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God’s Not-So-Hidden Purpose for Families

9 years ago written by

llm-jul14_discipleshipWhen we took our three girls (ages 6, 10 and 12) to China for a mission trip, responses ranged from “you’re so brave” and “I wish I could do that” to “you’re completely out of your minds.” That last one was more common than polite, but I believe if people don’t think we’re out of our minds when we do God’s mission as a family, we’re doing it wrong.

When God blessed Abraham and promised him children (Genesis 12:2–3), His reasons went far beyond Abraham and Sarah. “I will bless you … and you will be a blessing …. and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” is a pattern God set at the foundation of His covenant with His people.

The modern Western world has remembered mostly the first part. We see family as a gift for us. God has blessed us with children, siblings, spouses or other people to love and live with, to support unconditionally and need deeply.

While certainly true, what if that’s not the way God’s people were originally called to look at their families? What if our first calling is to take our children into the world and see them as blessings for God’s kingdom?

Maybe it means a family mission trip, volunteering with service organizations, helping a neighbor or allowing your child to work through tough situations. For some, it means living in a neighborhood others wouldn’t choose because of people there who need a blessing. Daily, it means seeing where others need us and modeling a life of service for those who watch us.

Jill Richardson is a Free Methodist pastor, wife and mother sharing God’s grace through speaking, writing ( and living.


[1] How does it change our thinking to view our family as a gift for the purpose of blessing the world?
[2] What changes would be needed to make that shift?

Article Categories:
[Discipleship] · Departments · God · LLM July 2014 · Magazine