Summary: The importance of family as seen in the life of Abraham

Intro: We have just sung “Bind us Together”, and often we are anything but bound together: in the church, and in our families. We have spent some time this morning praying for our families, and I encourage you to continue to pray for your family and the families of the church throughout this week. Families need prayer. We face great trials

The story is told of a boy who came home with a bad report card, and showing it to his father said, “I don’t want to get you worried, but the teacher said if my grades don’t improve, somebody’s going to be in BIG trouble! Or there’s the little boy who came home from school and sheepishly showed his parents his report card. His father exclaimed, "You got all "F’s"! To which the boy replied, "I know it’s bad, dad; what do you think the problem is: heredity or environment?"

What kind of report card would our family get this morning if we were graded? Straight A’s? Would we want it graded on a curve? Or would we be staying in at recess? Let’s talk about someone who would have passed the test in regards to family: Abraham.

I. Abraham was committed to meeting the needs of his family.

This seems like something each one of us should do by second nature. It should be natural to us to think that we would want to meet our family’s needs; yet in our changing society, we see this happening less and less.

I Tim. 5:8 - If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

We see in our society many who spend their paychecks on alcohol, or the lottery, or on frivolous luxuries, only to let their families suffer. Yet, this has never been God’s plan.

Abraham is a great role model of one who was committed to his family. He was committed enough to bring along his father and nephew when they left Mesopotamia to come to the land God called him to. He is committed enough to peace that he separates from his nephew, offering him first choice of the land. He is committed enough that he recruits his own army to go save his nephew when he is taken captive. He intercedes with God to spare his nephew when God comes down to destroy Sodom.

Abraham provides for his family, moving them to Egypt when there is a great famine in the promised land.

Abraham provides for his family, maintains peace in his family, leads praise of the Lord in his family, building altars and worshiping. Abraham is a man committed to meeting the needs of his family.

**This morning, just how committed are we to meeting the needs of our family?

-not every need is met by money. There are many working moms, who spend hours each day at a job to bring in a second paycheck for the family-- yet, often what their family really needs is a mom at home, praying for them, meeting them when they come home from school.

-some parents give their kids $50, and drop them off at the mall for the afternoon, teaching them that you can spend money any way you want, and that mom and dad are too busy to spend time with their children.

-some parents withhold love and affection when children don’t measure up; letting them know that they are only loved when they measure up to our standard or ideal.

##Let’s make sure we are expressing love in positive ways in our family: to our children, to our parents, to our brothers, sisters, in-laws, whoever. Even if we have been wronged or shown a bad example, we can break that chain of wrong behavior and replace it with mercy and kindness!

II. Abraham was committed to the future of his family

This is where I really want us to look this morning. If you have your Bibles, turn to Genesis 24.

READ 24:1-21 ------- Act out the story while reading it!

What part does a parent have in the person their child marries? Well, if your name is Abraham, quite a lot! He is not about to let his son marry anyone from the area where they are living. God has called them to the area, but they are not going to intermarry with the idolatrous peoples living there.

*Remember that as Christians, we are in the world, but not of the world.

What kind of job are we going to do in teaching our children what a godly marriage partner looks like? It is our responsibility to let them know that it is not a matter of whether a guy has great muscles or a girl has a nice figure. Magazines and advertisements tell us if we look a certain way or drink a certain drink, we will meet Mr. Right. There is much more to marriage than outward appearances, I’m sure we all know this. But are we teaching this to our children? It’s a responsibility we need to emphasize.

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