faith as a family value (joy and gratitude)


May God give you grace and peace. We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thessalonians 1

Thursday evening, after Rebekah met with ministry teams at WFPC, we drove up to Richmond so that we could spend all-day Friday with Naomi, Craig, and the grandchildren. The day was full, rich, fun, and fulfilling, and we returned home after dinner overflowing with gratitude and love.

Our visit held many priceless moments. But this is a blog post, not a novel, so I’ll focus on our family dinner as a lens through which to understand the story I want to share today.

IMG_7729STORY USED WITH PERMISSION: The short version of this story involves the fact that our daughter Naomi, excited by Craig’s growing faith, and by his commitment to live as a follower of Jesus, gifted him with a Bible for Christmas. She wrote in the front cover, and so did we.

Growing in faith with you has been such a happy time,” Naomi wrote. “We grow in faith, love, and our hearts are one. You are a wonderful man, and I love holding your hand in church. I love you, Naomi.

IMG_7730Our inscription read: “Rebekah and I are thrilled that you and Naomi are on this faith journey together. We are grateful that our grandchildren are being raised to follow Jesus…

After dinner, Craig read a short passage from the Bible, and we had family devotions. Everyone, including the children, answered a question that related to the story. This is their practice; this is what the Craig and Naomi Campbell family does when they share dinner together.

WHAT COUNTS: Waking up in the morning to see our grandchildren? Wonderful. Playing trains on the morning room floor with David, and playing house on the family room carpet with Beks? Loads of fun. Heading over to the Children’s Museum for a morning of interactive exhibits (by the way, the children are the exhibits at this museum)? Memorable. Lunch together at Panera Bread? A riot. More games before nap-time in the afternoon? Most excellent. Watching the children greet their dad when he arrived home from work? So cool…

Getting ready to read
Getting ready to read

However, everything else pales in comparison to knowing that – voluntarily and without any pressure or coercion from me or Rebekah – our grandchildren are being raised in a household where “I have decided to follow Jesus” is the focal point of family life.

Go ahead and enjoy the cuteness-warmed-over pictures I’m about to post in the “gallery” below… share the beauty of a three-year-old and a 20-month old with your friends if you have to… but please don’t miss the point of this post.

Here’s the point: Faith is not an, “attend church on a semi-regular basis, run the kids through Sunday-school, show up for youth programs when it doesn’t conflict with other important activities, and say a blessing before meals” segment of a much bigger family puzzle; faith that transforms is not a topical application…

IMG_7765No. Faith is a systemic, complete, pervasive, constant intention; it is an undergirding operating-system that must define us and our identity – not just as individuals but as families.

I am genuinely excited to see where this journey takes the Campbell family; and I am so grateful that David and Beks are part of such a genuine commitment.




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