Our world is filled with contradictions, disappointments, and evils. The world around us doesn’t want our families to thrive in Christ. Because of this, we’re seeing a deterioration of the Christian family structure, and we’re watching our identities in Christ be torn down and replaced with modern day idols. What is our identity? How do we keep our families strong? How can a Christ-centered family keep a firm foundation in a time when everyone around us says truth is personal and relative?
We can build our families on the Word. As we live our lives, we can witness what’s around us and return to the Bible to define truth, not the whim of the culture. But it’s more than just reading the Bible on occasion or going to church every week.
What Makes a Christ-Centered Family Different?
We still make mistakes. We still fight. And we still struggle to understand each other when things are tough. What makes a Christ-centered family different is that we work to see each other as Christ sees us—flawed in our flesh, but perfectly designed by the Father for great purposes. Seeing others as Jesus sees us makes us strong and resilient.
My family does three things that are specifically different from families that don’t focus on Jesus. We study the Bible, we pray together, and we praise God for His gifts daily, and all day long. This makes us different because it makes us focused on things beyond the material world. We aren’t looking for how we can grow our own storehouses or kingdom, but instead on how we can grow God’s Kingdom around us.
We Study Together.
In everything we do, we are to apply Christ to our lives. In my house, we dig through scripture together when life hits us hard. We take time to see how God’s Word speaks into our situations, and we aren’t afraid to ask tough questions and have doubts. The key is that we work together to find truth in His promises for every situation.
We Pray Together.
Prayer isn’t just an individual activity. We have conversations with God together as a family. Our meal prayers aren’t just recited—they’re spoken out of our hearts. When someone is sick or feeling upset, we sit and talk with God together to bring healing and restoration. We are seeking an active relationship with God, not just an item to check off our list.
We Praise Together.
When we need a boost, or a refresher, or even just a moment of mindfulness, we turn on music and sing and dance. Worship and praise aren’t just for Sunday mornings! We bring our worship to God in all that we do, but we make sure we don’t forget that joy in the midst of struggles. Each day, we are working towards more laughter and more gratefulness.
How Do I Build a Christ-Centered Family?
So how about you? Where are you and your family spiritually? Are you growing closer together, or simply existing together? What would you need to make a difference in your family?
Here is a bit more in-depth look at the three things my family does together that brings us closer to God each day:
1. The Christ-Centered Family Studies Together
My family isn’t afraid to ask tough questions. When they come up, my wife and I always look to scripture to see what we can do to respond correctly. Every topic our kids bring up gets brought back to what we read in the Bible. Dealing with mean people? Struggling with friends? Confused about money? Baffled by a science lesson? Yep—we talk through how our modern world can be filtered through Christ’s eyes in order to come to a place of truth that we can apply to our lives.
It’s not always an organized or deliberate decision—we seldom have a prescribed devotion or Bible study that we cover—but it’s rooted in scripture literacy. If you want to build your family, start studying your Bible and reading it consistently. If you’re not sure where to start, find a good devotional guide or explore the Bible Project. Devotionals can help you set a habit of daily reading and learning, and the Bible Project provides incredible resources that uncover some of the themes that thread all the way through the entire Bible.
2. The Christ-Centered Family Prays Together
It’s easy to go through your daily life and forget prayer, especially when you’re running at full speed from one thing to the next. It’s even harder to remember to pray together as a family. But each day, we make it intentional that if we have things we are worried about, things we are thankful for, and things we need healing for, we are turning to God together.
Starting a family prayer life is as simple as sitting down together for a meal. Start there—don’t worry about setting up a separate “prayer hour” or anything like that. Focus only a minute or so of time on thanking God for His generosity in blessing your family before you start your meals. Then, as you have given the example, start asking your kids to do the same for everyone. It doesn’t have to be a hard prayer, just a sincere one.
One of the other times that we pray is when we see something in our lives that seems too hard to conquer on our own. For my kids, it’s worrying about other families, other kids, and big events outside of their routine. If you can get your family to sit down and have conversations with God, guiding them and supporting them as they do so, you will see change in their daily lives.
3. The Christ-Centered Family Praises Together
I’m a musician by trade. There is always a song stuck in my head (whether an actual song or something silly and simple that I’ve made up as I walk around my home). I’m not the only one in my family like this, though. So when we al need to get back on the same page, back to focusing on God’s goodness instead of life’s harshness, we crank up the tunes.
Most of the time, we sing worship music. Christian artists, church worship teams that write originals, and the songs we sing in church. We know this is God-centered music that speaks truth into our lives, so we turn to it frequently. It’s what we have on at night before meals, when we’re cleaning up messes around the house, when we are cooling down before the next thing on our agenda. We raise our hands, we sing along, we shout and dance. We give glory to God. Our family doesn’t need a Sunday service to worship and praise. We just need a stereo and our family.
If you want joy in your house, this is where you should start. You don’t even have to start with Christian music. Just start with something you can all sing that isn’t going to pull your gaze from God. Something you can all sing along to without feeling embarrassed by the lyrics. Just make sure you’re pulling your kids into it, no matter what their age!
A Resource to Get Your Family Started
I’m working on specific resources that will help your family pray more together, rejoice more together, and build a better understanding of the Bible together. The first resource I have available is Faith and Action: Living Out Christ in Your Marriage Through the Lens of James, a short devotional guide through the book of James that breaks down the major themes and applies them to our marriages in actionable daily changes that will revolutionize your marriage and give you the first step towards a more Christ-centered family.
Since marriage is the foundation of the Christ-centered family, it’s important to start your journey there. By setting the foundation of scripture and application, as well as openness in prayer and faith, you and your spouse can begin your family’s journey towards a more faithful life.