Making Jesus a Regular Part of the Family: It Starts With Us

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
— 3 John 1:4
Catching her standing behind her “altar” preaching to her congregation!

Catching her standing behind her “altar” preaching to her congregation!

I grew up going to church regularly on Sundays. I grew up having to read the Bible if we missed mass and saying the rosary together. I remember collecting some of my little books and bibles I received as gifts from sacraments and thinking I was going to be super holy one day. 

But then you fast forward and teenage years arrive, you’re not just gonna sit there and talk about Jesus a ton because that’s not real cool. You even daydream in church about what you’re going to wear to school the next day, and your friends from school didn’t really go to retreats so either did you. Somehow the being “extra holy” slips on by. I mean, I wasn’t gonna be bumpin’ in the school parking lot to KLOVE. That’s what Jay-Z and Kid Rock were for. 

But then you grow up a little and have children of your own and begin to realize church is where you’re supposed to be. Not only is it where you’re supposed to be, but it’s where you begin to find more joy and peace. Turns out that maybe all those moments of being in love with Christ as a child would come back ten fold as an adult. Or maybe it’s a totally new discovery for you, and wow, isn’t it beautiful? 

I look at my kids now, little girls excited about church. Numerous times a week I can find my four year old playing “church.” I can peek on her and find her on her knees praying or rocking a baby in her “pew.” Heck I’ve even found her with a side table in front of her as an altar, flipping through my devotional with her hands up like she’s preaching. Rosaries are prayed with, even though they don’t know exactly what to do. There’s an excitement that I see in them that I had when I was little too, but perhaps theirs is even more fierce.

My children are on fire for Jesus y’all, even more than I was as a little girl and it makes me realize even more now just how powerful our example as parents can be. It’s more than just popping into church sometimes or for holidays. No, it’s far more than that. It’s letting your children see you walk the walk that you try to talk. Jesus isn’t just a name on Sunday’s, no sir. He’s a regular part of the family, mentioned daily as we navigate life, spats, tantrums and so on. His love exudes from a priest that my children adore and can run up and freely hug, who in turn shows them nothing by love. His mercy is shown when things are hard. His words are taught as we sit and talk about scripture and so on. Jesus is just a regular here. 

I don’t share all of this because I’m some super cool mom who is doing it perfectly - oh no friends. I’m just as broken, imperfect and sometimes lack of patience kinda mama as any. It is a continuous journey to deepen faith and prayer life and I can think of many days where obligations or life gets in the way of being present with Jesus. It’s always a journey! 

But I share this because when I think of the brokenness of our world, I realize that we are walking away from making Jesus a regular part of the family. In the millennial lifestyle of go, go, go, He sometimes gets placed on the back burner. He’s saved for the holidays and His name becomes less mentioned in schools, homes, politics and so on. Are we truly as a society living by His word? Are we truly rooting and giving our whole life to Him? Are we showing our children what it means to live by His spirit.

We aren’t always walking the walk for our children. We aren’t always allowing our children to be fired up and then fueling that fire to keep it blazing. I don’t want the fire to go out. I want that fire to roar. 

In 10 years I don’t want my daughters to be afraid to talk about Jesus. I don’t want them to daydream during mass or dread waking up on Sundays just because they wanna sleep in. I don’t want them to think that retreats aren’t cool or that they can’t bump in their car to KLOVE. In fact, I kinda hope that’s all they really know. I want the fire these little girls have now to blaze forever and to just continually grow; to not get dimmed down by society or what they feel society or friends expects from them. 

But the fire can’t keep blazing if I don’t do my part. If I don’t set the example, if I don’t walk the walk before I talk the talk, then how can I keep the fire burning for my children?

It’s starts with us. It starts at home. We have to find our own fire for Jesus Christ first so we can continually encourage our children to live by His word, walk the walk, talk the talk and keep that fire burning. We have to make Him a regular part of the family where His name is spoken daily. Where lessons are learned, prayers are prayed and scriptures are read. Where children see their parents praying or reading the Bible over and over. Where there’s no fear of being different.  Where we are truly living by His word and learning more about what His word even means.

It starts with us.

It starts with us. And it’s never too late.