For the next few posts, I want to begin challenging readers to think very seriously about the obstacles that might stand in the way of growing more cross-centered in their homes (marriage, parenting, sibling relations, etc.). After all, it should come as no surprise that if a follower of Christ makes a commitment, by God’s grace, to pursue holiness and Christ-likeness in one or more areas of life, battles will ensue.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12).
Are you aware of the battle raging for the heart of your home? Your own hearts? Your spouses’ hearts? Your children’s hearts? Your brothers’ and sisters’ hearts? Following hard after Jesus comes at a cost (Luke 14:25-35). We do well to consider the cost of a cross-centered home.
Looking back on my own life, I am often sorely disappointed in how little I have sacrificed to serve Jesus and to spread His love and message to my neighbors and to the ends of the earth. In America, Christians can live so comfortably, and never really know what it means to truly give sacrificially, of their time, money, energy, talents, gifts, mind, heart and soul. Or, can they? Does Jesus the Christ actually allow for comfortable, non-sacrificial Christianity? Even a cursory review of His teachings in the New Testament challenges this notion of what we Americans have called Christianity for far too long.
Make no mistake, pursuing Christ in our homes, or anywhere else for that matter, is costly. Jesus makes absolute demands upon His vassals, and has sovereign rights as our substitutionary Savior-Warrior-King to do so (1 Cor 6:19-20). The Lord is graciously teaching me more of what it means to “count the cost.” And I am finding that for every little step of faith or sacrifice made, God is infinitely worthy of it; so much so that I hesitate to call anything I do in His service a “sacrifice.”
To avoid pontificating at length in this post, let me just leave you with this thought, based upon observation, personal experience, and the absolute authority of the Scripture:
Two idols are epidemic in Christian homes today, and they are preventing many of us from striving by grace towards the C2H ideal. These American idols are: Busyness and Lifestyle. They go hand-in-hand, and they are sucking the vitality right out of our hearts, our homes, and our churches. Consider prayerfully how these idols seek to rule your hearts each day. We will further explore in our next post.