62: We Are All Changed
When you receive this newsletter, I will be in St Louis speaking at a homeschool conference. Joining me on this trip is Ethan, who is speaking several times, and John, who wants to be like his brother and dad and “talk”. John will be speaking at the beginning of our math workshop.
Traveling 12-15 weekends each year has its pluses and minuses, and finding leg room on airplanes and jets is always a challenge, but I love meeting the people. I don’t know where else you will find such earnest and committed believers who are laying their lives down for their families.
This past weekend I had the privilege of speaking in Greenville, South Carolina. As you can tell if you have been reading these missives the past two years, God has brought me through a difficult season in my life. It is still a little risky for me to share my story with my Christian sibling, many of whom I have never met, but these precious folks were so gracious that they made it easy for me to be transparent and share my testimony.
The other special benefit from attending some of same fairs year in and year out is seeing familiar faces. I often forget names, but I usually remember friends from past fairs, and it is so edifying and encouraging to see these kindred spirits still pressing on and raising their children to live forever.
Thank you for allowing me to reminisce, that is what old guys do. Now for the new stuff! As you know, I am devoting my energies almost exclusively to Building Faith Families. For over 25 years I have been a proponent of the family as the basic building block of our church and society. God created marriage and family as his first divine act after He called the world into being in six days.
Before Abraham, Moses, Israel, or the church, the sacred institution of the family was set apart as His divine plan to multiply and fill the earth. Healthy God fearing families are the foundation for healthy churches, healthy workplaces, and empty prisons.
Family begins with the union of two people from different planets, being made one. Then they are blessed with several children of different ages, abilities, personalities, and gender. Living under the same roof calls for an abundance of energy, patience, understanding, and grace.
Living together changes each member of the family and contributes to the their personal growth and sanctification. This transformational dynamic of people living together 24/7, is often overlooked, but is absolutely essential for us to be changed into the image of Jesus.
I need my wife. As I follow the counsel of scripture and lay my life down for her, as Christ loved the church, I am becoming more like Jesus. As I deny myself and put the needs of the children ahead of my own needs, and serve my family, I am becoming transformed into the image of my savior. As I strive to be more honorable, so my children will not find the fifth commandment intolerable, I am being sanctified.
My wife also needs a husband and children so she can become more selfless and know first hand what it means to be a grain of wheat that bears fruit only after dying. As we die to our own ambitions and desires, for Jesus’ sake, we find our lives.
As a couple, knowing that we have several pairs of eyes watching and observing how we love God and each other, we discover a strong impetus to honor God in our relationship. We are the first Christian marriage our children have witnessed. We are their first church. Children need models and we need accountability. What a divinely inspired brilliant dynamic God designed when he came up with the idea of family.
Our children benefit from honoring their parents, and grandparents. As they live, grow, and learn together, they learn to love, serve, and pray for each other, as Jesus loves, serves, and prays for them. Being together through thick and thin, with different genders, love languages, spiritual gifts, extroverts and introverts, is the best place to prepare for real life and learn to love our neighbor as ourself.
I hope that we will never lose this perspective. The best part of family life is that as we learn to love God and each other, thus fulfilling THE GREAT COMMANDMENTS. And in the process, we are each being transformed into the image of our Lord and Savior. This is the real work of family, in the divine economy.
2 Corinthians 3:18 We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
When we see the family from God’s vantage point, then we are empowered and inspired to give thanks for difficult experiences, and different personalities, and relational challenges, for as we die to ourselves, and grow in grace, we are each being transformed!
Family Worship Contest
The rules for the Family Worship Contest that we mentioned in our last letter, can be downloaded here. The contest begins April 1 and goes through May 10. You can also follow along on the Family Worship Facebook page here.
One of the resources at Building Faith Families is Hymns for Family Worship, a booklet that has sheet music and history for 62 classic hymns, as well as a three CDs with piano accompaniment.
We have included a link download a sample song in the monthly newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter to get more samples.
Have a lovely weekend; spring is here!