The older I get the more personal and private my spiritual life becomes. It’s crazy to think about how I used to be the guy from the charismatic upbringing dancing (mostly jumping) in the aisles during worship at my charismatic bible school. Now I stand near the back of the church with my four children and my worship is very solemn and internal. My hands may go up and I may sway a bit but I sure do a lot of thinking and inner dialog while I worship or pray. Even my time in the word is very contemplative. I don’t think this is a bad thing but it makes it a bit more complicated to lead my family in the worship, prayer, and scripture reading department. So I have to adjust.
My wife and I have had many conversations about how I can better lead spiritually in my home. I felt that understanding how private my spirituality had become was a bit of a breakthrough. What it means is that I have to make a conscious effort to lead my kids and spouse. You see, as a dad, I love leading and teaching my kids. When they ask about something I want to know the answer so I can tell them. If I don’t have the answer I find it and I teach them all about it. The problem is that sometimes questions about faith and following Christ can be sparse at times. There’s so much on kid’s minds that you can’t expect them to always be contemplating the things of God. You have to take the lead and take charge as often as you can.
This can look a lot of different ways. An intentional home bible study is one way but not the only or best for every family and every schedule. Some of us just need to prioritize the bed or mealtime prayer. Maybe we just need to turn on less minecraft or youtube and more videos that will glorify God and cause them to ask us about those kinds of things. For myself I have to go back to an old habit I had gotten into before we moved out of our house. I used to study the word in a way that would ensure they would “catch” me.
That was great! I need them to see me reading scripture, praying, and worshiping again. Then they’ll ask me questions. In the post written a few days ago about my children going to “big church” I told the story of leading my five year old to the Lord. That happened because I had been telling my children about my experiences with God and deciding to follow Him when I was young. She decided to follow Christ because of hearing of her father’s decision to follow Him.
Your method will look different than mine, it’ll be different than your neighbors’. Heck, it’ll be different then your own method was a year ago. Things change, people change, and strategies have to also. The point is to do SOMETHING. Be a spiritual leader in your home, dad. Mom, if you’re the only one in the home then you have a big job to do to. Step up your public relationship with God. Follow Christ intentionally in front of your children so that they will see discipleship and want to follow Him too.
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.