Author: Kristen Turvin
||I love traditions. Growing up, my family celebrated every major holiday with some sort of tradition. Even something as simple and silly as receiving a chocolate bunny at Easter is a big part of tradition for me. (P.S. these local chocolate bunnies from Knoxville Chocolate Company sure do look extra delicious!|
That hint to my husband wasn’t obvious, right?! Naw… Aaanyway! As I get older and the holidays become busier and, at times, less exciting, I do my best to learn something new about the holiday. With Easter at the end of the week, I decided to find out why we celebrate it at the time of year we do and this is what Brent Landau* has to say,
Isn’t that beautiful? Creation worships the risen Savior every year with new life and rebirth, so why aren’t we more intentional about doing the same? What would our families look like if we started to do things again that have " gone cold" in our regular routine? What would our marriages look like if we gave new life to things that have “been dormant” in our relationships?
These questions are certainly ones that can make me tired just thinking about them. While I am blessed with a healthy family, there are always things that can be done better and some months (or let’s be honest, years) pass by while I continue to hit snooze on analyzing what poor habits I have allowed to lie dormant that need to be given new life.
Just as I begin to feel overwhelmed by the changes I need to make and the sins I need to address, Paul provides me with this encouragement in Romans 6:
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”
Now if that doesn’t make you at least want to do a tiny bit of a happy dance, I don’t know what will!
Paul says, "We too might walk in newness of life", not "We can sludge through life hoping that hings will be a little better". So, with that encouragement in mind, let’s throw off our very comfy and cozy blankets of complacency and join Christ in being set free in our families!
I don’t know about you, but when I have to think about things I need to change in my life, it really takes me quite a while to get past the shallow stuff and down to the nitty gritty. However, I'm encouraged to truly examine what needs to change when I ask myself, "Do I want to pass down baggage or blessing to future generations?" Obviously, the answer is blessing, but changing the baggage of bad habits into strengths can be daunting. So, let’s make this easy on ourselves and ask just one question with multiple choice answers! Not so scary now, right? Here we go…
What needs to be resurrected in your family?
A. What you do: prioritizing time with God or with each other
i.e. reading scripture together, talking openly about your relationship with God, regularly going to church, being a part of an encouraging and accountable Christian community, serving others together, spending quality time with each member of the family, sacrificially serving one another
B. How you do it: showing the fruits of the spirit when spending time together
i.e. encouraging one another, showing love in their love language, saying sorry, being patient, having joy no matter what, exemplifying kindness, communicating with gentleness, having a peaceful home, using self-control in your reactions, showing humility through selflessness
C. Both of the above
The best part about this question is that there’s no wrong answer! Each family has its own unique struggles and strengths.
Begin by first praising God for what he has already resurrected in your family!
In my case, I am praising God for resurrecting our time with Him. Last year when life was difficult and busy, we weren't intentional about praying and seeking him together each day. While we would have personal time with God, we weren't taking enough time to go to him together. God showed us that this was something that had become dormant in our relationship and through his grace and our decision to prioritize this time, this is now a thriving part of our relationship!
Secondly, choose one thing, ONE, that you want to lay at God’s feet and ask him to help you crucify. Then, pray that you would partner with him in doing your part to bring it new life.
For some, choosing only one thing to focus on at a time out of the many you think need to change may prove to be difficult. But for others like myself, laying aside your pride and really looking to find anything that needs resurrection may be more difficult. By choosing just one thing at a time to pray about and work on, the entire family can remain focused on encouraging one another and praising God when he brings new life to that area of your relationships!
Remember that you're not alone as you go through this season of waiting for resurrection.
Ask your community of believers to pray for you and keep you accountable. You can also look for resources that can encourage and guide your family. Our resource page is full of books and DVDs that we pray bring you encouragement. If you answered "C" and you recognize that there are many things that need resurrection in your marriage or family, we suggest that you find someone who can provide Godly counsel. That may look like attending an event such as a conference or receiving marriage or family counseling.
We can't wait to hear about how God brings new life to your family this Easter! Let us know how we can be specifically praying for your family by commenting on this Facebook post and encourage other families to experience resurrection in their relationships by sharing this blog with them.
May you "be united with him in a resurrection like his" this Easter!