Building the Family: Living the Gospel at Home on a Daily Basis
Post by contributing writer, Victoria
Growing up I wanted to be three things when I became an adult: a teacher, a wife and a mother. Those were the desires of my heart and for reasons unknown to me, God blessed me with all three of those desires.
While I’m not a teacher in terms of having a profession anymore, I view my call to motherhood and teaching my own children as one in the same. You see I view my role as wife, mother and a teacher to my children as an active ministry where the gospel is displayed on a daily basis.
I started to view my home as a ministry long before my first child was born, in fact it was even before I was married. To share a little about my background, I was raised Catholic but only in the sense that we went to church on Sunday mornings and holidays. Not much of the gospel was talked about at home at all in my childhood.
It wasn’t until I became a teenager that my older brother started to take me to a different youth group that a friend had started to take him to a few years before. Suddenly, I was surrounded by people who loved and talked about Jesus in a way that I had never heard before. I felt out of my element because, although I had always considered myself to be a “Christian”, here were all these people openly talking about God and sharing their faith.
I didn’t know that people did that but looking back I can now see the seeds of faith being planted and starting to grow in my own heart. I don’t have a specific date where I can say that I truly gave my heart to the Lord. I believe it was a slow and steady process all through my teen years.
During the same time, I watched as my parent’s marriage came tumbling down and ended in a very bitter divorce. While that was a hard road to travel through, I knew that there had to be more when it came to marriage.
In my new found faith and excitement of having a relationship with Jesus, I wanted to see an example of a marriage where faith was at the center, where two people were honoring God through their everyday ins and outs and where ministry was taking place in the home.
In a day and age where we live in a “me” centered society, it’s not always popular to talk about marriage in terms of the way God defined it. People, including other Christians, turn up their noses and roll their eyes when they hear the term biblical submission in marriage, as if it’s a dirty word.
Everywhere you turn there are ads, television shows and movies that promote divorce as a “free golden ticket” to a better life. It’s sad but it’s also a chance for us as women who view our family as a ministry, to show the gospel to those around us, that marriage and family built on a foundation of faith are the real golden tickets.
When my husband and I began dating and moved into an engagement, we both talked openly about the type of marriage we wanted and thankfully we were both on the same page.
Our Goals Towards Building Our Family
- We wanted a marriage that put God first and was the cornerstone of our relationship (Ephesians 2:20-22).
- We wanted to love one another as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:22-27).
- We wanted to raise our children by teaching them diligently (Deuteronomy 6:7).
We set these as our goals and standards as to how we would approach our marriage and growing our family.
Fast forward three and a half years later when we were blessed with our first child and it was in that moment when I was holding this tiny newborn when a sense of urgency and desire for God’s ministry to take part in our home was placed in my heart.
Over the next few months as I was stumbling through sleepless nights, my prayers changed.
I found myself praying over and over again about how to be an example of Christ to my little boy. Our family dynamics had changed and we went from being just a couple in love to a family unit that loved each other and saw the need for having the gospel displayed in our home in a more real and transparent way.
As a young mother, I came across one of the very first blogs that I started reading on a consistent basis called Inspired to Action. It’s still one of my favorites as it has transformed from a blog into more of a podcast of encouragement for moms. It was here that I first heard of developing a personal mission statement to identify your purpose and goals in creating a ministry in the home.
I downloaded her eBook, left my son with a very eager grandma and headed to a nearby coffee shop for a few hours to pray and think through the questions in developing my own personal mission statement.
Prior to this, I had always viewed a mission statement in terms of being a professional and setting goals as you climb the corporate ladder but had never thought about creating a personal one when it comes to your marriage, your children and you own personal life goals.
But when you want to live with intention and purpose at home, you need to identify your roles and priorities to make things happen.
Three years later, my family has grown to two children, and one on the way, but my purpose is still the same. The same values I held that afternoon as a young mom are the same values I want to instill in my home and in my children.
While a few parts of my personal mission statement has changed, when it comes to my family and relationship with God, those statements have remained the same. Here is a snippet of my personal mission statement, you can read my full version here.
- To be a faithful follower of Christ, who loves Him with all my heart, and seeks to know Him better through studying His Word and allowing Him to mold me into His image.
- To show my husband love and respect everyday by honoring our marriage vows to be faithful and loyal to him, and to keep the romance alive by pursuing and flirting with him daily.
- To daily show my children love and affection as I teach them to know and love God and to be followers of Him. I want to laugh, play, and enjoy everyday moments as I teach and train them as they grow.
- To keep a peaceful haven at home where my family feels safe, secure, loved, free to be creative, and allowed to find rest.
So what does all this look like on a daily basis in our home?
Well to be honest if you were a fly on the wall you would see some days where the house is messy, toys are everywhere, I’m grumpy, the kids are whining, and my husband and I are at odds with one another due to a miscommunication.
Where is the gospel? Where is the peace? Where is the love?
It’s there, but sometimes real life looks messy from the outside.
Yes, we love God and do our best to teach our children about His love, His grace, His truths but we are also real people with real sins.
We have days that look like the above, where I’m impatient with the kids and act unlovely towards my husband. But there are also MANY days where those moments of being a grumpy mom are turned around with a simple giggle or smile from a toddler or the sun shining through the clouds. Or when my two year old little girl breaks out into an impromptu singing of “Jesus Loves Me”, it melts my heart every time.
God uses all sorts of reminders, including what I like to call a Mommy Time-Out, to remind us that He is here with us, smack dab in the center of our lives, including the everyday, ordinary, mundane days of routines and temper-tantrums.
My husband and I aren’t perfect, we are both sinners saved by God’s grace, but we both have the same desire to live with intention and purpose in our lives.
Shortly after I crafted my own personal mission statement, I came across another blogger who had just wrote a book called Organized Simplicity.
Ah! That title… and later the book… was like a breath of fresh air because along with living intentionally, I also desire to live simply, which can mean a lot of things to a lot of people but to me it’s about purposeful living in our homes.
While that book covers a lot about the practicality of living simply in the home through the remove of clutter, Tsh also shares about living with intention as a family by creating a family purpose statement, which is similar to a personal mission statement only it applies to the whole family.
My husband and I got together to examine our roles and goals for our family and crafted a family purpose statement of how we wanted to move forward as a family. Sometime I hope to involve our kids in the process but since they were 1 and 2 at the time, it just didn’t seem productive 🙂 This is a little of what we created:
We, the Osborn’s, desire to put God first in all of our interactions and bring Him glory in our words and actions. We desire to create a home that nurtures, loves, learns, and lifts up one another.
There are a few other sentences that I have chosen not share online about our family but this sums up the main purpose of our family and how we strive to live with purpose together and in our home.
It’s not always perfectly displayed but that is how we strive to display the gospel in our home on a daily basis.
This post is part of a 31 days series on living the Gospel at home. See all the posts here.
I love your family purpose statement! And I love the concept of having a family purpose statement. I want to make one with my husband sometime soon.