Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shepherding your Family

When Paul lays out the expectations for those who desire the office of overseer in First Timothy 3:1-7, he says in verses 4-5, "He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?" I have thought much about this in recent years. I spent two years in an internship with Open Door Baptist Church with Dr. Pete Schemm as my mentor. He modeled to me great discipline in managing his household well and encouraged me to do so as well. I must admit, however, that I have often times felt that I needed to do much more. I want to make sure I am leading my wife to the fountain of grace in Christ. I want to make sure I am helping her along as she seeks to pursue and treasure Christ. Now that I have two children, I want to make sure I am leading them to know and love the Lord. The truth is, if we take this as a serious expectation of God for the leaders of His church, then we will realize that it takes time and diligence.

Just recently I decided it was time to make sure we had a plan in our household to help us be disciplined in our pursuit of Christ together. I certainly do not have all the answers. I know I have a long way to go. However, I thought I'd post our plans on here for anyone it may help. Also, since I want to do this well, any thoughts for improving would be of great benefit. Before I show the schedule, I also want to make sure it's clear that this is not the only time we talk about the gospel. We hope to cultivate a family life that centers on Christ and all He's accomplished on our behalf. Also, we have used a variety of resources in the past, so I am not recommending anything particular at this time (except to say make sure the Bible is used, and make sure whatever songs you sing and prayers you pray are Biblical).

Sundays are pretty wide open because I pastor Cypress Lake Baptist Church and we have Sunday School, Sunday Morning Worship, and Sunday Evening Worship. Therefore we do not have a particular order for this day. Wednesday are not as structured either as we have a prayer/Bible study time with CLBC.

Mondays and Thursdays we try to eat at 6:00 PM. We do this as a family and sit around the table until about 7:00 PM to discuss life and how our day has been. At 7:00 my wife or I will clean the kitchen while the other one gives the kids their baths. We give 45 mins for this to make sure all is well and finished! At 7:45ish we begin playing games as a family (which may be on the wii, or with toys, or just wrestling). We stop early enough to have prayer together and put the kids in bed around 8:30.

Tuesdays and Saturdays we try to eat at 6:00 PM. We have the same schedule as Mondays and Thursdays, except on these nights we have a time of family worship from 7:45 until 8:30. During this time we sing hymns together, read Scripture and Bible stories, and pray together. We actually hope to add to this Scripture memory and Catechisms. We try to pick songs that my oldest (5 years old) knows the words too so she can sing with us. Last night it was cool because as we sang my 17 month old son tried to join in!

On Fridays we cut our time around the table short and try to start watching a movie together in time to still get them in bed at a decent time.

I am sure there are things we can improve on. However, having a plan in place has already helped us to make sure we are intentional about spending time together and with the Lord. I typed out this schedule in Excel, printed it out, and we put in on our refrigerator. This has proved helpful for us. What are your thoughts or suggestions?

No comments: