While the idea of growing a spiritually healthy family can seem weighty and intimidating, it is much simpler than you think! It starts with establishing a rhythm of infusing the things of God into your daily life – His Word, prayer, and relationship. Over time this builds a God-centered culture in your home and spiritual growth can thrive in and through your family.
If you look all the way back to the beginning in Genesis, God created family even before He created the Church. Adam and Eve walked intimately with God, heard His voice, and received His commands firsthand. One of the first commands He gave was to be fruitful and multiply or begin a family. It was God’s design for families to know Him and to make His name known to the generations that would follow. That is still our top priority as Christian families today.
Growing spiritually healthy families begins with an individual relationship with God followed by intentional discipleship of those entrusted to us within our homes. With an abundance of resources available at our fingertips, it can be overwhelming to hone in on the best way to discipline your family in their faith, but God’s Word is always the best place to begin. In Deuteronomy 6:5-9, God’s Word gives us the model we are to follow:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (NIV)
How do you begin to grow a spiritually healthy family?
Verse 5 begins with the greatest command which is also repeated in the New Testament. Love God. We’ve heard it said many times that more is caught than taught. The statistics are staggering as teens and young adults are walking away from the Christian faith in droves. Their reason is simple, an absence of authentic relationship with God displayed by the most important influencers in their lives, their parents. If parents don’t make God important, children are far less likely to. To grow a spiritually healthy family, your loved ones need to see you living out your daily life loving God with all your heart, soul and strength.
Verse 7 begins with God telling His people to impress His commandments on their children. That word impress doesn’t suggest a mere mention of God in passing. Instead, it means to “fix an idea into someone’s mind.”
Growing spiritually healthy families begins with intentionally infusing God’s Word, His Truth, and His love into the daily rhythms of our lives. It is not easy as distractions and demands abound, but simple habits built over time can make an impact for generations to come. Pray and ask the Lord to help as you develop the habit of intentional discipleship with your family. He will be faithful to answer as this calling is dear to His heart.
Take Time to Talk
Verse 7 goes on to tell us to talk about God each and every day. This doesn’t have to be formal, rehearsed, or lengthy. Instead, scripture gives us examples of the simple and seemingly mundane moments of the day – when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Growing spiritually healthy families means you weave God into daily conversation around the meal table, during your daily commute, when you go to bed at night and when you start a new day.
With God on the forefront of your mind, ask questions, talk about answered prayers and what He is teaching you in your quiet time. Mundane moments can become beautiful memories when families come together in fellowship and conversation.
Keep It Simple
With our best intentions at heart, we as Christian parents can put pressure on ourselves and overcomplicate what God has made very simple. Your family does not need you to manufacture impactful moments. These happen when you connect in the simplest of ways.
- Take a walk or a bike ride and point out the beauty of His creation.
- Plant a garden in the Spring and discuss how God provides and makes things grow.
- Gather with popcorn and blankets to watch The Chosen and discuss the episode as a family.
- Start a family journal with goals and prayer requests that you can come back to at the end of the year and celebrate all that God has done.
- Schedule a regular family check-in to discuss questions, struggles or heartfelt needs of each family member.
- Look for ways to serve others as a family throughout the year.
- Read a verse a day together as a family.
Growing spiritually healthy families is a journey filled with little moments where we love sacrificially, serve wholeheartedly, and learn from our mistakes. Perfection is never the goal, but rather pursuit and relationship. When you make God the center of your daily rhythms of life, His power is free to work and grow your family in Him.
Somer Colbert is a writer, speaker and host of the Love Where You Are podcast. She is the Director of Adoption and Foster Care Ministry at Crosschurch and Connected Champion with the Arkansas Baptist Children and Family Ministries. Somer is passionate about equipping spiritually healthy families and seeing a movement of God’s people step into confidence in their ability to change the world around them through the way they love. Connect with her at somercolbert.com and @somercolbert on Instagram