E in PREPARE stands for Embrace.
Embrace the body of Christ. In John 17:11 Jesus prays “…that they may be one as We are.” Each week our kids listen closely to our conversations about the Church. On the way home from church, do we criticize the pastor’s message? Do we complain that the music needs to be more like the style we enjoy? Maybe our message is a silent – by not going to church we communicate that the body is not valuable or a high priority in our lives. How do we handle conflict in the body – do we follow the Lord’s example in Matthew 18, only going to the one who has offended us or do we share it with everyone BUT the one who offended us? Our children need to SEE us loving the body – all the different parts: each denomination (especially those that don’t see things the way we do), each color, each social economic group, female and males equally valued, each gift seen as important. All of these things our kids pick up by watching how we interact with those who are in our community of believers.
Show your kids that community with the rest of the body is important. Have other families over. Be a part of a small group. Serve the church together. For our family, small groups have always been a vital part of our life in the church. Our kids have grown accustom to lots of people being at our home – that is why the Lord gave it to us! We have served together teaching little people about Jesus. We have purposefully chosen a church to attend that is multi-cultural so that they can see that the body is made up of many different types of people – all of them so precious to the Lord.
Take a minute and look at your life. What message are you sending to your family? Is the body important? Is the body valuable?