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Check Your Spiritual Pulse

Check Your Spiritual Pulse

We have a lot of conversations with our kids about what it means to follow Christ. It usually comes up when the kids start talking about a friend or acquaintance and wonder about their spiritual condition.

We hear this a lot: “They say they’re a Christian but they ______”

Fill in the blank with all manner of things, but in general, my kids are seeing a disconnect between what people say and the reality of what they believe.

The truth is, though, that we need to be taking our own spiritual pulse on a regular basis, too. Am I (or my spouse or my kids) functioning in a way that is consistent with a follower of Christ? If I say I believe in God, is my spiritual condition a priority in my life?

Back when the Jews were wandering around in the desert, God fed them with manna each day. Enough manna was supplied to feed them for one day only (except before the Sabbath where there was a two-day supply so they didn’t have to gather on the Sabbath). This is a perfect picture of what we need as Christians, and must demonstrate as parents.

We need to focus on Christ each and every day. Reading the Word, praying, listening. Making decisions through prayer rather than simply our own ideas. These are things that profoundly affect the way we function each and every day. And they make an impact on those around us.

Most people, when encouraged to do this, often know it is the right thing to do, and even want to in most cases. They will nod and agree wholeheartedly! But many complain that they don’t have the time. And it is hard to find time! People’s lives are busy and if you are anything like us, there are days where we are literally running from one thing to another.

But if we make that time to tend to our spirits a priority, you might be surprised at all the time you can find.

  • Keep a book and worship CD in your car for when you get stuck out somewhere or stuck waiting for someone.
  • Listen to podcasts of great preaching. These are widely available and free.
  • Turn on a worship CD while you’re vacuuming or folding clothes at home, or eating your lunch at work.
  • Turn off everything and pray out loud. If you’re in the car, people next to you will just assume you’re talking on the phone anyway!
  • Step away from everything for even ten minutes to focus on God.
  • Find a great book to help you push yourself deeper.
  • Get up just twenty minutes earlier.
  • End your night by reading the Word rather than listening to the news.

Look at your life and find the time. Make the commitment. He can’t lead us and help us if we’re not listening. And it’s easy to fall into worldly ways of thinking if we aren’t keeping “who He is” front and center in our lives.

And here is one of the secrets to a happy marriage—talk to your spouse about what you’re struggling with or learning or seeing. Sharing spirit to spirit with your spouse is a hugely rewarding activity. It encourages you to pray for one another, because when we share the struggles, we also get to share in the victories.

By: Jeff and Sarah Sumpolec have been married for 19 years and Jeff has been a therapist in private practice for more than 10 years. They have three daughters together and Sarah writes for and speaks to teens. Visit them at www.becomingministries.org and www.sarahannesumpolec.com.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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