You need to build intimacy with God, so that you are ready to build family intimacy at home. Let’s look at why this matters and how to do it.
God will fuel your family's intimacy
I know that you want close family relationships. Of course you do! These are your people. They are so important to you.
As you seek to deepen family intimacy and grow closer in your relationships, it might be tempting tory to take control of your family dynamics.
There are plenty of action steps that you can try, but if your family relationships depend completely on your effort and your energy and you doing the right thing all the time… your family will struggle.
You might be successful at this… for awhile. But eventually, if this is how you are building family intimacy, you will burn out.
As we have recently focused on Proverbs 14:1 and how to be wise women building up our homes, we have turned to the topic of giving more focused, positive attention to our family. This will have a big impact on your family intimacy!
The problem is, you can’t give something that you haven’t received yourself.
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Before you can truly give your family all of your attention (and positive attention, at that!), you must be experiencing your own positive attention.
You’ve heard the cliche before: you cannot pour from an empty cup.
And it’s true! Managing the distractions of daily life, keeping everything running smoothly for your family, and giving focused, positive attention is a lot of work. Of course, you want to spend time with your family. You love to give them positive attention! But it isn’t always easy, and there are a lot of everyday things that can easily steal your attention away from your family.
Before you can “pour out” your love, energy, and attention onto your people, you need to be “filled up” with love and attention yourself.
Jesus delights to spend time with you
Yes, hopefully you are receiving positive attention from your husband and children every day. That is important and good! (And certainly part of healthy family intimacy.)
But they are not first. They are not primary.
The very first Person who should be filling you up is the one Person who will never fail to do so: Jesus.
The Lord delights to spend time with you. He loves to encourage you, fill you up, refresh you, and give you peace. He is always ready to lead you through the busy days of Christian family life. Jesus is always ready to listen and respond to you.
Are you giving him an open opportunity to do so?
How intimacy with Jesus helps you build family intimacy at home
An amazing thing happens when you spend time with God: He changes you.
The Bible is full of examples of people encountering God and being changed by the experience. This is probably most obvious if you look at the lives of the 12 disciples, or the Apostle Paul. These were ordinary men, and because of their intimacy with Jesus, they changed the world.
Yes, God will change you in part by equipping you to approach your family differently. He will give you wisdom, creativity, and direction. God will set your feet on the right path and lead you forward.
But first, He will simply draw near to you.
He will show you how much you are loved. How valuable you are. Spending time with him will center your identity in Christ rather than in the roles you have as a wife, mom, friend, and neighbor.
It is much easier to pour out love, energy, and attention on your family when you are confidence in your own value and worth!
You are loved, valued, and cared for
The Bible is all about our relationship with God. He creates and He redeems. And in between, we mess up and He brings us back.
Throughout the Bible, we see how much God loves to be with us. He loves his people. He loves you.
And every time in the Bible that we see someone mess up, we also see that when they call out to God, He is there for them.
I have no doubt, my friend, that you have messed up.
We all have! I mess up every single day even with the people who are most important to me. And those are the mess ups that I probably notice the most. Because they matter the most.
But just like everyone else in the Bible, when I mess up and when you mess up, God is right there when we call out to him.
Yes, you must confess your sin. You have to humble yourself and turn back to God. But He is ALWAYS there. He is faithful to forgive. The Lord is so happy to restore that relationship and continue forward with you.
You will find that it is so much easier to give focused, positive attention to your family when you feel secure in the love of Jesus. And when that attention is there and your family feels loved, valued and cared for by you… family intimacy grows.
Focus on Jesus before you focus on building family intimacy
Your family life’s busy. The to-do list is long, the schedule is crazy, and the calendar is full. That is the reality of Christian family life in today’s world.
And you are wise to focus on building family intimacy! If you let your relationships just float along without putting much effort in, you are unlikely to really enjoy Christian family life. Your marriage will grow stale and your kids will drift away. Relationships take work.
But if you focus on giving, giving, giving, loving, loving, loving, working, working, working… you will not build family intimacy.
(You will, however, burn out and get frustrated.)
Without that daily time with the Lord, you are likely to struggle with distraction and frustration. Your efforts will work sometimes, but not always. And you may start to place too much of your identity in your family relationships, instead of in the Lord.
So first, focus on spending time with Jesus. Let him fill you, shape you, and lead you. He will smile on you and remind you of how much you matter to him.
And as He fills you up, you’ll have plenty of love and attention to pour out for your family.
What if I don't feel close to God?
It is a reality of the Christian life that we go through valleys in our faith. There are seasons that feel dry and disconnected. You might not always feel close to God.
But your feelings do not define reality. God defines reality.
If you have given your life to Jesus, his Holy Spirit lives in you today, and He is protecting you and leading you. Yes, that will include conviction and confession. But it will also include growth, peace, and great intimacy.
And the same reality is true with your family.
You might not always feel close with then, but that does not change the reality that they are incredibly important to you. Those feelings do not determine if the relationships matter.
As you continue building family intimacy, make sure to continue building intimacy with the Lord too.
Listen to Episode #121.5
The Friday Faith Follow-up Episode
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