With the turning of every calendar year comes countless conversations and articles pertaining to resolutions and goals. Many will discuss the resolutions they’ve made and others will add the keys to actually adhering to those New Year’s resolutions. Yet others will make the distinction that goals are more important or more needed than resolutions. Goals tend to be more formalized and measurable than a simple resolution, therefore achievement is more likely. All of this talk of resolutions and goals is wonderful. In fact, I believe it to be a very important part of our transition from one year to the next. I also take the opportunity provided by the turning of a new year to reflect on the previous year and prepare goals for the next year.
In addition to establishing annual goals, I have unofficially applied a personal theme to each year. Last year my personal theme was growth. I wanted to focus on personal growth in my spiritual life, my career, my leadership ability, etc. I also wanted to see similar growth within my family. I’m not sure where I discovered this notion of an annual theme. I’m not even sure why I started considering such a notion. It has just been an unofficial part of my thought process through the transition of years. Well, this year I plan to make this annual theme an official part of my annual planning. I’ve recently been challenged by our pastor to establish a focal word and Bible verse that guides my year. This challenge has provided me a mechanism to communicate my annual theme and make it a more official part of my year.
So my 2015 word is COVER.
My 2015 verse is Psalm 91:4.
He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
Now let me explain the significance of the word cover and Psalm 91:4 for me in 2015.
As the spiritual leader of my family, I want 2015 to be dedicated to establishing the discipline of covering my family. As a result of being diligent and intentional about covering my family, I want my wife and children to say of me what the psalmist says of God in Psalm 91:4.
Now I understand the context of Psalm 91 and the role God plays as our protection, our refuge, our fortress, and our deliverer. My desire is not to take the place of God in the lives of my wife and children. In fact, I want to lead my wife and children to God in such a way that they are confident in God’s protection. However, I do want to me a husband and father of such godly character that my family could speak similar words of protection of me. I want my family to be unconditionally confident in my faithfulness to them. I want my family to know that I will provide a protective covering over them (both a physical and spiritual covering). When any member of my family needs to seek refuge, I deep desire is that I am the first person that comes to mind when they consider where to find refuge.
So with that said, let me share 8 ways I plan to cover my family in 2015 and beyond.
Often overlooked or relegated to a last resort, but not this year. Pray for and with my family is a fundamental principle in providing the spiritual covering that my family needs. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells me to pray constantly. My family will know and experience me praying constantly.
Ephesians 5:25 tells me to love my wife as Christ loves the church and sacrificed Himself for it. This means that the needs of my family members will be met before my own needs.
1 Peter 5:8 is my call to arms. Satan and all his evil helpers are out in this world prowling around like hungry lion seeking whom they may devour. I will be sober minded and vigilantly keep watch and protect my family from his ploys.
James 1:22 commands me to be a doer, not just a hearer. My family will witness me doing the things the Bible teaches me.
Deuteronomy 11:19 gives me the responsibility to teach my family the Bible when we are at home, away from home, at night, and in the morning. Clearly I must take full advantage of every moment to teach my family from the principles of the Bible.
Proverbs 3:11-12 tells me the God disciplines His children because he loves them. Then the proverb compares God discipline with that of an earthly father toward his son in which he delights. I will not abdicate the discipline of my children to my wife, school officials, or anyone else.
Proverbs 18:13 warns that folly and shame is the result of making a decision or giving an answer without first listening. I will be patient with my family to fully hear their needs and concerns in order that I can provide wise Bible based counsel.
1 Timothy 5:8 informs me that failure to provide for my family would be equivalent to denying my faith in Jesus as Savior and be worse that being an unbeliever. It is a tough responsibility, but it is my responsibility nonetheless.
What is your word and verse for 2015? Do you have an theme that serves as a guiding principle of your year? What ways are you working to cover your family and be the refuge and protective shield described in Psalm 91:4? Share your thoughts in comments below.