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Summary: 5 Ways to add strength to your family.

Compare Today’s TV Families (Kardashian's, Desperate Housewives, Family Guy,etc. vs. the Huckstables, Walton’s, Brady Bunch, etc.

It’s so common today to see families breaking apart instead of coming together, growing stronger, making a difference, living God's way. Thankfully, the Bible offers help and guidance to make any family stronger.

This morning, let’s discover five practices – YOU CAN DO - that will add strength to your family.

1. Spend Time with them Regularly

There are two things that last forever – the Word of God and people. In all my years growing up I’ve never heard anyone say on their death bed, “I wish I would have spent more time in the office. I wish I could have worked more overtime hours.” However, you do hear people say, “I love my family and wish I would have told them I loved them more.” Ephesians 5:16 says, “…redeem the time, because the days are evil.” Each of us only has a certain amount of time God gives us on this earth. Investing time in those closest to you is certainly one way to make the most of that precious time.

It’s hard to believe this July, that Amy and I will be married 9 years. Over that time, I’ve learned one thing that delights Amy most is when I simply take time to be with her. One of her favorite things to do is watch a Lifetime movie at least once a week. When she finds one she likes and says, “David, this is going to be a good one!” now I know that means, “Get off the internet, quit working on your sermon, it would mean so much if you watch this with me.”

A.W. Tozer wrote: “Time is a resource that is nonrenewable and nontransferable. You cannot store it, slow it up, hold it up, divide it up or give it up. You can’t hoard it up or save it for a rainy day–when it’s lost it’s unrecoverable. When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.”

God has a purpose for your time on this earth. How sad it is to see people wasting their lives pursuing dreams that have nothing to do with God, family, touching others for the Lord, etc. Instead, squandering time by spending hours on TV, just laying around, not really seeing that your life can significantly strengthen others. How we need God’s wisdom to spend our time with family wisely. Moses prayed, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart for wisdom (Psalm 90:12).” Have you prayed and asked God for wisdom to live each day with eternity in mind?

You add strength to your family when you spend time together with them.

Mom and dad had a rule that we all ate dinner together growing up. They made it their goal to be at all our games if at all possible. Many nights, they would turn the TV off and just talk to Andria and I about life, problems we were facing, asking us what we’d like to do with our lives, etc. They prayed over us continually. These are some things they did to show we mattered.

You add strength to your family when you spend time together with them.

Ephesians 4:32, “And be kind to one another…” You may be in the midst of watching NCIS, LOST, ESPEN and your mom says, “Honey, can you help me folding up these clothes?” Don’t say, “Just 30 more minutes to go.” Get in there and help your mom fold the clothes, do the laundry, pick up around the house. When your mom works all day and then fixes dinner, instead of going to your room and listening to your CD’s, how about thanking her and then sitting down with her? One of these days you’ll be out of the house and you are going to miss seeing your parents.

2. Speak to them Encouragingly

The Apostle Paul says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth…” I remember a time when as a kid when my mom had to really let me have it because I was not behaving. She really blistered me! I remember turning around and saying, “Mom, I can’t stand you!” I wanted her to feel bad because she was not letting me have my way. I can remember mom tearing up because I spoke to her so rudely. Even as a kid, I did not know this Bible verse, but I knew my words could hurt. What would happen in our families today if “seldom was heard a discouraging word”?

You add strength to your family when you speak to them encouragingly.

“Let no corrupt word…” Ever gone into one of your rooms where a trash can was and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck because of the rotten smell? The smell makes you want to run quickly as you can and far away. You don’t want anything to do with it because of the putrid smell. When you lie, cuss, put down others, gossip, yell out of anger it is like trash that is simply stinking up the room. It turns people away from you and makes them want to go far away.

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