Staying Power

What are some of your favorite songs, favorite places, or favorite traditions? So many of the things in my life that mean the most - whether friends, traditions, or my favorite local ice cream place - are the people, places & things that have been around the longest. They're the songs that have been on repeat for years, or even decades. The places we grew up going to. The friends we can't even remember life without. They're the things, places, and people that have staying power. 

Staying is powerful. There's power in simply showing up. Consistently. Just being there, doing what you do, over a long period of time. But we live in a fast-paced culture that seems to be changing all the time. Movement and change are exciting. We're drawn to the fresh, the new, the unknown... we may even feel more obedient to God when we go, move, do something new. 

But some things get lost when we move on quickly & frequently. Our 'on to the next one' lives can cost us. In fact, some of the greatest growth, community and moments of our lives come not from moving, but from staying. 

Sure, there will be times when God calls us to go, but what about those times when God calls us to stay? 

This week, check out 1 Corinthians 7, specifically verses 17-24. 
Let each one live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him. - 1 Corinthians 7:17

Sometimes our focus on changing the outside (our circumstances, our location, our relationships, etc) actually keeps us from what God wants to change on the inside. When God calls us to stay, God often wants to change something in US, in THEM, and in the WORLD.  Some things can only happen, the deepest relationships can only be formed, and true character can only be developed the longer you stay. 

Our tendency is to move on and to change things up when we want to grow, but God may be calling us right where we are - to stay. 

For more, check out Romans 5:3-4, Proverbs 27:17, 1 Corinthians 7:16, Galatians 4:4 & Genesis 12

Some Assembly Required Weeks 1-4 Summary

I LOVE the church. I love that my kids wake up talking about their ‘church family’ every Sunday. I love being WITH these people - through the ups and downs and awkward and awesome moments. I love how God uses others to bless, care for and speak through. I love how we find so much identity, meaning, and purpose when we see ourselves as part of something bigger than ourselves. I believe that church family can change the world more than anything in the world. I've been loving teaching through 1 Corinthians in a series called ‘Some Assembly Required’ this summer. Here's where we've been so far... 

WHY BE A PART OF THE CHURCH? 

1 | CULTURE. Church is where I get the wisdom of God. Wisdom is the collected experience/common sense of a group of people living in the same ways together. The people we surround ourselves with, the wisdom & insight we listen to... these things shape us. Being in an environment that regularly thinks through and discusses - values - spirituality and the teachings of Jesus form & reinforce those things in our life. We are people headed in the same direction, with the same values. This shapes our culture, our daily lives, & who we are. | 1 Corinthians 1-2

2 | PRIORITIES. Being a part of the church is one of the most important ways & places where I practice making Jesus the FIRST & most important thing. If you want to know what's most important in your life - what your priorities are - think about the thing/activity/people you say NO/I CAN'T to LEAST often. (Or put another way, YES to MOST often.)  Jesus as our foundation means we put him first and foremost in our life.
1 Corinthians 3

We live in a non-commital culture where ironically most  miss out on the best thing for us because we are fearful and anxious about committing ourselves or our children to something that may not be the best thing for us. Could it be that commitment, habit, and simply showing up over and over again matters and is more formative today in our non-commital culture than ever before? You worship something....whether it be money, work, power, popularity, self. The question isn't whether you worship, but what you worship. Gathering with the church helps re-order what we worship. 
- Dan Sadlier


3 | RELATIONSHIPS. We miss out on so much when we approach life from an individual standpoint. Not only do we miss out on the joy of community, but also the personal growth that comes from it. Church is one of the only/best places I know of that provides the love, acceptance and grace required for people to grow in every area into the people God has created them to be. Further, we don't simply ask What's in it for me? in the church, but also how I can contribute to the growth of others? It's only in community that mentorships and spiritual parenting can happen.
1 Corinthians 4

4 | GROWTH. Church is where I get help from people who love me. I  see things/myself from a different perspective (most often a better one, as others tend to see more/better in us than we do in ourselves and can call it out in us!) However, when we're known intimately (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and still accepted, we have the opportunity to develop character & holiness - to grow as a person. I also grow by not only being with people like me or people that agree with me. This goes beyond tolerance to diversity!  | 1 Corinthians 5-6

For a few more thoughts, check out this article from Relevant Magazine entitled Why Can't I Just Go to Church Online? 

 

Living the #DADLIFE

The #dadlife is a lot of things - from the funny to the mundane to the downright depressing. Just take it from a few of these dads!

Despite what our kids or even our culture may believe, the #dadlife is more than being 'the boss',  'the man', knowing it all or being the 'guy on the couch.' Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4 that there are plenty of people ready to simply tell others what to do - he calls them 'instructors' - but not many fathers.

What's the difference? Here are 5 Things from 1 Corinthians 4 that will help you live the #dadlife.

1 | The #dadlife is an invested life. Biological, adopted, or chosen kids are a blessing, a responsibility, and a gift! We are trusted with faithful management of God's kids. We're faithful with what God has given us by investing in them - raising them up to multiply/raise others up. It's what God says 'Well done, good & faithful servant' to! Check out 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 and Matthew 25:23-26.

2 | The #dadlife is a life lived with integrity. Most of us have heard (or even said) at some point the infamous parent quote - "Do as I say, not as I do." In 1 Corinthians 4:6, Paul says that everything he is instructing others to do he has first 'applied to himself.' Dads don't just tell others how to live, they set the example by how they live. Before you go thinking you have to be perfect to be a great dad, remember: the #dadlife isn't about perfection, it's about your direction. How do you respond when you mess up? How are you learning, growing, and changing? 

3 | The #dadlife is an involved life. Change a few diapers, pick up after a few playdates, and get involved in some teenage drama... you'll find out quickly that being involved is messy business. Humble service always is. It's difficult. It's inconvenient. It's... messy. But it's exactly what God (our Father) did/does for us, and the life we're called to live in following Jesus. Check out everything Paul went through in 1 Corinthians 4.

4 | The #dadlife is an intentional life. Paul left a legacy by intentionally investing his life - how he lived - in others. It's what enabled him to send Timothy to remind others of his ways! What 'ways' are you passing on? Show them by living it out in front of them and alongside them!

Laying a Foundation in your Family

There’s nothing more important than raising up the next generation to know & follow Jesus - and no one has more potential to influence a child’s relationship with God than a parent! We might know that - but what does it look like to lay a foundation of faith in your family? Throughout the Bible, parents are instructed to ‘train up a child in the way he should go…’ (Proverbs 22:6) and to ‘impress (God’s commandments) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.’ (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

In other words, not just when you’re at church - but all the time! In those ‘teachable moments’ along the way as well as intentional times of family worship & devotions at home. Getting started can be hard, a little awkward, slightly less than perfect, and a lot shorter than you’d like - but don’t get discouraged and don’t give up! You’re taking an important first step that will reap benefits for years… and generations to come. Here are some practical tools to help along the way!

IT STARTS WITH YOU
We can only give away what we've already received from God. Make sure you are spending time with God daily and living a life worth imitating!

INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS
Set aside a day, evening, or even an hour for family time each week, a date with your spouse if you're married, play time, sabbath rest, church community, and other important practices and rhythms. Kids learn the most by watching the important people in their life and by participating in what's really important to your family! At the Kubiak house, Gwyn & I have a date night every Tuesday (even if it's at home), Wednesdays or Thursdays we're with our church family (they look forward to it!), Friday nights are family night, Saturdays are sabbath rest and Sundays we're at church. Make time for what's important in your family!

SET A TIME
I’ve found that what doesn’t make it on the calendar rarely gets done around our house. Intentionally set aside time to teach, train and disciple your family in God’s Word. Family Worship looks different for every family and happens at a time and frequency that works for your family. Some families might have devotions every day, others once a week, and others are just getting started!

At the Kubiak home, we do this for 15 minutes or so over breakfast in the morning. In other seasons, we have done our Family Time in the 15 minutes before bed. Find a time that works for your family.

HAVE A PLAN
Keep it simple and remember that doing something is better than being overwhelmed about trying to do everything and ending up doing nothing. At the Kubiak home, our time together looks something like this…

1 | Worship. We put on a worship song (sometimes a ‘kid’ song, other times a song they might have heard at church) and share what we’re thankful for or excited about that day. We also try to pick one thing about God to thank Him for. We might even clap or shout it out loud!
(Example: ‘God, thank you that you are so GOOD! Woohoo!) 
Recommended Resource: Antioch Shoreline Spotify

2 | Declarations. We prayerfully decide on a short statement that we are believing for/would like to see growth in for each of our kids. This is speaking truth & identity over your child. As Romans 4:17 says, God ‘calls those things which do not exist as though they did.’ We usually all cheer together ‘YES, YOU ARE!’ afterward. (Example: ‘I am a man of God who listens to obey.’)

3 | Scripture Memory. We sing or say a memory verse together each day. This is often the verse they are memorizing at Antioch Kids each week, but we have also selected verses for our family is focusing on for a week or even a month. You might even use flash cards!
Recommended Resource: Seeds Family Worship

4 | Read the Bible & Talk. Read a short section of the Bible or a page from a Children’s Bible together. Many provide questions to discuss together. We often ask ‘Discovery Bible Study’ questions (What is the main point? What do we learn about God? People/Ourselves? What will we do today?) Our kids often have questions of their own. Go with those!
Recommended Resource: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

5 | Pray & Bless. Ask your kids how you can pray for the and share how they can pray for you. Pray for others. Ask if anyone feels like God is saying anything today. Most importantly, actually pray together!
Recommended Resource: Antioch Daily Prayer Guide

That’s It! Pretty simple, huh? 1 Corinthians 3:6 #plantseeds

OTHER RESOURCES
Parenting Without Regret by Jimmy & Laura Seibert
Right Now Media - Absolutely free access to the biggest video Bible Study library in the world. It even includes family-friendly shows like Veggie Tales & more!