At our World Impact conference this week Ryan Cook preached a message called Jesus the Center. After listening to Ryan I was inspired to think about what it looks like to have Jesus at the center of how we parent our children. There are a lot of things that we have to think about as far as how we parent our children, because a variety of ideas are constantly presented to us as parents. How do we deal with wrong behavior? How do we reward right behavior? What activities do we get involved in? Do we spank or not spank? There is a question that isn’t asked as often but should be: is Jesus really at the center of how we parent? Is Jesus really at the center of our family? I think that for Christian parents this has to be the most important question we can ask ourselves. If Jesus really is the center, everything else will come into place.
So what does it look like to have Jesus at the center?
Prayer. This has to become a priority in our lives. Prayer is a conversation with God, and conversation is a foundation of relationship. If Jesus is going to be the center we have to have relationship with Him. It has to be a priority for us to spend time praying individually and together as a family. Making this happen might mean watching less TV or getting up earlier in the morning. Whatever we believe we have to do in order to make prayer a priority in our family is something that we simply have to do.
Reading the Word of God. The Bible is one of the main ways that God has chosen to communicate with us. Reading the Bible ourselves and together as a family has to happen daily for Jesus to be the center.
Trust. What happens when we get into a difficult situation. Do we trust that God has the answers for us? Do we lean on our own understanding and problem solving skills? Do we despair the hopelessness of our situation? Jesus cares more about our families than even we do. If He’s really at the center than we will put our trust in Him.
Talk. What kind of talk happens in our families? Is the name of Jesus even mentioned? This is a good barometer to identify what is really at the center of our families. What kind of talk takes place. Is the name of Jesus mentioned at more than just meal time prayers? What do we talk about most? sports, TV, money, pets, music, school or the Son of God? If Jesus is not found in the conversations of our families we need to stop and take a close look at what we’re doing and what our priorities are. This might require changing things to make Jesus the center.
What do you do in your family to keep Jesus at the center? What do you need to do to put Him there?