31-Day Parenting Devotion
THE ORIENTATION OF THE HOME
Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus was clear when He said if you want to walk in the light, you must follow Him. The opposite is all accurate: if you do not follow Him, the only option is a dark one. Every relational construct has followers and leaders, which begs the question, who is the head of your home?
After a lot of living and a good bit of failing, one thing I have learned is I cannot be trusted to be the spiritual leader of our home. This truth is no secret to my family. I have proven my inability to lead well as I have put my sin on display in our home too many times.
It’s imperative for me to acknowledge what my family already knows about me and why someone else must be in charge of our home. They need to know that someone more capable than me is spiritually leading us.
Anything that replaces Christ in your life or family is idolatry. God replacements suck the spiritual life out of what should be a vibrant God-centered home. The first step in orienting your home to God is to be able to speak about what needs to change. You will not be able to do this without the humbling power of the gospel working in the hearts of the parents and children.
The two most common problems in the disoriented home are child-centered families and the passive husband.
Child-Centered – Some families make their children the centerpiece of the home. Everything revolves around them. The typical mom in the child-centered home can spend ten to fifteen years in a minivan serving the activity-centered child.
These kids become increasingly self-centered, as life revolves around their social and activity preferences. These children rarely learn humility, respect, or submission. And they typically do not love God or others more than themselves because the parents have not made those two truths a priority.
Passive Husband – Another common problem in a disoriented family is the spiritually passive man. The passive male leader in the home is where the wife takes more of the spiritual leadership role, while the man is preoccupied with other things that are in line with his self-centered preferences.
Perhaps he has no template for what a male leader should be, or he does not value what male leadership should be. Regardless, the “passive husband home” is an upside down family.
If the orientation of your home centers on the wrong person or incorrect things, please understand there is no way to correct the problems unless the husband and wife are willing to talk about the disorientation and make a practical plan to reorient their family, so Christ is leading it.
If it is not possible to speak of these things—for whatever reason—I appeal to you to find someone who can walk with you through the problems. The disoriented home rarely auto-corrects, and if it continues, the inevitable fallout will break your heart.
Time to Parent
Who would you say is the “point person” in your home? Who is spiritually leading your family? If the Lord is not leading, think through some of the reasons it is not happening? Here are a few things to consider:
- Do you not know what it looks like for Christ to lead the family?
- Is the husband regularly encouraged to lead the family?
- Is the wife willing to submit to her husband’s leadership?
- Do you have a child-centered home and don’t know how to change it?
- Will you begin the process of talking about how everyone can submit to Christ as the spiritual leader of your home?
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Also published on Medium.