Sermons

Summary: Thomas Kinkade has become a popular artist because he has been able to capture the love and warmth, belonging and cheer that a home ought to represent. He manipulates light in such a way that we all find ourselves wanting to go to the places that he paint

Opening Statement: Thomas Kinkade has become a popular artist because he has been able to capture the love and warmth, belonging and cheer that a home ought to represent. He manipulates light in such a way that we all find ourselves wanting to go to the places that he paints. They shout to us “Welcome!”

Explanation: The sum total of what you believe, how you behave, the attitudes you demonstrate, and the values you cherish when all taken together, will create a home environment – an atmosphere in which you do family life - a painting that says “Welcome.”

Illustration: I love a great home environment. Monday evenings come to mind. After a productive day at work, I love to arrive home to the smell of some tasty Italian dish with Garlic bread in the oven and tail-wagging dogs at the door. After hugging the Lady of the House, I love to get into some shorts and a tee-shirt and catch up on the news. It’s great to hear Will practicing his Saxophone (that I’m still paying for), to listen to what Levi has to say about the Monday Night Football game, and to hear Megan tell about a new friend she has. I love going outside and sneaking in a game of pickup football, where I am all-time quarterback and the boys and their friends run the plays that I call in the huddle. I love hearing the call that “Dinner is ready – come inside to eat.” I love taking a few post-dinner snaps before the game. I love it when we’re all finally lined up to watch the opening kickoff and Hank Williams Jr. sings “Are You Ready for Some Football?” “No amount of money can buy that feeling of incredible contentment, that inner sense of fulfillment, that surge of release and relief as the noise and pace of the world are muffled by the sounds and smells and sights of a happy, relaxed evening at home (Swindoll, Finishing Touch, 594).”

Application: I realize that everyone is wired differently and that our ideal evenings at home will look a little different. What concerns me is that there are many homes and families where this kind of home atmosphere is foreign or even nonexistent. It was nostaligic thoughts of home that drove the Prodigal to go back there (Luke 15). The warm thoughts of home will bring back the prodigal. That’s one reason why this topic is so important.

Title: Creating a Great Home Climate

Key Word: There are some key words that we need to consider as we create a great home climate.

OUTLINE

Affection

Exposition: 1 John 4:11 Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us. 4:13 By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Definition: Affection is a consistent, loving act of the will, openly and sometimes spontaneously displayed toward its recipients.

Explanation: Family members love hearing their name spoken, their head stroked tenderly, and full body embraces.

Illustration: Zig Ziglar shares that his kids told him that there were two memorable things they remember about their childhood. One was being able to order off of the adult menu in restaurants. Secondly, in the morning while they were first waking up, their father would gently be stroking their cheeks as awakened to a new day. Affection is never forgotten.

Illustration: I do family hugs. I call it a little bit of heaven. We all lie down and pile on top of one another and hug. Growing up, my kids really liked to wrestle. I think what they enjoyed most was the intimacy they felt as we wrestled! We would bear-hug. The intensity of my hugs were based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most intensive (eyeballs popped out on that one). As they have grown, affection finds expression in other ways, namely doing things together and creating memories.

Illustration: I have a friend I went to seminary with. After I asked him what he thought would be good to share with you, he shared: “If I could include a topic or two it would probably be off the beaten path and include items like these below (which comes out of my own "unbonded" family experience). I can’t express this enough - I think it is so important for families to play and do things together while making memories. Years later when everyone has gone their own ways (kids off to college or married and starting families of their own, parents with an empty nest (or deceased), etc) media is a great way of cherishing the "Family". Bonding as a family: doing mini-trips and excursions together. Give them practical tips on places to go and things to do and show them how to do it on a budget. Ask for insight from families that have lived in the area awhile and see what they have done. Also, these don’t have to be "big" trips...just an occassional Saturday and Sunday. Making memories and using media to record memories (importance of photos and video). This ties in with the above....I would show them practical ways to record their adventures....Photos, Video Snippets, Journals... Also, I would show the importance of considering letting other families and friends into their family life and not just have a "Family against the world" or "Family on an Island" mentality. Go with them (or take them along) on trips, activities and excursions. Taking time out to even play catch with your child for 10 minutes is very important and something he/she may remember for a lifetime (especially if you die young). It is even more important to take time out to do little everyday things (watching your kids ball game) than to do huge vacations, etc.

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