Bold Faith: Sharing Jesus With Our Families and the World4 min read

I recently started seeing a chiropractor for back and hip pain. During my first visit, my doctor and I were having a conversation, getting to know each other and talking about family, work, and my ministry path. I often get asked by doctors what I do for a living, but my response of “a Family Life Education degree and a career in church ministry” is not often met with understanding, but more typically, rather, a vague response, presumably signifying that they don’t know what that means. Her understanding peaked my interest. Later in the conversation, she mentioned that she sees what she does as a ministry as well. Now, that could mean any number of things, and any range of commitment and sincerity. People often say that but don’t truly live it. I later came to find that was not the case here: I could not have fathomed at the time how strongly she had meant it. Knowing the consistency of my pain and how much help I needed, and snippets of my bleak financial situation, she showed Jesus to me in ways I could never have imagined; in ways that I would never have expected a doctor, whom I had met just one month prior, to have shown. She cared for me as a person, not just a patient. Without divulging more information than may be sanctioned, she showed me mercy and grace amidst my financial hardships because she wanted to care for me. She demonstrated Jesus to me in a time of desperation and hardship that she didn’t even know the half of.

But she proved she didn’t need to know.

She didn’t need the breakdown of my life story or the details of my present situation to offer help and care to someone in need. She didn’t need more information to know that I had a struggle, and she had a way to help. She wasn’t even asked (by me, anyway…) to help in the capacity in which she chose, but she did. And she didn’t even hesitate. To whatever measure God will continue to use this, she greatly impacted my life that day.

In like manner, my family and boyfriend are also individuals through whom I have repeatedly experienced Jesus’ love, grace, forgiveness, and generous, giving nature. It was exhibited to me and practiced in my home growing up, and is intentionally (though maybe imperfectly) at the center of those relationships today.

From the Family Into the World

Arguably, as faith formation is most easily and prevalently learned and nurtured in the home, the act of living that faith and acting as Jesus’ love and grace to one another is most strongly communicated within the home as well. God instituted it as such. Because of the nature of the relationships and intimacy within a home, the family unit is the greatest engine by which children learn who Jesus is and learn to live in His ways. Marriage relationships and parent-child relationships should always be exhibiting His nurturing love, His sincere forgiveness, and His abundant grace and mercy. Once we understand and see Jesus within our closest relationships, we will be more easily and naturally able to spill that out into the world to others—which is the mission to which Jesus has called each one of us.

We are to love one another and love our neighbor, showing Jesus to everyone we encounter, at all times and everywhere. John writes of Jesus’ command, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35), and “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:17–18). If you have an opportunity to help someone, help. If you have an opportunity to give grace, give it. If you have an opportunity to forgive, forgive. When you have an opportunity to love, love.

Do this especially within your families, your marriages, and your intimate relationships, but let that love also spill out into the world. Allow others to see and experience Jesus through you. You may give someone an opportunity to see something they’ve never seen before, or you may give someone an opportunity to praise their God who allowed them to see a glimpse of His love through you, as was done for me through my chiropractor. God often blesses us through other people. Step out in faith, allow Him to use you, and dare to be the vehicle for one of those blessings.

Allow others to see and experience Jesus through you.

Photo (c) Steve Debenport/iStock

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About the Author

Ashleigh graduated from Concordia University Ann Arbor in 2011 with a degree in Family Life Education, and has been working in congregational ministry as a DFLM for seven years. She has also served with Concordia Center for the Family in various capacities and roles for the last three years. She has a passion for teaching the Gospel, writing, photography, and painting.

More by This Author

Linda Our Hollman - April 30, 2019

Thanks for being willing to share and to allow others to minister to you! May God allow you to grow in your love for Him and reaching out to others.