Christian Family Identity

Good morning, Five Minute Families. We are Jim and Kim Nestle with Clear View Retreat, a family retreat ministry that reaches out to families in both the ‘storms’ and ‘norms’ of life. We are thankful that you have joined us today as we discuss the Christian family’s identity.

Please note that when we speak about ‘Christian family identity,’ we are not talking about the way the world has warped the term ‘Christian identity.’ We were both shocked and appalled to do an internet search and see that the search yielded information about racist, anti-Semitic, or white supremacy ideologies. Which, by the way, are not in any way, shape, or form truly Christ-like thoughts or behaviors. What we are talking about is TRUE biblical, Christian identity – the identities we are to hold and mold that are based on God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness as well as His work on the cross and our redemption.

During the family camps we host here, we discuss family identity, which we have done a series on and you can find in our podcast archives under the Family Camp series, but today we want to suggest a five-step, five-minute Family Identity Challenge. Each of the five steps should take about five minutes, with a five-minute break in the middle, for a total of 30 minutes.

Now, as always, adjustments must be made for families with littles, typically under the age of six or seven, depending on attention spans. You may need to allow the littles to participate for the first minute of each step, sharing their thoughts and then excusing them to play quietly nearby or color.

Parents, you are going to need to do some prep work that will take a bit more time. The book of Ephesians has a lot of detail about our identities in Christ. Likewise, you can prayerfully review specific verses that God has in His word about our identities in Him. Some of those verses are: Galatians 4:6-7, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 1:12, Ephesians 1:5, 1 Corinthians 6:17, 1 Peter 2:9, 1 John 3:1-2, 2 Corinthians 13:13, Ephesians 3:18, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:22, and Psalm 34:9.

We recommend that to begin with, you choose verses that focus in on one aspect of our identity in Christ. Three of those themes you could choose from are our being new creations, that we are children of God, or that God refers to us as saints, not sinners.

For your family meeting time, follow these five steps:

First, discuss what our identity is in Christ. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “our greatest need is to become who we already are in Christ.” Remember that not everyone sitting at your family table is a believer at that moment, so be mindful.

Second, sit in silence for five minutes and contemplate what you heard. This can be a hard step, but it is really important to try to silence the noises of this earthly life and open our hearts to God’s prompting. If you or your kiddos are wiggly ones, you can allow doodling or focused journaling. There is no right way, but most people do find that quiet meditation on God’s truth helps us to see better what He is revealing.

Third, come back together and share with one another one false belief you may hold or a part of God’s identity for His children that you find hard to believe. Parents and children alike must be cautioned not to sit in judgment of one another or try to fix someone’s false belief. Mom and dad, big brothers and sisters, we are not meant to be one another’s holy spirit. Listen and pray. And, remember Romans 14:1 admonishes us all, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” And, if you are still struggling in a false belief area, please seek wise counsel.

Fourth, review verses that specifically touch on God’s truth about our identities. This is where we can trust that God’s word does not return void. We share His truth, His words, and thus encourage one another without judgment or frustration.

And, finally, choose a worship song and honor Him and the new identity He gives each of us in His greatness. Close in prayer and praise.

After you worship together, carry your attitudes of praise into the new week. Encourage one another with God’s truth, and listen kindly as God transforms your family members and family as a whole into his image.

You can share teen studies and devotions with your older children, and there are books delving deeper into Ephesians as well as topical books about our identities in Christ. Unfortunately, we have not yet come across a book we can recommend about family identity, but we are hoping to write one, so we might be able to share about that one day. In fact, if anything we have suggested has helped you and your family, please let us know so that we can be sure to share your experience with others.

Thank you so much for joining us, and we pray that God reveals himself in mighty ways in this coming week. Be blessed!

Leave a reply

Christian Family Identity

Good morning, Five Minute Families. We are Jim and Kim Nestle with Clear View Retreat, a family retreat ministry that reaches out to families in both the ‘storms’ and ‘norms’ of life. We are thankful that you have joined us today as we discuss the Christian family’s identity.

Please note that when we speak about ‘Christian family identity,’ we are not talking about the way the world has warped the term ‘Christian identity.’ We were both shocked and appalled to do an internet search and see that the search yielded information about racist, anti-Semitic, or white supremacy ideologies. Which, by the way, are not in any way, shape, or form truly Christ-like thoughts or behaviors. What we are talking about is TRUE biblical, Christian identity – the identities we are to hold and mold that are based on God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness as well as His work on the cross and our redemption.

During the family camps we host here, we discuss family identity, which we have done a series on and you can find in our podcast archives under the Family Camp series, but today we want to suggest a five-step, five-minute Family Identity Challenge. Each of the five steps should take about five minutes, with a five-minute break in the middle, for a total of 30 minutes.

Now, as always, adjustments must be made for families with littles, typically under the age of six or seven, depending on attention spans. You may need to allow the littles to participate for the first minute of each step, sharing their thoughts and then excusing them to play quietly nearby or color.

Parents, you are going to need to do some prep work that will take a bit more time. The book of Ephesians has a lot of detail about our identities in Christ. Likewise, you can prayerfully review specific verses that God has in His word about our identities in Him. Some of those verses are: Galatians 4:6-7, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 1:12, Ephesians 1:5, 1 Corinthians 6:17, 1 Peter 2:9, 1 John 3:1-2, 2 Corinthians 13:13, Ephesians 3:18, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:22, and Psalm 34:9.

We recommend that to begin with, you choose verses that focus in on one aspect of our identity in Christ. Three of those themes you could choose from are our being new creations, that we are children of God, or that God refers to us as saints, not sinners.

For your family meeting time, follow these five steps:

First, discuss what our identity is in Christ. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “our greatest need is to become who we already are in Christ.” Remember that not everyone sitting at your family table is a believer at that moment, so be mindful.

Second, sit in silence for five minutes and contemplate what you heard. This can be a hard step, but it is really important to try to silence the noises of this earthly life and open our hearts to God’s prompting. If you or your kiddos are wiggly ones, you can allow doodling or focused journaling. There is no right way, but most people do find that quiet meditation on God’s truth helps us to see better what He is revealing.

Third, come back together and share with one another one false belief you may hold or a part of God’s identity for His children that you find hard to believe. Parents and children alike must be cautioned not to sit in judgment of one another or try to fix someone’s false belief. Mom and dad, big brothers and sisters, we are not meant to be one another’s holy spirit. Listen and pray. And, remember Romans 14:1 admonishes us all, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” And, if you are still struggling in a false belief area, please seek wise counsel.

Fourth, review verses that specifically touch on God’s truth about our identities. This is where we can trust that God’s word does not return void. We share His truth, His words, and thus encourage one another without judgment or frustration.

And, finally, choose a worship song and honor Him and the new identity He gives each of us in His greatness. Close in prayer and praise.

After you worship together, carry your attitudes of praise into the new week. Encourage one another with God’s truth, and listen kindly as God transforms your family members and family as a whole into his image.

You can share teen studies and devotions with your older children, and there are books delving deeper into Ephesians as well as topical books about our identities in Christ. Unfortunately, we have not yet come across a book we can recommend about family identity, but we are hoping to write one, so we might be able to share about that one day. In fact, if anything we have suggested has helped you and your family, please let us know so that we can be sure to share your experience with others.

Thank you so much for joining us, and we pray that God reveals himself in mighty ways in this coming week. Be blessed!

Leave a reply

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