When Talking to Family…

As many of you know (because I’ve written about it often here), for a long time, I’ve lamented my lack of initiative in more pro-actively sharing my faith with my family. It’s been a subject of prayer for both Emily and myself, to overcome our fear and speak freely. Because, if our faith actually makes a difference in our lives, we should talk about it.

Having just come back from a couple of days in Grand Bend, Ontario, with my in-laws, I can say that I did get an opportunity to do exactly that, when we got on the subject of the church; and more specifically, the things we believe are important for our family within a church.

We talked about the power of the Scripture, and that when it’s proclaimed with joyous passion—as though Jesus actually makes a difference in your life—it is a beautiful thing.

We talked about discipleship, and how church leaders need to be the kind of men who can confidently say, “Follow me as I follow Christ!”

We talked about the importance of church-planting and missions, because a focus on these inevitably fuels discipleship and enables future leaders to grow in and exercise the gifts God has given them.

And, we talked about male-elder governments, and why we believe that only men should hold the office of pastor. We talked about gender roles, and why we believe the distinction is necessary. This was a particularly difficult part of our conversations, as Emily’s mother is very much the dominant personality on most issues, and a product of the feminist movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s. There were times when I could see her tense and even a bit of anger start to rise up. But we persevered.

We kept our comments clear. We avoided rabbit trails and most importantly, we kept Jesus central.

Honestly, I don’t know what the results of this will be. I’m hoping that it will lead to more conversations. For now, that would be enough for me.

I am grateful to God that this opportunity was not wasted.

May He use it as He wills.

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  • Le Petit Geant

    Hey Aaron,

    This is a great post. I come from a family of unbelievers and I’ve noticed God really start to put it on my heart to share my Faith with them more. It’s so difficult because I have years of patterns that have been set when I wasn’t a believer. Then, 9 years ago I became a believer, but I don’t know that they knew it for the first 3 years.

    This post has been a big encouragement to me and i’ve been hoping for opportunities to come up (which is tough in itself since we live in separate towns, so seeing each other is rare, let along “God discussions”.) So thank you for sharing.

    There is an item I struggle with in your post and that is the men vs. women in leadership thing. Maybe it’s cause I didn’t grow up in the church. But I still don’t get that one. Last I checked all church authority (man or woman) was under Christ, who I believe was a dude. Anyways, that’s a separate discussion. :)

    Thanks again.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Glad that the post today was encouraging for you – I’ll be praying for opportunities for you to share with your family. Take care!