Summary: God calls each of us to the Adventure of Life He has set before us. Everyone has his or her own path, but we all have the same call. Today we examine the call to minister to our families.
Choose Your Own Adventure!
“Be a Family Man!”
Today the Adventure that we are called to is “Be a Family Man!” That may sound like it’s aimed only at fathers, but Family Man has a better ring to it than “Family Person”. So when we say Family Man, we are addressing everybody!
1. Define Family
A family is a unit composed not only of children, but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.
- Ogden Nash
I want to take a moment and give us all some perspective of what family truly is. This past week I’ve been asking people what they consider family, and responses I got:
- Blood Relations
- Close Relationships
- Those you associate with
I want to show you an example of how Jesus defined family:
Matthew 12:46-50 (NIV)
While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
48He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Jesus takes the idea of family, and expands it for the believer. He is saying that when you commit your life to God, you are adopted into a family of faith.
At the risk of sounding Christian-ese here, the body of believers are your spiritual brothers and sisters. Maybe someone mentored you and they are more like your spiritual mother or father.
The idea of family is hard to avoid, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Family can often conjure up feelings of pain. In every family, there is stress and strain. But did you know we are commanded to minister to our family?
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have blood relatives; you have family. And you are called to…
2. Minister to the Family
An investment analogy… Starts off small, but can pay huge dividends for future generations…
1 Timothy 3:5 (NLT)
For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
Family is your first ministry! So let’s highlight the ways we are called to minister to our families:
To prove his love for her, he swam the deepest river, crossed the widest desert and climbed the highest mountain. She divorced him. He was never home.
Rose Sands, The Saturday Evening Post.
Quality Time vs. Quantity Time
There’s a common misconception that if the time we put in appears “quality” with our family it’s enough. Just curious, is there a checklist that must be met before we can call it quality?
I’ll use an example of my family…
Truth be told, if we’re going to invest in our family, it’s going to take time…A LOT of time.
Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 (NLT)
When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. 5 It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.
What should our commitments be like? They should be:
- Count the Cost/Pay the Price
- Finish Well!
This form of ministry is easily overlooked, but if we want to see our family mature and pass on the Truth that we know, we must be willing to teach each other.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NIV)
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
When regard for truth has been broken down or even slightly weakened, all things will remain doubtful.
- St. Augustine
Dr. James MacDonald lists some ways we can begin to build strong families (whoever are family is at the moment) with some of my own additions:
- Start a regular time of family bible reading and prayer
- Memorize scripture together
- Have contests to learn the bible
- Encourage personal bible study
- Do a bible study series as a family
- Turn off the TV!
- Attend a bible study or class together
- Pray and read scripture before bedtime
- Create a set of family values together
Teaching Investment: Corrects, Guides and Instructs based on Truth, not personal agenda!