As you may know, I finished reading Courageous last week.
I can't get it out of my head.
We all have moments ... days ... weeks when we get busy and we don't put our best effort into things. Sometimes that even includes our families. It takes time and effort to be intentional with them, because too often we rationalize that we can spend time with them tomorrow - only we are never guaranteed tomorrow.
We only have now. Today. This minute. God doesn't promise us any more than that on this planet. That was brought home to Adam in Courageous in a very big way.
As parents, we are given a big task for our time here, and it doesn't involve the time spent at the office or how long we can stay on the treadmill, although both of those are important. God wants us purposely investing our time somewhere else. Deuteronomy 6 says:
4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a] 5 And you must love the Lordyour God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
So what does all of that mean?
- 4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. [a] 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Put God first. Make time for Him daily. Recognize Him as Lord of your life and willingly give Him that spot.
- 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Be committed. Know what is important and stick with it. Choose wisely how you spend your time - don't do anything half-heartedly.
- 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. You will never be finished speaking of God to your children. Your relationship with God should be one that you can never contain - that you must talk about - that is such a part of you that it shows to those around you. This is too important for them to miss, so you must tell them over and over to be sure that they know and understand what God's presence in your life means to you.
- Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when are getting up. Teaching your children should be a regular part of your life - not something that you 'add on' to your day but something that is as much a part of your daily life as breathing. Point out His blessings while moving regularly throughout your day. When you are at home and away, first thing in the morning and the last thing before closing your eyes at night, make prayer and thanksgiving a priority in your home.
- 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. These commands were literal back in the Old Testament, but while we no longer do this, we can identify with them in spirit. Would someone walking through your home know that Jesus is important to you? What kind of entertainment options and decorations do you have displayed - things that honor God or those that defy Him? Are there tenets of your faith visible to your children and guests - a cross, a Bible, a memory verse? We don't need to be modern-day Pharisees, but we can humbly show in Whom we place our trust.
I want to be intentional with the time I have with my family. It goes by much too quickly to waste it.
With that in mind, I'd like to make a kind of family mission statement - a written statement hung decoratively where we can see it from the door to remind us of our priorities and what we believe, much like Adam displayed his resolution in Courageous.
As they grow older, I'd like for our children to be actively involved in learning about our mission statement and why we believe it. I'd like to create it from scripture as a family and work to carry it out from there. I think it will help to give us a more focused purpose in our everyday life.
Just as our family banner can be a rallying point, I can see this being an accountability tool for our family - a way for us to use God's standards when making decisions about our time and activities in daily life - not to replace scripture, but to help us learn it and put it to practical use.
What about you? Does your family have a mission statement, a motto, something that distinctly bonds you together for God's purpose?
The book was great, and now I'm even more excited about the movie. It comes out September 30. Until then, get a sneak peek here: