We’d survived yet another mission impossible of getting the twins down for bed followed by our nightly routine of cleaning the kitchen to get ready for another day. Right before we went to bed ourselves, we scrolled through our social media feeds, and we were shocked at what we saw: viral coverage on a college revival. We’d never seen anything like it. Countless images and videos about a little Kentucky chapel service at Asbury University that turned into nonstop prayer and worship now dubbed the “Asbury Revival.”
Thousands of people traveled from around the country to take part in campus worship at a private university where only about 1,900 students were enrolled. Thousands poured into the small college chapel, overflowing into four buildings nearby. From well-known names like Louie Giglio, Kari Jobe, and Jennie Allen to unknown students all around the nation, it seemed like everyone wanted to be a part of the movement God was making through our Gen Z peers. We felt we were missing out.
“I wish we could be there right now,” Olivia sighed. I’d never known her to leap to spur-of-the-moment decisions, but I knew all she wanted was for our family to be surrounded by an atmosphere of hands and voices lifted high with freedom ringing in the air. I wanted that, too.
Fired up about the revival, we were two blinks away from packing our 1-year-old twins for a 10-hour road trip through the night. Then reality hit us about the doctor appointments they had the next day, and how borderline irresponsible it would be to wake them up and hit the road. But our eagerness caused us to ask ourselves, “Does our home need revival?”
What is a revival … and does my home need one?
An easy way to understand the word “revival” is to think, “come alive again.” In this case, come alive in Christ again (Psalm 80:18, 2 Chronicles 7:14), to be returned back to a vibrant life in Jesus.
When we got married, Liv and I were advised to always pursue each other and passionately find ways to express our love for one another. Whether it was hiding love notes around the house, random acts of genuine kindness, or spontaneous date nights, we were to keep the energy of our love alive through continuously chasing after each other’s heart. We were advised that if we detoured off continuously pursuing each other, our demands of life would pull us apart and we’d run the risk of a relational decline.
This is similar to our home’s relationship with Jesus. When we detour off passionately pursuing Christ as a family through every season, we gradually veer off into a relationship with Him that’s far below the bar of the abundant life God meant for His glory and our good. When we take our focus off Christ, it shifts us toward a path that gradually becomes further from God’s original plan.
Olivia and I are good at getting zoned in on hefty to-do lists, deadlines, and just giving our kids the best we can. If we’re not careful, we can be super productive in our home life but dormant in our spiritual life as a family. We never mean it intentionally, but if we’re not drifting toward God, we’re drifting away from Him. We never want to find ourselves at a point of passionately pursuing our family’s plans, with God’s plan for our family nowhere in sight.
When God is not considered in the decisions of our lives, or even alienated from the control center, the spiritual heartbeat of our family rides a decline to eventual idleness. That puts our homes in need of revival.
What would revival in our home look like?
If you’re like me, trying to process what revival within my home might look like can be a little intimidating.
For me, I have to boil it down to being like Jacob from the book of Genesis and returning to the place in our family life’s rhythm where God is made the center of everything, where we take common household idols (Genesis 35:2-3) like money, routine, and schedule, and have all those things point toward our worship of the Lord. Where we abandon our personal philosophies about marriage and family and cling to the undefeated knowledge of God on marriage and family (Ephesians 5).
It’s about bringing our home to a place where God is taken seriously and where we intentionally follow His Word in faith.
So what does that even look like? How can we spread the fire so many of us are feeling right now into our own homes and to the generations we’re raising?
My colleague Tracy Lane encourages us:
- We can carry the flame to our kitchen table tonight when we disciple our children over halved grapes and boxed macaroni.
- We can carry the flame to our front yards when we invite our neighbors in and care for our community.
- We can carry the flame to our marriages by sticking it out and keeping our vows when there’s a string of really impossible years.
- We will carry the flame of revival into our own hearts by daily being hungry for the Word and presence of our good God.
Revival for every home
Plato once said, “The saga of a nation is the saga of its families written large.” I’d even follow that up to say the revival of a nation is the revival of its families on a larger scale.
When God is made the focus and motivator of our lives, the revival in our homes can and will impact our corners of the world. The same revival experienced at Asbury University is capable of filling every one of our homes because the same Spirit of God roaming the air of their chapel is the same Spirit of God knocking on our front doors to come back to the heart of worship in our homes.
Being at Asbury in person would be awesome. But as parents, our presence is absolutely necessary in every single mundane moment in this season. But just because we can’t be there, doesn’t mean we can’t join the revival.
Let’s make the entirety of our home a posture of constant worship of God, where our family life is a never ending song, filling the earth, pleasing the Lord.
Lord, we give you our hearts and our homes for revival once more.
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Ashford Sonii is a writer for FamilyLife. He enjoys ministry, learning, and communicating practical life applications of God’s Word within marriage, family, and how to walk with Jesus. Ashford and his wife Olivia currently live in North Carolina with their twin girls, Ivey & Oakley.