Fellow Sheep {Home, Part 6}

{Home is the starting place for lived-out-love, a place where the needs of the whole person are cared for.  This post explores spiritual care.}

Jesus is our Shepherd, and we are his sheep.  Thinking of our relationships this way sets the tone for spiritual care and relationships within our home.  Seeing ourselves as “fellow sheep” would be helpful for any people living together under the same roof!  Knowing Jesus as the Shepherd puts our relationships into perspective.  When we have a growing relationship with Jesus and trust him to work in others’ lives, it is humbling, hope-giving, and freeing for our relationships with one another.

IMG_20171030_205450669

My daughter, Aubrey, reading her Bible before bedtime.

When we are “fellow sheep,” we can be humble.  This is because I am more similar than different from other people.  I am not the one who has to accomplish anything in another person’s life; Jesus is the Shepherd who is leading each of our lives.  This gives a “one another” perspective in our relationships.  Some of the biblical “one anothers” we can live out include encouraging, helping, loving, teaching, and learning from one another.  This is also hope-giving because with Jesus there is a real possibility for change and growth!  And it is freeing because we don’t need to carry unrealistic expectations that we so easily take upon ourselves.  We can trust God to work in another’s life.  Our primary focus is on our own walk with Jesus.  The growth and love others see in our lives will influence them more than words.

In our home, we want it to be a place where our girls can’t help but meet Jesus!  A place where people who come into our home sense Christ is the center of it.  In our marriage, Richard and I both seek to put Jesus at the center of our lives.  This helps us grow together, share priorities, and offer forgiveness in our marriage.  I don’t have to control or manipulate something about Richard or his life.  I trust that his relationship with God will lead him to lead the family.

In parenting, we have introduced our girls to Jesus in countless ways:  we apologize, teach about life, answer questions, talk about the Bible, pray on a regular basis, share openly what Jesus is teaching us, and engage in Christian community.  As parents, Richard and I mentor our girls, mostly by who we are and how we live.  Simply seeing us do it isn’t enough though – they need to make it their own!  As fellow sheep, we help our girls to connect with and follow the Shepherd rather than us.  It’s exciting to continue to mentor them as their faith grows in the midst of real life.  (See notes for parenting resources below.)

The most important thing for each of us sheep is to be near to the Shepherd and hear his voice.  As adults, we each need time in the Word.  And for children, an important step is for them to have opportunity to read the Bible themselves, so the Holy Spirit can work in their hearts as they read words of life.  We each need to know God directly so He can work in our lives!

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” ~John 10:27

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  ~Deuteronomy 6:6-7

 

How can the perspective that Jesus is the Shepherd and we are fellow sheep shape the relationships and spiritual growth in your home?

 

 ~ ~ ~

As parents, here’s some resources we’ve found helpful:

  • 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs.  We used this as a family devotional to introduce the girls to the Bible and to prayer when they were toddler/preschool age.  It was great fun singing and dancing around with the song for each devotional!
  • Egermeier’s Bible Story Book.  This is a rather complete paraphrase of the Bible for elementary school age children.  I read it to the girls aloud and found it to be quite accurate and well-written.  It looks and reads more like a real Bible than a children’s Bible.  I highly recommend it!  This is a good fit for about second grade reading level.
  • Kids Life Application Bible (NLT).  This Bible is great because it is an accurate translation that’s easy to understand.  It has helpful side notes that school-age kids connect with.  At about third grade reading level, we gave each girl one of these.  I’ve added tabs for names of books of the Bible and provided fun Bible highlighters, so they’re encouraged to learn and make it their own!
  • Seeds of Worship CD’s.  This is Scripture set to music. It is high quality and quotes scripture word for word.  We’ve loved listening to it in the car.  It facilitates Scripture memorization and opens up conversations about Bible verses.
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  The beautiful artwork and carefully chosen Bible stories makes this a great fit for very young children.  At the same time, the devotional ideas are encouraging for adults as well!  Lloyd-Jones develops God’s desire for relationship with us as she returns to the theme of God’s “never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.”
  • Two helpful and inspiring reads for parents include Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony and For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s