Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; and The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.
Why is faith important? Why is family important? And how do they work together?
Faith is our foundation. During this time of uncertainty, chaos, and fear, we turn to faith. We turn to the God who made us, because we know that He is the God who sustains. God is the only one who can give us the strength and the peace we need to make it through crises when we come undone. Our faith is especially important in times like these when all the things that we thought we could count on (even down to going to the grocery store for some) have been taken away. When our lives have been stripped down to the essentials, we realize that it is our faith in God that will see us through.
Family is the vehicle God has given us to help us grow in our faith. The church is an important place for nurturing and growing faith. But families have much more time together than the church will ever have. Family is who nurtures us and raises us. It is our community and our safety net. Family, be they chosen or blood related, are the people who help us and who nurture us. When faith and family work together, something amazing happens. We take our two foundations and create a very sturdy house out of our lives. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, we read,
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
The Lord tells us what we should do and then says that we should impress those teachings on our children. The family is the place where faith can grow the most. The church and the family partner together to nurture the faith of a child, but it is in the family where the child’s faith has the most opportunity to grow. When families focus on faith with their children, they can create a faith foundation that will be the bedrock for that child’s whole life.