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Make Jesus Matter


In a book I’ve read many times, Parenting Beyond your Capacity, the authors talk about our tendency to treat God like we do the fine china. We only get it down for special occasions. In many of our “Christian” homes, Christ is simply not the most important thing happening. I have often times unintentionally put the emphasis on my childrens behavior to “get what they deserve” instead of using their behavior as yet another excuse to point them to Jesus.

Remember the old hymn? My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. There isn’t any way my kids are going to hear that hymn on any of our music players, but I want them to hear modern version of it in the way I lead them as their parent.

  • It’s reminding them they need His forgiveness more than they need my forgiveness.
  • It’s how I treat them as their father, knowing that I’m the first impression of God as father they will have.
  • It’s not letting my problems with their behavior affect our relationship.
  • It’s using their mistakes as the opportunity to talk about my own mistakes, and how Jesus saves from having to be perfect.

When I make Christ the most important, then I explain to my kids at every turn how they can see Jesus. Yes, I want them to obey, but I also want them to bring their problems to the one that asked for them…Jesus. I don’t want to create a home that makes it harder for my kids to find Jesus than he already is outside of my home.


Matthew 11:29-30 Come to me. Get away with me and you ll recover your life. I ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you ll learn to live freely and lightly.


Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. samluce · July 23, 2013

    Yes Yes and Yes the only thing I disagree with is forcing your kids to listen to hymns. I force mine and I love it! Great post my friend.