Summary: Word gives us several keys to having healthy family relationships. We will consider five of them – covenant, grace, empowering, intimacy and divine order.
BUILDING HEALTHY FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! “The Mom Song” video by The Skit Guys. Honor moms!
QUOTE: “Who can ever forget Winston Churchill’s immortal words: "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills." It sounds exactly like our family vacation.” (Robert Orben).
• I hope that’s not true of you and your family!
ILLUSTRATION: WE ARE DIFFERENT! (Men are Like Waffles; Women are Like Spaghetti).
• Because of the differences between men and women, we need God’s wisdom and help!
IN THE BATHROOM: A man has six items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, a razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
DRESSING UP: A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, or get the mail. A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.
“Of Solomon. Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127).
• If we want to have a strong and healthy family, the Lord must build our home!
• “Family relationships will either be dynamic and maturing, or stagnant and dying.” Balswick). Where is yours at today?
• When Liza and I got married, I had come from a dysfunctional family. My parents were divorced before I was five years old. What hope do we have of having a strong and healthy family? God’s Word!
THE BIG IDEA: God’s Word gives us several keys to having healthy family relationships. We will consider five of them – covenant, grace, empowering, intimacy and divine order.
I. COVENANT – NOT CONTRACT: To love and be loved.
QUOTE: “The logical beginning point of any family relationship is a covenant commitment, which has unconditional love at its core. Out of the security provided by this covenant love develops grace. In this atmosphere of grace, family members have the freedom to empower each other. Empowering leads to the possibility of intimacy.” (Balswick).
WHAT IS A COVENANT?
A Covenant is “an unconditional commitment which is demonstrated supremely by God in the role of parent.” (Balswick).
• The first mention of covenant in the Bible is found in Genesis 6:18 (with Noah).
• Second mention of Covenant: “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.” (Genesis 7:7).
• A strong and healthy family must be based on COVENANT, not a contract.
• A contract says, “IF you do this, then I will do that.” and can be broken.
• A covenant is unconditional and unbreakable.
• EXAMPLE: In my marriage with Liza, it hasn’t always been easy or fun, but we have made a promise to one another, and divorce is not an option.
• Notice also that the covenant isn’t just between the husband and the wife – but children, too! As parents, we must make a commitment to unconditionally love our children.
• This is true for church relationships as well as family relationships.
• FACEBOOK ILLUSTRATION: Don’t ‘unfriend’ someone you have issues with!
II. GRACE – NOT LAW: To forgive and be forgiven.
“Family relationships as designed by God are meant to be lived out in an atmosphere of grace and now law.” (Balswick).
• We see this principle in the Word: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32).
• In a family relationship based on law, perfection will be demanded of each other.
• Rules and regulations will be rigidly set up to govern relationships.
• This pressure adds guilt to the failure that is inevitable in such a situation.
• GRACE doesn’t mean that you don’t have to have rules in your family, but rather that you give your spouse and your children the freedom to fail, and walk in forgiveness!
• EXAMPLE: In our family, Liza and my kids have messed up LOTS… but so have I! If it wasn’t for grace, we would have all been very miserable!