I mentioned in THIS PREVIOUS POST that I was going to go through our Family Values in order to show how your values guide your family.
Remember: Think of your family values as the bumpers on the side of a bowling lane. They may not assure a strike every time, but it does keep the ball out of the gutter and rolling down the lane in the right direction.
We value an Authentic Relationship with God
I grew up in the church all my life. I often joke that my parents brought me to the church leaders in the same way as Hannah did with Samuel in the the book of I Samuel. We were the family that opened and closed the doors to building every weekend. I am so thankful that my parents lived a faith everyday that valued weekly (and sometimes daily) involvement.
With that being said, there’s always a danger with growing up so involved in church. I know, it sounds kind of bad to equate church involvement with “bad”, but the truth of the matter is this: too many people confuse involvement with relationship. Growing up, and now as a pastor, I’ve met numerous of people who consider “relationship” equal to “proximity”. Here’s what I mean:
My older brother’s best friend J.T. lived with our family for a number of years. He spent many holidays, birthdays, special occasions, and even difficult times with us. J.T. was one of the biggest spiritual influences I had during my High School years. He challenged my faith and pushed me to live sold-out for Christ every day. J.T. is now part of our family. As a matter of fact, when I talk about him, introduce him, and write about him I often address him as my brother J.T. What makes J.T. my brother isn’t that fact that he lived with us for all those years. It’s the relationship that we have that brings him in to the inner circle of our family.
My wife and I want our kids to know that a relationship with Christ isn’t about a bunch of “do’s and don’t”. It’s about a deep, meaningful, and authentic relationship. Sure there’s “rules” just like there are in any family, but what makes us a family (of God) is not the rules – it’s the relationship.
Here’s just a few things that an Authentic Relationship with God means to us:
We don’t need to clean up first – God can handle our messiness
There’s nothing we can do to make God love us any more
There’s nothing we can do to make God love us any less
We worship from our heart – He doesn’t want our words… he wants our hearts
We’re consistent – a double minded man will act one way in front of others and another way when he’s alone
We stay in continual relationship with Him – hanging out and talking to him throughout the day
For us, we believe that a first step in Living a Life Owned By God is to have and express an Authentic Relationship with Him.
“For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” -Psalm 51:16-17