Building a Family Fit for Eternity

Joshua 24:15 – But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Ephesians 5:25-33

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Having a good marriage is work!

Any relationship that is going to grow takes us making an intentional effort toward it.

Applies to marriages, but to all relationships! God is willing to help us, if we are willing to seek His help.

Sadly, in our culture today, family relationships are under attack.

According to James Dobson, 5 out of 10 marriages end in conflict and divorce. And, of the five couples that remain together, only 1 out of 10 will achieve intimacy and oneness in their partnership.

Marriage is a complex relationship, perhaps the most intricate on the face of the earth.

• We may think that the dynamics of a good marriage just happen, or depend on some mysterious blend of having the “right” people together.

• When marriages crumble, we often hear people say that they just must have been “wrong” for each other.

• More often than not, being right or wrong for someone depends not on some mysterious compatibility quotient, but on how willing and able we are to help meet our spouse’s needs.

• In other words, spouses need to learn how to serve one another.

The more we and our spouses pull “together” toward God, the stronger our marriages will be. And statistics bear that out. According to John Maxwell in his book "Building a Foundation for the Family:"

• One out of three marriages end in divorce.

• One out of 105 marriages end in divorce if the couple attended church regularly.

• One out of 1105 marriages end in divorce if the couple attended church regularly and had family devotions.

Yet the difference between great relationships and shaky relationships are the small things.

• Leadership magazine ran an article a few years ago that read:

• “The space shuttle Discovery was grounded recently — not by technical difficulties or lack of government funding, but by woodpeckers.

• Yellow-shafted flicker woodpeckers found the insulating foam on the shuttle’s external fuel tank irresistible material for pecking.

• The foam is critical to the shuttle’s performance.

• Without it, ice forms on the tank when it’s filled with the super-cold fuel, ice that can break free during liftoff and damage the giant spacecraft.

• The shuttle was grounded until the damage was repaired.

• Marriages are frequently damaged not by big things — infidelity or abuse or abandonment — but by the little things.

• Criticism, lack of respect, and taking each other for granted peck away at the relationship and keep us from reaching the heights.”

1. Strong sense of Commitment

• Commitment is “the assurance that this family will stay together, value each other, for a lifetime, no matter what.”

• Whatever problems we face, we face them together/challenges.

• Strong families take the following words, and carve them in granite: I’m committed to you, no matter what.

• My kids are continually plagued by the words from Roots that I use over & over again as a reason for so many things – “Because we’s a family and we’s going to stay a family.”

• It reflect the same security we have in our relationship with the Lord – His unshakeable love to us!

o By letting them know they are loved unconditionally.

o We live in an achievement oriented society.

o Where significance equals performance, and importance equals ability, and where self-worth equals achievement.

o Sorry to say, that mindset has crept into many homes.

• Parents, do your kids know that there’s nothing they can do to be more loved, because they’re already loved w/ a measureless love?

o nothing they can do to be more accepted, because they’re already totally accepted?

o nothing they can do to be more valued, because they’re already infinitely valued?

o Nothing will alienate a child more than making them work for something that should be given freely…love, acceptance, and self-worth.

• If you love a child or a spouse conditionally, to some degree, always feeling like they have to do something earn acceptance, you’ll create one of two results:

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