This morning I reread my post Secure your Identity, which discussed
This got me thinking about my children and how our family functions. For me, viewing things through this lense helps bring clarity and understanding to the "to dos" presented in the Bible.
- First and foremost we need to know who we are: we are children of God.
- If we are children of God then we are part of a family, which means our brothers and sisters in Christ are a part of our family.
- All families have "rules" which help them function and operate properly but these rules are not where love comes from.
- Sometimes as children we just have to obey, because it is the right thing to do even if we don't want to. In those times, "duty" and "family structure" trump over our personal "desires."However the desire of my heart as a parent (and I believe God's heart as our parent) is that we primarily operate in our families out of a place of love for each other.
In our home, my children have responsibilities that come from being a part of the family. They have chores to do; do they always enjoy doing them? Not always, but they understand it is part of being in the family and they choose to do them because they love us. Sometimes they even participate in "chores" without even knowing it because they enjoy doing it so much. James loves to help with the laundry. I don't even have to ask him to do it. All I have to say is, "I'm going down to do laundry, and he will come running and say, "Can I help?" This of course, brings joy to my heart and he is fulfilling a "duty" that has to be done as being a part of the family. The same holds true as a Christian. We do have "chores" being a Christian of loving one another and serving one another. Is it always and enjoyable thing to participate in? Not always, but there will be times when things like "laundry" which is dreadful to some, is easy and enjoyable to others because of their personality. God has given each one of us gifts. Sometimes, our gifts make the responsibilities of being part of the family of God more enjoyable than at other times. Overall, though, these chores and responsibilities do not define my childrens' relationship with me. Primarily, my children operate out of knowing they are in a family that has parents that love them with all of their hearts and they have a sibling that loves him/her.
If you have been getting tripped up on the "to dos" of Christianity, I would encourage you to take time to step back and get your identity secure in who you are in God: you are a child of God. Once you understand how you are loved it should make it easier for you to understand and accept the "responsibilities" that come from being in God's family. Why do my children help with the chores? Yes, it is duty but they also see the benefits: a clean house is healthier for them, it is easier to find things and if they help out Mom and Dad have more time for them. There are also benefits to being part of the body of Christ:
I Corinthians 12:25
If one part suffers,
every part suffers with it;
if one part is honored,
every part rejoices with it.
1 Corinthians 12 helps explain how the body of Christ operates and how each part of the body is connected and important. This chapter ends with "now let me show you the most excellent way." This chapter is then followed by 1 Corinthians 13, The Love Chapter. The best way to operate properly in the body of Christ is to operate out of a place of LOVE and not duty. May you find joy this day in knowing you are loved by our Great Father and you have a family of believers around you who will love with you, cry with you, lift you up when you fall and cheer you on when you are flying.