Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
“The inventor best understands the intricacies of his product. Sure he might explain the functions to others, but in the end, only the designer really understands how the individual parts fit into the whole purpose.”
-Paul and Linda Bucknell
- Call your Prayer Partner for a 10-minute prayer call!
- Hello, Mama! Prepare your heart, let Jesus speak to you today about your family. Open your mind to any changes He may want you to make.
- Read Romans 12:1-2 slowly. Meditate as you read. Write down any thoughts that stand out to you.
Family: God’s Original Design
As I look around at our post-modern world, I can’t help but wonder if “family” (the way God intended) will last. My heart deeply grieves to see solid Biblical foundations (of the family) for thousands of years, now being questioned and mocked with the intent to destroy them.
Our enemy despises family and everything it stands for. By seeking to destroy and confuse it (using many different tactics), he strikes at the very core of creation. We, God’s people must stand for Truth, and not let him win! Though saddened, I remain hopeful: our purpose becomes alive as we follow God’s original plan. By cultivating a deep relationship with Him, we set up an altar of worship in our home.
The Word of God, the final authority teaches us how to live. Here are a few (among many) basic principles I found (in Genesis) for family, according to His design. We are to be aware, so under each category, I wrote possibilities of why or how the enemy tries to thwart God’s plan and how we can avoid his traps.
Principle #1: The family begins with one male and one female: together they bear God’s image (Genesis 1:27).
Satan despises God’s image: the gorgeous beauty, harmony, and unity that masculinity & femininity together bring. Because of this, he uses extreme measures to try and separate male from female. It doesn’t matter how he accomplishes it; he only cares the job gets done! The enemy is busy sowing tares; marriages are under major attack today with many temptations: lust, rage, bitterness, unforgiveness, adultery, fornication and selfishness are rampant. When we think about it, a lot of these sins stem from insecurity and a lack of understanding of our God-given identity. The world permits marriage between two men or two women and idolizes people who change their original genetic makeup. The Word of God teaches against these things (read Romans 1:18-27). To live a life of victory, agree with God, glorify and praise Him above temptation, and accept yourself! God knows best.
Principle #2: God Blesses Procreation (Genesis 1:28a).
God sanctifies and blesses sex in marriage and children are a beautiful gift directly from His hand. Satan perverts what is holy. Today’s world acclaims financial wealth and illicit sex. Children are a curse or a bother (how I know this to be true). Planned Parenthood, abortion, sex-slavery, pornography and many other evils seek to control our fleshly appetite. But listen, we must believe God’s grace and power CAN deliver us (1 John 4:4). If we do not, we’ve lost the battle before it even begins. God’s power trumps sin because of His awesome greatness! He cleans us from the inside out and takes away the evil desires of our perverse heart (Romans 13:13-14). Ask Him for help! James 4:7 says if we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, he will flee!
Principle #3: Authority belongs to the Family (Genesis 1:28b).
God gave full authority to families, to govern, rule and reign over the earth in all areas of life. Satan despises this mantle of authority and wants to steal it (Ephesians 6:10-12). Here again, he spreads his lies wanting us to believe we are a result of our circumstances and have no control over anything that happens. He knows this fosters a lazy spirit and makes us captive to sin and other evils. We need to stand against His wiles and put on the whole armor of God. We’re not fighting against flesh and blood. Jesus paid the price to buy back our authority but how will we inherit the Kingdom if we don’t use it, or understand what our inheritance is? (In the Greek Lexicon, look up the word Salvation, and do a study on it). Use your authority; the devil is subject to you!
Principle #4: God Provides for the family (Genesis 1:29).
Jesus provides everything the family needs (whether spiritual, physical or mental) through His death on the cross (2 Peter 1:3). This doesn’t mean we won’t ever go through hard times. But we activate our inheritance by putting our faith in Him (believing and taking hold of his promises, regardless of what we see or feel). Satan throws us off by planting lies that we have to perform (work harder or be perfect) to receive God’s provision. But, we cannot and will not ever be able to repay or work enough to earn it. God is so good to us!
Principle #5: Family thrives in the REST and WORSHIP of God (Genesis 2:3).
God rested after the completion of his wonderful work of creation. This example foreshadows our full REST in the finished work of Jesus (Hebrews 4:10-11). Through busyness that leads to tiredness; we forget to lead our families in rest or worship. Jesus is Worthy! The Tree of Life that fully feeds and gives abundant life to us (Adam and Eve had access to this Tree in the Garden) truly fulfills. Listen! Resting in Jesus brings worship. Worshipping Jesus brings rest. God created it this way! Set up an altar with specific times to worship in your home. Knowing or focusing on good or evil makes us eat from the wrong tree filling us with evil thoughts and desires. The worship and praise of Jesus who is good, holy and worthy brings true rest to our weary soul.
Godly principles change family dynamics, and restoration happens when we trust God’s original design. God is so good to allow us to repent if we’ve chosen any other way. It’s never too late, no matter how far we’ve drifted from His ways.
No worldly definition of “family” can ever re-define its purpose. God fabricated it into our very DNA, and His original design along with its purpose can never be successfully re-created. He knows best!
Questions to Ponder
- Do you agree with God’s design for the family? Why or why not?
- What do you need to change to embrace God’s plan fully?
- Can you thank God above any temptations you may have, and begin to embrace your identity?
Is God speaking to you about setting up family time in your home to worship Him? Pray about any Life-giving traditions He may want you to keep. A few years ago I cried out to God, asking Him what kind of traditions He wanted for us as a family. Some time later we were introduced to Shabbat (or REST) on Friday evenings, and it has become a beautiful tradition we look forward to. It changed the atmosphere in our home!
We usually begin with the oldest son at home washing the father’s (Kim’s) hands by pouring water from a pitcher into a basin or bowl. Kim then washes the oldest son’s hands and then ends with doing the rest of the family’s together. The washing of the hands symbolizes washing the work week off of ourselves and entering into God’s Sabbath rest. As we clean our hands, we say together, “We dedicate our hands to Messiah (Jesus) the Hope of Glory, to serve Him only.”
As an addition, I often bake homemade Challah bread, and we buy grape juice to have communion together. Afterward, we sit down, light some candles and enjoy a hearty dinner. Sometimes we read a few verses from the Bible and talk about it. We have grown to love Friday evenings, and Shabbat has become the highlight of our week! Our love for Jesus has grown as we celebrate Him!
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Mari Jo had an encounter with the living God in 2000, and was freed from the bondage of legalism. She is passionate about Jesus and his love, and desires for everyone to know He is alive!