Does your family need some TLC this Christmas? Take a break from watering the Christmas tree and water your family tree for a blessed season!
When it comes to Christmas trees, are you team artificial or team fresh? There are pros and cons to each, but there’s no denying the beautiful smell of a fresh pine tree filling the air at Christmastime. You do pay a price for that smell though—daily watering, for one! You might get away without watering it for a day or two, but if that tree doesn’t get the nourishment it needs, you know what happens—dry, brown needles all over the floor. Not so holly jolly.
But there’s another tree that needs your loving care this Christmas—your family tree. Not the one pasted to the back of your Bible or photo album, but the people listed on it. Maybe it’s been a tough year—illness, financial setback, strife or rebellion. You may be wanting to turn your attention to planning for Christmas to take your mind off the heartache. This is the time to do just the opposite—it’s time to water your family tree, and turn your heart toward your family.
Here are some tips to get you started and make a change in the heart of your family this Christmas.
- Seek the Lord first. You may think Jesus is first place in the life of your family, but could it be that things have gotten a bit off track? Maybe discussions about God around the dinner table have ceased, prayers have been rushed, and church has been missed. Maybe the television turns on before Bibles have been read. Now is the time for you to stand up as a spiritual leader in your home and turn things around. Here are some ways to help your family seek God first in your lives:
- Start with yourself—determine to have a regular and meaningful quiet time every day. Encourage your family members to do the same.
- Pick up a Bible trivia game at the Christian bookstore, grab some snacks, and make a fun, family night of it!
- Spend some alone time with each of your children (no matter how old) talking about what is happening in their lives and how to get God involved in their situations. Offer to pray with each of them, and encourage them to seek the Lord.
- Make church attendance a priority and family prayer a part of your daily life.
- Stay out of strife. Here’s where you can make a HUGE change in your family. Sound too challenging? It isn’t. And God is here to help. It might be a spouse, a teenager or an in-law, and though you can’t control the behavior of others, you can control yours. WARNING: You’re going to need to crucify your flesh for this.
The Bible is where you find the best advice for dealing with volatile relationships. Here’s where you start:
- Refuse to fight. You might have a great comeback to the insult just hurled at you, but don’t do it. Wisdom is silent (Proverbs 17:28) and “a fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back” (Proverbs 29:11, NKJV).When a family member tries to fight, simply don’t fight back. If they ask why you aren’t saying anything, simply let them know that you don’t want to fight with them. Without fuel on the fire, the flames go out!
- Forgive quickly. Does your mother-in-law insult you? Does your brother break his promises? Forgive. And quickly. Strife can’t keep living in a heart that forgives. Don’t give Satan a foothold in your life—keep your heart free of unforgiveness.
- Show love. What is something nice you can do for your family members this Christmas? Not just giving gifts, but what are some other thoughtful things you can do? Does your wife like coffee in the morning? Does your husband need his clothes pressed for work? Take care of it! Could your kids use some one-on-one time with you? Take them out for lunch and Christmas shopping—just the two of you. Whatever you can do to bless your family this Christmas—do it!
- Above all, spend time praying for every family member every day. Cover and press in for things they need, breakthroughs or deliverances. Take spiritual ground on their behalf, and watch how much they begin to thrive.
Water your family tree with love this Christmas—then you won’t be faced with dried-up, brittle relationships, but instead you’ll be blessed with the fragrance of a home built on the love of Christ Jesus. Your home and life will be a testimony to those around you, and you will build a strong foundation for years to come.
Watch Gloria Copeland and Billye Brim teach you how to pray over your family with authority!
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