Lord, you are the vine and we are the branches–we cling to you for life. (John 15:5) For our families to be fruitful—growing in wisdom, obedience, and love—we need to abide in you. Apart from you we can’t do anything.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of working so hard to become the perfect spouse or parent I think I’m supposed to be. I separate from you in an attempt to do it all in my own strength. I try to control my life through all the right behavior on the outside, without letting you first transform my heart on the inside. This ultimately leaves me frustrated. Discouraged. Burned out.
I want to depend on your love and power as my source for fruitful life in my home. Show me how to rest by giving you full control of my goals, choices, and future. Help me, my spouse, and our kids to see and truly know how much you love us. Living in the depth of your love and walking in obedience go hand-in-hand. Help me to meditate on your Word, obey those words, and seek you in prayer so I grow in love for you and better understand your love for us.
Give me a willing heart to listen to your truth and direction. Make each of us humble so we accept your “pruning” and discipline to make us more like you. Remind me your discipline is always out of love, to draw me closer to your side. Teach me to see every struggle and pain as proof you love us too much to leave us as we are. Your goal is always to grow my trust and dependence on you so I abide in you even more.
Give me your same loving spirit when I discipline my kids. Show me how to deepen our kids’ attachment to us as parents and to you as their Father. Use my discipline and correction to develop our children’s character and love for you.
How amazing it is that you want a close, abiding relationship with each of us! Thank you for Jesus who made a way for me to experience your love both now and forever. You pursue me, invite me to talk to you about everything, and call me your friend. You sent your Son Jesus to give up his life for me in the greatest display of sacrificial love the world has ever known.
When I remember Jesus, I remember “no servant is greater than his master.” (John 13:16) Let us take your example of sacrificial love and extend that same love to our family, friends, neighbors, and this whole lost world. Our King, Jesus, became a servant to all. He died for us when we were still sinners. Give us strength to love everyone with his kind of love.
Lord, I can only do this because you loved us first. (1 John 4:19) Thank you for your promise to finish the work you’ve started in us (Philippians 1:6) as we abide in you. I know you will make our joy complete and respond when we call on you. You’ll keep our family in your hands forever. Amen.
“I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.
If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch
that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up,
thrown into the fire and burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love.
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”