What do we mean by that? It’s simple, really. While the rest of the world lives in fear and chaos, we refuse to participate and have intentionally chosen a different path. We are Christians raising children by leading them in a life that desires closeness with God. We both believe strongly in a lifestyle that exists in a parallel Christian society. We do this by being leaders of homeschool communities, attending church regularly, being in a small group, seeking entrepreneurial opportunities for ourselves and our kids, and sharing the truth about the world around us and the gospel to those in our “Judea”. We also are very open with demonstrating how a Christian family lives in the 21st century with our show – as people who live in the world but are not of it. While the rest of the world flails around in confusion and reactivity, we have adopted the theme: On Purpose. We live our lives with a purpose and for a purpose. We are, “Lawsons On Purpose”.
So – what does this look like?
We are Christians
A life built on the solid Rock of Christ is the only way this can be accomplished. Not to get too deep too early – there have been dark times in our lives where we have both attempted separation from Christ in anger. This proved futile. Life with Christ must be and is the only foundation that holds against the lunacy of this world. Thankfully, we are His and He is ours. He keeps us In His Grip when we fail.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
If there is one thing in this area we have no doubt about, it’s that the Lord opens and shuts the womb. Not only that, parenthood is a high calling. This is our first and most important ministry. We were hand-picked by Almighty God to be the parents of our children. God chose. Man had absolutely no say in this decision. As such, it is OUR challenge and joy to be parents. We reject the world’s influence by declining government education. God chose us to be the leaders of our children, why would we pass this on to others? Deuteronomy 11:19 says,
“You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
We take this to mean that we are to teach our children all the precepts of God all day long. All truth is God’s truth, therefore “2+2=4” is just as much God’s truth as:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Leading our family in a life that desires closeness with God
We do this by seeking God in his Word together as a family and individually. We also have heartfelt spiritual conversations with each other. Many times this comes at inconvenient moments – our oldest son asks the most heartfelt questions on road trips and our oldest daughter asks the most difficult questions at bedtime when Kim is already half asleep. We as parents do not shy from apologizing when we are wrong and we push for open communication between all six of us at all times. This means we must be quick to hear, and slow to speak, often barely above a whisper. A soft reply can indeed stifle a heated argument. We take this to mean not only the reply itself but also the volume of your voice. This world has a true ability to muzzle us and stifle our communication. This is how we fight that. We will be honest – this is hard and as long as we are alive, we are a work in progress.
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” James 1:19
Leading a lifestyle in a parallel Christian society
What exactly does that look like for us in a practical sense? We are leaders of homeschool communities, choosing to pave the roads our children walk on and help other parents do the same. We attend church regularly to be in the fellowship of like-minded individuals. Scripture tells us it is important for corporate worship and service. We are active in our small group because the early church broke bread together in fellowship. This is not to say we have ever found a perfect church, and even if we had, our presence would make it imperfect! What this means though is we desire to be obedient to the Word of God and we realize the benefits of doing life God’s way. Rather than grumbling about church hurts or holding God accountable for man’s imperfections, we look for ways to be part of the solutions.
Outside of church, our daily life has been filled with extreme highs and lows. After struggling for years with infertility and health issues, God blessed us with our first baby. Before she was born, Kim had to quit working. Three months after her birth, Nathan lost his employment with our church. In one night, we lost our church home, our church family, our reputation, in short, everything we knew or understood as our stability. Remember what we said about a church being imperfect? But that’s a story for another day. This was during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and we struggled for two years by developing a small business, help from a caring family, and government assistance (not going down that rabbit hole here, but we can later). Then, on the brink of financial ruin, a new job opportunity 5 hours away meant leaving our home to foreclosure. 11 months later, bankruptcy. After two more children came along, life was stable albeit paycheck to paycheck. We had no aspirations of homeownership again, let alone, stepping back into full-time Christian Ministry. So God needed to shake us up a bit. But that’s an even bigger story.
Fast forward to today: Nathan is back in full-time Christian ministry, Kim thrives as a stay-at-home mom to our four living children. We are homeschool directors, and homeowners rooted in a home church. There is SO MUCH here we are skipping over. The darkest moments, hardest trials, the most amazing works of God and revelations of His Grace and provision, and things such as why Kim had to quit her job, why she did not go back to work, what she felt about that, how Nathan said he would never do ministry again, and a plethora of opinions from well-intentioned people on how we should have done things differently. Life is far – FAR – from what we expected, desired, or planned. And in many ways, we have very little foresight on what is to come. But God did not call us to have foresight – only faith.
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
Seeking entrepreneurial opportunities for ourselves and our kids
This has been a fun one, mostly. Over the past 15 years, we have experimented with various multilevel marketing opportunities, several start-ups, side-gigs, and moonlight projects. We both have an instinct to seek out interesting and unique passions, not just in ourselves, but now in our children as well. Our most recent exploration is in our show “Lawsons on Purpose”, which showcases the adventures of life for our family as we work on projects all over the house and beyond. Each episode features different projects our family is seeking to accomplish and problems that pop up. From the library, coffee shop, kitchen, theatre (all different rooms in our house), to the outside garden and hardscape, we seek to live life on purpose. That means intentional, with goals and deadlines. This idea was formed in December 2020 after the “Great Divide” of censorship happened. We did not feel we had a voice to share who we were and we wanted to make a stand. We wanted to demonstrate that a real Christian family still existed – even in the mundane aspects of life. To be honest, true Christian living THRIVES in the mundane.
The steps we take to know one another and our neighbors, to minister within our own walls and without, all may seem mundane and insignificant in the moment, but for the Christian, that is where the rubber meets the road. Now that we have been filming for a year, there is no one more surprised by the change than us. We were aimless in life because of being kicked down so much and the world shutting down all around us. We decided that enough was enough – it was time to live life on purpose instead of letting life happen to us. To be proactive, instead of reactive. We have seen the fruit of this decision. In the kids’ academics, in the way our house looks, to our interpersonal relationships outside of the family. It sounds prehistoric now, but we take walks in the neighborhood, stop and meet our neighbors, and actually get to know others! We are, after all, the “Lawsons on Purpose!”
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
Sharing the truth about the world around us and the gospel to those in our “Judea”
What does it mean to communicate? What does it mean to get to know someone? Is a “like” on a post the same as asking someone how they are doing? If you “follow” someone on social media, do you really know them? We have boxed our interactivity into small algorithms that never could encompass true, authentic fellowship. Just as I type this now, you could never really know us or understand our ways, until you begin to WALK WITH US. And the same is true for us – we cannot expect to share the fullness of God’s love without allowing others to be in our lives. It starts with the individual person being vulnerable and allowing others access to a portion of you.
Social media helped to trim our fuses making us more easily angered; texting has stolen the nuances of communication skills from all of us. So how do we fight this? Do we abandon these digital tools? No, we use them to draw people into our physical circle as much as possible. The show allows others to see inside our walls. Inside the walls but off the camera, Kim hosts a ladies’ Bible study. Nathan interacts with numerous digital groups online and has a few men who enjoy similar hobbies and projects. Some members of the online groups have even made the trip to our house and us to them! We have a strong desire to mold this house into a form of community ministry. The plan is to share the gospel from our driveway. In a world where people do not want strangers knocking on their doors, we hope to set up a place where we can offer refreshment, or maybe a football game, to the passersby walking on our street. The goal of this is to live a Christian life authentically in front of others and to share the Hope of Christ in our own neighborhood.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
We are people who live in the world but are not of it. Many Christians interpret this as a command to be separatist or they are misinterpreted as such. They believe this statement allows them to dismiss the world and its trouble. On the contrary, we choose to actively educate ourselves in the current mindset of the cultures around us and then engage in a Christ-like manner. This means you will find us on social media, although we do not get lost in the ramblings of this world. We keep up with the news, research the topics, and take interest in all sides. However, we view it all through the lens of eternity, not through fear’s glasses. As we raise our children, attend and serve in our church, lead local homeschool groups, and more, we are choosing to live against the flow and journey towards a meaningful life with eternal impact. As Nathan’s father used to say from the pulpit,
“Live as close to God as possible and then live normally. You will be surprised as to how abnormal your life will be.” — This is living life on purpose.