Summary: I looked up every reference I could find that used the words “commit”, “committed”, & “commitment” and I was surprised at what I DID’T find. I never found the Bible teaching that we should put our family first! Why?
OPEN: Author and speaker Zig Ziggler loved golf and once took his son with him out to the golf course. His son was still relatively new to the game, so Zig was very impressed by his son’s performance on one of the par 4 holes.
At the tee, the boy lifted the ball straight and true down the fairway. A second shot got him onto the green within 14 feet of the cup. Wanting his son to succeed, he went to great trouble in sighting the shot for him and gauging the lie of putt and then told his son just how he ought to play it. His son stepped up to the ball and putted the ball perfectly into the cup just as his father had taught him. His first birdie.
Then it was Zig’s turn. He also had made the green in 2 shots but his putt was far easier. For a moment he considered flubbing the shot so that he would not overshadow his son’s achievement, but then he decided against it because it would go against everything he had taught his son about doing his best. He sank the putt easily and also birdied the hole.
As they were walking away to the next tee, Zig casually asked his son "Well, son, were you rooting for me on that last shot."
"Dad," the boy replied, "I always root for you."
APPLY: I always root for you… that is the kind of commitment you find in the best families. It’s a commitment that always seeks the best for our spouses, children and parents. It is always seeking a way that they can succeed. Always wanting them to get ahead and win at life. And that’s the kind of commitment God wants His people’s families to have for each other.
And so, in Deuteronomy 6, God says to Israel: If you want your families to succeed in life… if you’re truly committed to your household – then here’s what you have to do: LOOK THERE WITH ME starting with verse 5
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
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.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you— a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant— then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.”
This is the formula for success: put God first in your family.
Put God 1st in what you teach your children
Put God 1st in how you live your life
I. Now, as I prepared for today’s sermon, I looked up every reference I could find that used the words “commit”, “committed”, or “commitment” and I was surprised at what I DID’T find
I never found the Bible teaching that we should put our family first! In fact Jesus Himself taught us that we dare not do that.
In Matthew 10:37 Jesus said: "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”
But, now wait a minute…
I thought the church would be a great place to raise my children
I thought it would be a great place to strengthen my family
I thought if I went to church, I’d have a stronger marriage
Well, yes you will… but not if your commitment first is to your family. You will have the kind of family you want only if your commitment comes to God first. In fact, you have a promise to that effect:
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)
Why would that be?
Well… this is how it works:
God knows that WHO I’m committed to will determine WHO sets the rules (repeat).
1. If I’m committed to my family first… then if they’re not happy, then I won’t obey God
ILLUS: For example, I know of one family where little Johnny couldn’t do anything wrong. And being a precocious little boy, little Johnny would periodically misbehave in Sunday School. One day when he was corrected for behaving badly in Sunday School one day, the parents didn’t talk to the Sunday School teacher to find out what had happened (she had acted properly, by the way) … they simply didn’t bring him back to church. Why? Because little Johnny is their priority… not God. They ended up divorcing themselves from God because little Johnny wasn’t happy.