My mom always said, “It’s harder to be a Christian at home than any place else on earth.” I don’t know if she invented the quote or heard it somewhere else, but from experience, I KNOW this quote to be true.
Because home is where you let your hair AND your guard down, where we don’t have to carry the pretense of everyone liking us, it also tends to be the place that the largest disagreements and fights occur.
So here we are, Christians, quarantined to the house with college kids we haven’t lived with in years, or young children who are usually at school 8 hours a day, or we may even be homeschool parents with no break for play practice or co-op time. We have been catapulted into Christian Character Training 101- 24/7/365- no vacation, no breaks, and no substitute teachers. On some days, things can get tense very quickly.
And here’s the crucial part- if following Jesus doesn’t change things at home, our kids will run from the Gospel as soon as they get the chance. If we are sweet and kind in public, and only yell and scream at home- Our children will think that Jesus means nothing to us, and He will mean nothing to them.
So what’s a person (mom, dad, sister, brother, grandparent, cousin, insert any others here ___) to do?
This is not a topic that can be completely addressed in a 600 word blog, but for starters, we have to remember that every day is a new start. If daily forgiveness and repentance isn’t for each of us, what hope do we have? We have to be willing to forgive ourselves for a lost temper or cruel word, and we also have to be willing to forgive those who have offended us.
The first way for Jesus to daily grow our character and our life is for each of us to go to bed every night and wake every morning with a prayer of humility on our lips, “Jesus, please forgive me, and help me to become more like you.”
The next best way for this transformation to occur is to begin EACH day in the WORD, not reading the Bible as a “have to,” but hearing each word of each chapter as wisdom from a friend. I’m always amazed how often the Word of God that I read in the morning shows up in my day. Every single time—no matter if I read in the book of Job or Revelation- Jesus’ words show up in the day and I’m encouraged that He’s with me growing my character and walking along-side me.
Another way that God grows my character and the character of my family is to pray the scriptures over us. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Words have the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” There is no word more powerful than the Word of God. So for my family, the third way I can aid God in transforming my life and the life of my family is to pray the scriptures over us. Lots of books have been written about praying the scriptures over your family, but for me personally, I can sing the scripture over my family much more successfully than I can pray the Scriptures. I’ve started a playlist on YouTube of scriptures that I am praying (and singing) over my family. For each of my children, I know God has different paths and goals, so I keep adding to the playlist daily, but consider buying a book of prayers to pray over your children or start with the playlist I’ve begun to pray God’s word over your life and the life of your family.
It might be the hardest to be a Christian at home, but that’s only because it’s the most important place to be a Christian!
God bless you as you seek daily to become more like Jesus and pray for your family to become more like him.