Summary: We need to get the family back on track and to do that fathers have to rise up to the challenge to be the men of God they need to be for their families, communities and churches
When I say, “It’s time to build” you automatically have a picture in your mind of what that means. Some people thought of construction and things along the lines of assembling materials and putting up a structure. Others probably thought about strengthening our church. Some may have moved to the idea of molding people, as in building boys into men. One other option might have led some to focus around building relationships.
Let me encourage you to join me around a set of blueprints that invite us to focus on the same project. It’s time to build and reconstruct traditional family values. Author Mim Ford illustrates the missing values in most families today. They are cohesion (sense of belonging, being loved and nurtured), flexibility (need structure but not too rigid, a sense of joint decision-making) and communication. Mim says “A lack of communication can rip a family apart and destroy them.” (http://www.essortment.com/all/wahtarefamily_ralm.htm)
Fathers significantly impact the family values. It is alarming however to learn that fathers are missing in the home and it continues to be a growing concern. There are studies to support many facts about the absence of fathers at home:
- The absence of fathers results in children grieving as if he had died (http://missourifamilies.org/features/divorcearticles/divorcefeature14.htm)
- The absence of fathers contributes significantly to early sexual activity and teen pregnancy for their daughters (http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2003/06/dodge605.html)
- Dad’s absence is “the primary cause of many of…most serious social problems, including poverty, high school dropout, teen pregnancy, and delinquency
We need to get the family back on track and to do that fathers have to rise up to the challenge to be the men of God they need to be for their families, communities and churches. Today’s blueprint talk focuses on the role of men in this critical blueprint and how your relationship with God has a huge impact on how well you fill your role in preserving and building family values. 1 Corinthians 3 teaches us key lessons of how we can build on the foundation already laid – Jesus Christ.
The first step to building on the foundation of Christ involves:
Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in him!
Tom Hansel, in Holy Sweat told an interesting personal story. “One day, while my son Zac and I were out in the country, climbing around in some cliffs, I heard a voice from above me yell, "Hey Dad! Catch me!" I turned around to see Zac joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He had jumped and then yelled "Hey Dad!" I became an instant circus act, catching him. We both fell to the ground. For a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk. When I found my voice again I gasped in exasperation: "Zac! Can you give me one good reason why you did that?" He responded with remarkable calmness: "Sure...because you’re my Dad." His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to the hilt because I could be trusted.”
So much of our understanding of God is based in our relational experiences with people. Our family relationships play an important part of how we understand God. If your relationship with your parents was negative and confrontational, your understanding of God is probably similar. If your dad was authoritarian and somewhat of a dictator you will have a similar picture that characterizes God as someone who stands over you waving a big stick. If your parents broke your trust you probably find it hard to trust God. Those feelings and experiences flow into your relationship with your spouse and children. On the flip side, if those relationships were positive and wholesome you likely tend to be more trusting and accepting of people, seeing only the good in people and are probably shocked when people behave in ways you didn’t expect.
If you want whole relationships it must begin with the basic building block called TRUST. Learning to trust God is foundational to all other relationships being healthy. If we want to “live life to the hilt” we have to learn to trust God. We cannot lay another foundation. Jesus is the foundation to having wholesome relationships.
Building on the foundation of Christ starts with (trust) and leads to:
John 1:4-5 “Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. 5The light shines through the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Authors who wrote the Scriptures used darkness to illustrate the horrible nature of sin and they used light to provide a counter-balance to get rid of it.
They do something else. They go further to use light as a metaphor to paint a picture of how light exposes us – 1 Corinthians 4:5 - …When the Lord comes, he will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. And then God will give to everyone whatever praise is due.