Center Point - Family

This past Sunday our High School Student Ministry Director, Trey Critzer, knocked it out of the park as he spoke about what it looks like for Jesus to be the center of family and parenting. Below are some final thoughts from him. Be sure and watch his message here. And yes that is a picture of his family - "alien pop tarts"!?

Have you ever just taken time to watch people? I know it sounds kind of awkward, but I love watching people do life. I love watching the way they interact with others, sit down and eat together, and especially the way families interact. You have parents trying to order meals, while trying to keep their youngest son seated in his highchair, while keeping their other son from shooting spitballs at the adjacent table, while keeping their daughter’s attention while she’s fumbling through text messages on her phone - and you (the spectator) just watch and observe this crazy thing we call family.

This past Sunday I had the privilege of speaking to all of our campuses on the subject of Family. Now this was hard for me because I’m newly married and we don’t even have a dog that we have to take care of yet, so I was a little nervous when offered this particular subject. I felt like what I was going to share, in some way, may be irrelevant to others “doing family” every day.  Could I relate to parents who have an incredible task every day of raising children, keeping a marriage fresh, cooking dinner, going to church, working full time, and still trying to breathe from time to time?

As I sat down and thought about what I could say, I began to just reflect on what generations before me have done to prepare me for my future family. I thought about my parents, who were not perfect, but they were the most amazing parents I could have ever wished for. They cared for me, guided me, set an example for me, loved me, and showed me what family was all about. One of the greatest things we did as a family growing up was spend time together. I observe so many families so distracted by everything around them that they neglect the people closest to them. Sometimes we have to get rid of all our distractions and just declare tonight is “family time.”

 Then I thought about my grandparents and their influence on my view of family, and I realized how vital their role was in my life. I told the story Sunday about the legacy my Grandpa Stu left for us, and how I wanted to continue living out that legacy for the rest of my life. At his funeral, one of the biggest things that was said about his life was “Always give away more than you receive.” This is huge for families because so many times we make family more about what it can do FOR us, instead of allowing God to work THROUGH us. Your family is not about you. It’s about everyone in the family, and our goal should constantly be to give, not receive. This can be hard to live out sometimes though because, at the end of the day, we barely have anything left to give. I love this passage in Proverbs 11:25 that says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed”.
May we continue to be generous in our families, and know that what we do could, in turn, affect generations to come. Don't underestimate the power God has given you and your family to do some amazing things, but it starts with allowing Jesus to be the center. Don't waste time on things that continue to distract or hinder your family from growing. May you be the family that, when people observe you doing life, they see God working in and through you. I hope we can all make Joshua's declaration to the people our declaration too: "As for me and my household, we will SERVE THE LORD." (Joshua 24:15)

- Trey Critzer, High School Director, Mechanicsville Campus

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