photo by Akuppa
Do you know Christians who have a difficult time saying the name Jesus in everyday conversation? Maybe you’re one. I was, for awhile. I spoke of my faith in the most general of terms, but speaking the name of Jesus seemed a little, too, well, evangelical. You know, holy roller religious babble.
Some baby Christians start out zealous, but I was cautious. I grew up in a pretty stoic family, and the thought of being ‘out there’ with my faith was a new and uncomfortable concept for me.
That is, until I started reading about how Jesus would dismiss knowing me if I were embarrassed to know Him, and how I should be shouting His name from the rooftops. I didn’t convert to being a carnival caller for Jesus, but I determined that I needed to learn how to be more open with my faith, including speaking the name of Jesus.
This came into clearer perspective when I had children. Having made a decision to be a discipling parent, I had to purposefully resolve to share the gospel in casual, everyday conversation. It’s kind of hard to share the salvation message with your child if you never bring the name of the Lord into the mix.
If you are determined to be a discipling parent, but don’t speak the name of Jesus except on Sundays, Christmas and Easter, I want to challenge you to make this week the week you break that habit (or begin to, anyway). Resolve to say the name Jesus at least once every day in conversation with your family. Here are some pointers to get you going:
- When you receive good news or a blessing of some kind, thank Jesus out loud.
- Thank Jesus when you catch your child doing good or behaving well.
- Read from one of the gospels as a family, then discuss what Jesus did in the passage.
- When a predicament comes up, ask ‘what would Jesus do?’
- Take advantage of a teachable moment to explain what Jesus taught about such a thing.
- Sing “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” as you prepare dinner, give baths or tuck kids into bed.
- Spend a special moment with your child praying to Jesus.
- Use a quiet time with your child to share your thoughts about Jesus or what He is teaching you.
- Spontaneously say, “You know what? Jesus loves you, and so do I.”
- Find some wonderful thing in nature and say, “You know, Jesus made that.”
- Give a contented sigh and exclaim, “I love Jesus.”
There are a lot of other things you could do, but the goal is to make much of Jesus in your home in a consistent, deliberate way, every single day. The salvation plan doesn’t mean much if Jesus isn’t in the center of it. Living out biblical truths is an exercise in self-focused goodness if Jesus doesn’t take the forefront in your applying them.
It’s all empty if your child doesn’t know that Jesus is the reason for everything.
Will you take the challenge? Let me know the impact it has on your discipling focus as a parent.