How to Bring Jesus to Your Family

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Bring Jesus to Your Family By Bo Sanchez

It’s a great blessing to have a Christian home, especially if your whole family is already following Jesus. If this is not yet the situation in your family, then pray for this, so you, too, like Joshua, can proclaim, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

One day, while in prison, Paul and Silas were involved in family evangelism. They told the jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household” (Acts 16:31). This is what happened: “Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family” (Acts 16:32-34).

This can work when you have family members who are young and are open to the Gospel. But what if they’re not? Do not nag, coerce, force, manipulate, and take matters into your own hands. One of the biggest mistakes we can do here is to be impatient with the length of time God is working on our family members. We can’t do God’s work of transforming others by ourselves. We cannot force and nag our husbands, wives, and children to the Lord. We must trust in our God—that He loves them more than we’ll ever love them.

We can, in the meantime, follow these very important principles in bringing our family to God.

1. Be Appreciative

Show gratitude at home to your husband, wife, parents, brothers, and sisters. Tell them that you appreciate all that they do for you. Do not take them for granted. Many husbands are brought to the Lord just by the wife making a decision to thank her husband once a day for something he did for her. And the husband making a decision to affirm his wife, listening to her, paying attention to her, has brought many wives closer to the Lord.

2. Be Affectionate

Keep your communication lines open. Stay in touch. Express your love. Don’t keep it hidden. Say it, write it, and give tokens that express this love. Break the shyness and silent culture in the family and express your love physically by gestures of affection: kisses, hugs, holding hands, and asking the blessing of our elderly parents. Husbands should relearn that courting didn’t end on their wedding day but should be an ongoing lifestyle of any married couple. Sometimes, “religious” spouses can be so busy doing many church activities seven days a week, they don’t have time to be with their spouses anymore. This is wrong.

3. Be Forgiving

Be patient with the faults of others because you know you have your own. Show that you do not nurse hurts of the past. Control your temper and express anger in more creative, healing ways. Instead of lashing out at your son, pray, breathe, and pause for a while. Understand, empathize, and listen. You may be surprised how this can win a family member back to the Lord, not at once, but over a period of time.

4. Be Humble

We may not be perfect, and it will be wrong if our families expect us to be so. But it may be enough if they see that you are humble, readily admitting your faults and asking forgiveness when you do fail. Many times, this humility on your part draws them closer to God.

For example, parents who are trying to win their children to the Lord need to first examine if they have made mistakes in the past toward their kids. These parents need to have the courage to admit their faults and ask for forgiveness from their children—as a doorway for them to come nearer to the Lord. Also, don’t be a know-it-all. Learn from your family members, even those who are not yet in the Lord. If they “teach” you in other areas, they may be more open for you to teach them in spiritual matters.

5. Be Cheerful

Help in a practical way. Volunteer to help in chores and to meet the needs of each family member. Don’t expect an overnight miracle, but like waves that slam repeatedly on the rocks until they ultimately shape them, your message of love will trickle down to their hearts.

6. Be a Servant

Help in a practical way. Volunteer to help in chores and to meet the needs of each family member. Don’t expect an overnight miracle, but like waves that slam repeatedly on the rocks until they ultimately shape them, your message of love will trickle down to their hearts.

7. Be Faithful to Your Role

Husband, lead your family to God. Be the priest in the family. Don’t let your wife lead the family in spiritual matters. That’s your responsibility. Sacrifice for the family.

Wife, support your husband, serve him, and follow his lead. Do not be bossy or domineering. By your attitude and behavior, you can build up his self-image or destroy it.

Children, honor and respect your parents. Express your affection toward them, especially in their old age.

8. Be Prayerful

In the end, only God can work in your family members’ lives. Pray. Pray every day for their relationship with God. Fast for them, if possible. Get encouraged by Saint Monica who prayed for the conversion of her son Augustine and saw her prayers answered after forty years. You, too, will see your prayers answered.

*This excerpt is taken from The Journey by Bo Sanchez, available on paperback and e-book copy at http://www.feastbooks.ph!

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