Parenting has given me such concrete examples of deeper spiritual truths.
Like this one: Knowing what family we belong to helps us understand what it looks like to represent that family in the world.
The conversation in our house has gone something like this:
Daughter: “But mom, my friends get to…”
Mom: “Well, sweetheart, in this family we…”
There are certain things we do as Mueller’s. There are certain ways we act or behave. So, if you are a Mueller and you belong to our family, you need to know we aim to forgive generously. Because you’re a Mueller, you should be aware we expect you to respond a certain way—we think about others’ feelings, we look for ways to serve them and we do our best to love people well. As a Mueller, you will have certain rhythms— Friday night is family night. You’ll find us making pizzas and watching a movie or playing board games. Because you’re a Mueller, you need to recognize that we dress a certain way. (I can see this conversation getting more real as she gets older!)
There are certain things we do, certain things we are because we are Muellers. Being a part of this family hopefully helps our kids have a framework to know how to live, how to act, how to treat people. They certainly won’t get it right every time, just as they see us not get it right every time. But we hope that, over time, knowing they are a Mueller becomes a launching pad that helps them live into the fullness of their potential.
What’s true in the natural is often true in the spiritual.
If we don’t understand who we are, how can we possibly represent the Father accurately in the world around us?
Understanding our Covenant relationship with the Father is the starting place for living a fruitful and impactful life on mission.
Covenant is how God wants to relate to us. He’s our Dad. He’s the Father of our family. He calls us His own, give us His name and access to all His resources. We are His. We get to know Him and be known by Him. He created us in His image to look like Him, to be a reflection of our Dad in heaven.
Part of looking like Him is to live as sent ones—just as Jesus was the first Sent One, sent from God the Father to be a representation of the Kingdom of God on earth. Just as God the Father sent Jesus, He is sending us to represent Him in the world around us and to look like Him to the world around us.
When we truly understand WHO we are, living a naturally missional life and being a part of expanding the Kingdom of God in the world around us is simply a response to our truest identity.
When we realize who the Father says we are—son or daughter of the Most High, child of God, heir to the throne, one who is protected, defended, redeemed and restored—being a living representation of God to the world around us is not just what we do in this family. It’s who we are.
You have a Covenant identity. The Father gives it to you. Living missionally in your everyday life: loving your neighbors in the name of Jesus, laying your hands on the sick and praying for them to be well, having a deep desire that God would show up in your normal everyday interactions—well, that’s just what we do in this family.
It’s simply a response to who you really are.
It is who are. It’s how you’re made. His imprint is on you.
What does it look like for you today to live into a more complete picture of your Covenant identity in your neighborhood, in your workplace and in your everyday life?