Ok this post is going to be about the most basic thing any Christian parent could imagine, but it's something we all forget to do! It's going to sound so simple that you'll think me silly for even raising it. What am I talking about? I'm talking about bringing God into our family life. Into our conversations and our experiences. I am talking about working towards being God-oriented families.
Everything is about God
Did you know that absolutely everything in our family life comes back to God. Every single thing. Every occasion. Every experience. Every happening. Everything. That is because God is both the Creator and the Sovereign Lord. Every single person, animal, tree, breeze, star, tasty piece of food that we encounter was created by God. That's why living things are called creatures. Because they were created. And they were created by God. He is their Creator. This means that every single thing ever that exists, exists in relation to God as its Creator. And every single moment whenever anything happens is all on account of the sovereign hand of the Lord. He is over it all, controlling history in his unfathomable wisdom. There is nothing in our lives that doesn't relate to God.
So... where is our God talk?
And that's why I am so surprised that my family doesn't always talk about God. How many things in our experience are unconnected to God? Zero. Yet how many things in our experience remain unconnected to him in our conversations? Far too many. If I am convinced that God is "over all and through all and in all" (Eph 4:6), then I ought to be bringing attention to him way more regularly than I am currently. How can I expect my kids to have God at the centre of their lives if he only pops up in our family life from time to time? They will start thinking that toys, food, friends, sport, school etc are all more essential than God, because those things get way more air time around the house. But not the God-Oriented family. They will have God rocking up in their convo's all the time.
Becoming more God-oriented
So I wanna throw a challenge out there, and I'd love you to join me on it (because I need this as much as (probably more than) the next guy). Let's become more God-oriented families. Now, the good news is that more doesn't mean perfect or pretentiously pious, living in the clouds kind of people. Becoming more God-oriented means we actively bring him into our family's awareness a bunch more. We talk about him more. We more regularly link him to things or happenings. He is not the only topic of conversation we are allowed to have. But we do want our families to start thinking about him in reference to everything we speak about, and they will only do that if we expressly talk about him lots.
Here are a few ideas:
1) Raise creation questions
For younger kids, ask, 'who made that?' For older kids, ask, 'why do you reckon God made it that way?' (This personalises God a bunch more and will be a way more interesting chat).
2) Be thankful
Routinely take time throughout the day to give God thanks for things and circumstances. This reminds the family that he is behind all things and is the giver of every good gift.
3) More questions
Ask questions like, 'what do you reckon God would think of that?' when you observe a range of different people's behaviour. This helps to remind the family that God the Father is always watching with his loving eyes.
Reflect on injustices that have happened, and praise God that Jesus will put everything right again one day. This encourages the family (both kids and adults) to be reminded that God sees all, and will ensure that justice will happen.
5) Pray for people
Pray for friends, neighbours, family. Pray for people you pass randomly. Pray for people who may be hurt or in danger when you hear a siren in the distance. Now that's just 5 options from an unending list of things you could imagine up to help your family be more aware of God's involvement in their lives and in our world. But however we do it, let's start seeing the world through God-glasses and realise how he is active in everything. And let's express that to our families.