouse might still be obnoxious, your parents clingy, and your children untameable, but when we welcome Christ to live in our hearts and teach us how to love, our attitudes towards these individuals will change. Your changed behavior and new ways of expressing love to them might also change their behavior towards you. With this practice and discipline in the home, imagine how it would then be to encounter a difficult person outside the home. You would know better, or at least have an idea, of how to address the situation.
My home life isn’t perfect, but by the grace of God I pray that Christ will continue to shape and mold me that I might be a better reflection of Him and His love to my family. May that be your prayer tonight as well.
“If you have high aims, and purpose to reach an elevated standard, the home life is the very best discipline you can have. If you are wrong at home, you will be wrong in every aim and endeavor. Begin there to perfect a character that God will approve, that will make you a blessing at home; and when away from home, you will not fail to be a blessing to those you are brought in contact with. Religion practiced in the home will reflect beyond the home circle.” EGW, The Youth’s Instructor, April 21, 1886, par. 7.
Praise God for who He is.
Praise God that He is the Father of the human family on earth.
Praise God that He wants the human family to reflect His beauty and character.
Ask God to show you which sins to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.
Ask God for forgiveness for times that you did not reflect God in your family.
Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.
Ask God to fill your heart with the Holy Spirit and make you a living example to your family.
Ask God that each member of your family be drawn closer to Christ.
Ask God to protect Christian families from the attacks of the devil, including the families of your local church. Ask God for healing where this is needed.
Pray that church leaders and their families will reflect Christ to the world.
Pray for parents to reflect Christ to their children and raise them for the Kingdom.
Pray that God will give a full understanding of Christ’s method (comprehensive health ministry), allowing all church members to meet people’s needs and follow Christ’s pattern of service to others.
Beseech the Lord on behalf of Christian families, that they may be models of how Christ can bring peace and love into homes, removing any abuse and stress through the sanctifying power of Christ’s righteousness and pointing to Christ’s soon return and the ultimate joining of God’s eternal family in heaven.
Pray for any personal needs you have.
Thank God that He is working on your family members’ hearts.
Thank God that He is willing to cleanse, purify, and abide in you and your family.
Thank God that Jesus gave us an example of how to honor our parents and love our siblings.
May you be blessed!