Building a Godly Family

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15, NIV).

If there is any silver lining to these months of the coronavirus pandemic, it is that they’ve forced me to direct my time and attention to the most important things in life. For me, that’s four very critical somethings—namely, Gabrielle, Joseph, Katarina, and Theresa. I consider now more than ever how precious these four are to me, as well as my responsibility to do all in my power to look after them.

Gabrielle and I are readying for our 13th anniversary! We’re getting to those years of marriage when it is harder to remember what life was like when we weren’t together. The integrity of our matrimony is the foremost mark in our lives of godly love and character, embodying the very love of Christ, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25, NIV). Our love and fidelity to one another is an emblem of the eternal love of Christ for His bride, the Church. Indeed, what a lofty calling and responsibility. With each year we add to our days spent together, we prove our love for each other as well as God’s love for the Church.

Gabrielle and I are partners for all of life, especially in our foremost calling—to raise our kids in the way of the Lord. We want nothing more than for our three little ones to grow up into the Christian man and women God intended them to be from before they were born. With our lives and the way we treat them, our aim to model for our children the same love and discipline God extends towards all of His own:

“God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness” (Heb. 12:10, NIV).

By virtue of the COVID stay-at-home order, we’ve been forced to spend more time with one another then ever before. We’ve never spent so many hours talking, playing, going for walks, or reading God’s word together. As working parents, it can be hard to set aside that quality family time everyone needs. Perhaps then we can find something to be grateful for amid this whole pandemic mess—the extra time at home has driven us past the ordinary, and often trivial, pursuits of life to spend time building into what’s most important—a godly family.

My calling is to look after those under my roof at all costs, taking every precaution and more to safeguard their well-being. And so I pray, “God help me to ever lift the banner of your name over the walls of this home, to build into and watch over those you’ve entrusted to my care. Help this nation, this world, to take up the same responsibility, living each day to ensure the health and welfare of those under our roof.”

Published by Paul J. Palma

Paul J. Palma is a professor of Christian history and theology at Regent University. His new book, Italian American Pentecostalism and the Struggle for Religious Identity, is part of the Routledge Studies in Religion series. Paul is a contributing writer for CBN.com and the Pneuma Review. He enjoys spending quality time with his family, whether on walks together, going to the beach, fishing, or work around the yard.

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