Personally, I don’t like New Year resolutions. In fact, I had an internal struggle just to use the word here. Now, you may ask, “Josh, why then are you going to tell me about some resolutions for me and my family?” That is a great question. The “resolutions” that follow are not just for the New Year, they serve as a year-round family refocus and while helping to produce unified growth in your family’s faith, hope, and love.
Get into God’s Word together
Christian families ought to be spending time together in God’s Word. This time doesn’t need to be flashy nor PhD-level, but it does need to happen. Parents instruct their children on the truths revealed in Scripture concerning God (who he is and what he does), themselves (sinners in need of righteousness), and the gospel (Christ’s righteous work on our behalf). These categories produce truth principles that we apply to our lives and help our children apply to their lives. God’s Word brings about salvation, sanctification, and an increased knowledge of and love for God, therefore it ought to be the bedrock of your family.
Love others together
Christian families ought to serve others in their family, the church body, those outside their family and church body. This comes from Christ’s simple command to love one another. One of the great benefits of loving others is that the faith of the laborer grows. This holds true as your family serves each other family member and those outside of your family. And by God’s design, the faith of the laborer grows while serving the church family. Parents lead their children in learning about loving other and modeling that sacrificial love.
Create a family mission statement
Christian families are driven to love God and love others by their knowledge of God. This isn’t always easy with schedules, energy levels, and the ever-present reality of sin. To help your family stay on track with a growing love for God and others, try creating a simple family mission statement. Some questions to consider while generating yours: What is God’s will for me and my family? How does God want us to accomplish this? What are our giftings, weaknesses? Where has God put us? How does the gospel show in what we do? What Scripture informs our answers? Also, don’t be afraid to revisit, evaluate, and revise your statement, the more you read the Bible, love God, and love others the clearer your statement will become.
Give your family’s first-fruits to God
Christian families are to devote themselves to God, this means they joyfully give God their first and best things. This may be the hardest “resolution” of all because God is asking each family member to value and prioritize Him and His will above all else. This means giving the family’s time, love, possessions, home, energy, labor, vacation, money, future, and so much more to God first. The return on this sacrifice is blessing of leading your family in their ultimate design: glorifying God with all that he has entrusted to them and you. Parents lead in this area by giving their first-fruits to God and teaching their children why they do so.