Summary: It is through the language we speak in our homes that we shape and mold our family into what God desires it to be or into what God gets disappointed by.
Building a Foundation of Trust
(Part 1, Building a Stronger Family)
This morning I want to issue you a challenge. I want to challenge you to put what we are going to talk about this month into practice. We will be looking at biblical foundations for Building a Stronger Family. From this series, we will look at some different areas within the family life that touch all of us in many ways. The first foundation is Communication; the second foundation is Finances; the third foundation is Quality-Time; and the last thing we will cover this month is Leaving a Legacy. During this month of November, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It usually is a time of fellowship among our family and friends that we prepare for many days in advance. This month, by the way, is the only time of the year when Cranberry Sauce is a best-seller. Never could develop a taste for that stuff. But, I am looking forward to the time I will get to spend with my family and friends around a dinner table, football game, and somebody’s car problem.
What makes this time of family so special to us? Maybe for some of you, it can’t be over soon enough. I have to admit that sometimes I feel that way as well. But, the times we spend with our distant and not-so-distant family members should be times to remember. This month we are going to examine the biblical foundations behind God’s view of family and what He desires from us as part of the family of God.
The first foundation we will look at is Communication. Communication begins building foundations of trust by laying cornerstones of example, commitment, and persistence. It is through the language we speak in our homes that we shape and mold our family into what God desires it to be or into what God gets disappointed by. How do you communicate in your home?
(Get string and cups with Brandon; Talk with him and then cut the line)
Sometimes, we have a tendency to eliminate the access lines of communication in our homes. Maybe you have a hard time getting your kids to open up to you. Maybe your children don’t think you are interested in what they have to say. These things all add up to communication breakdown. What can we do as parents to eliminate this failure to communicate?
I believe the first cornerstone for effective communication in the family comes through your example as husband and wife.
Cornerstone 1: Example
“…do not forget my teaching.”(v1)
Solomon urges his son to remember his teaching. Do you think Solomon taught his son by merely explaining everything to him or did he give him a fatherly example? The latter provides a living testament to what God says is the role for the Father and Mother to play in the home. The example you and your spouse set in the home for communication directly correlates to how your children think they can communicate with you.
Let me illustrate: Listen to a typical example of a counseling session with Dr. James Dobson.
“Joe and I were deeply in love when we got married. We struggled during the first few years, especially with financial problems. I knew that we loved each other very much, though. But then, something changed. He got a promotion about five years ago that required him to work longer hours. We needed the money so we didn’t mind, but it never stopped. Now he comes home late every night. He so tired that I can actually hear his feet dragging as he comes to the door. I look forward to him coming home ‘cause I have so much to tell him, but he doesn’t feel like talking. So I fix his dinner and he eats alone, ‘cause the kids and I have already eaten. After dinner, he makes a few phone calls and works at his desk. Frankly, I like for him to use the telephone just so I can hear his voice. Then he watches TV for a few hours and goes to bed. Except on Tuesday night he plays basketball and sometimes he has a meeting at the office. Every Saturday night he plays golf with his buddies. Then Sunday we are in church most of the day. Believe me there are times when we go for one or two months without having a real, in-depth conversation. You know what I mean? And I get so lonely in that house with three kids climbing all over me. There aren’t even any other women in the neighborhood to talk with ‘cause they have all gone back to work. But there are other irritations about Joe. He rarely takes me out to dinner and he forgot our anniversary last month, and I honestly don’t think he’s ever had a romantic thought. He wouldn’t know a rose from a carnation, and his Christmas cards are just signed, “Joe”. There is no closeness or warmth between us and yet he wants me to be intimate with him at the end of the day. There we are lying in bed, having no communication between us in weeks. He hasn’t tried to be sweet or understanding or tender, yet he expects me to be affectionate and responsive to him.