Focusing Our Family on the Bible

Over the past year, I realized that I have not done great leading my children be Biblically-oriented. We've done a few things to disciple them in this area, such as with teaching (and modeling for) them how and why to read the Bible.

But in many training moments with them (both corrective and formative), I realize that more often than not, I have been teaching them good Biblical principles, instead of pointing them to the Bible itself. (This is one of the big take-aways I got from reading "Don't Make Me Count to Three!")

Additionally, while we have many discussions about living on mission for Jesus, I don't feel like we have an over-arching vision for where we are heading. As we begin this next school year, and as we begin the next step of our adventure, I feel like we need to have a more definitive focus and vision.

Now, I don't think that we will create a long mission or vision statement, though we know many families that have done this. And if you want to give it a try, check out these suggestions from Family Matters and All Pro Dad.

But for our family, we will focus on three Bible verses or passages. These will provide an overall framework for most of our discussions, as it relates to our family, other relationships, church, ministry, school, and more.

Our Family Verses

Here are the three that we chose:
  1. 2 Corinthians 5:17  "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
  2. Mark 12:30-31  "'And you shall love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
  3. Proverbs 27:17  "Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another."

Or, to break these down into simpler terms:
  1. In Christ we are changed.  We all sin and we are all selfish. But only through trusting in Jesus can we be changed, not through our own efforts.
  2. Love God, love others.  I wrote about these greatest commandments in What's So Great About the Great Commission?   
  3. Allow ourselves to be sharpened by others. We have to help each other, and we have to be humble in how we each receive correction and advice. 

We've already had some great talks, especially as we discussed how we need to reach out in our new community. And for most of our family, this is difficult. We struggle with passivity and being self-protective.

We have talked about how Jesus didn't always do what He wanted to do, but He submitted to the Father's will (see John 6:38). Just because something feels good doesn't mean it is good, and just because something feels bad (like "being sharpened" by others) doesn't mean that it is wrong.

What's the Plan?

We will post the verse references in our living room or dining area, as a reminder. And we will work on memorizing the scripture, too. Other than that, we (as parents) will use these concepts throughout our everyday conversations.

I'm not sure if we'll keep these verses for a year and then come up with new ones for next year, or if we'll keep these for longer. That's the beauty of this idea. We can move forward and see how it goes! 

What about you? Does your family have a vision statement? Or will you focus on a few verses this year? 

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**image by David Ball (Original work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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