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Summary: We know that God loves families, because He chose to be part of an earthly family. And this story of the Lord as a 12-year-old can teach us a lot about our own families.

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Family Friendly Truth - Part 1

Luke 2:40-52

Sermon by: Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - Aug. 24, 2008

*It was a dream wedding. Hard to believe it was almost 30 years ago. On July 29, 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana. 750 million people around the world watched on TV. It was a modern fairy tale where a royal prince marries a lovely lady surrounded by adoring subjects. They were rich, young, envied by millions. It was a dream wedding -- but sadly, the dream turned into a nightmare, until the storybook marriage collapsed in divorce.

*Kelly Randolph reminds us that, “It takes more than a prince, a lady, and a palace to make a happy marriage.” But God wants us to have happy marriages. God loves our families. We know this because God is the one who created families. We also know that God loves families, because He chose to be part of an earthly family. And this story of the Lord as a 12-year-old can teach us a lot about our own families. (1)

1. First: God wants you to know the truth about your concerns.

*And the truth is that all families have concerns. All families face problems. Here is a family that faced one of a parent’s greatest fears: “My child is missing!” Fortunately this story ended with them finding their son Jesus safe and well.

*King Duncan tells another missing-child story that turned out well. Tyler Payne was a 5-year-old Texas boy who got left behind on a family trip. Tyler went to the rest room at a gas station in Nashville, TN. Then he couldn’t get out because the door got stuck. Meanwhile, his family continued their trip home.

*This was a good family with good parents. Dad was an engineer for General Dynamics Corp. They normally had a head count of their 6 boys and 1 girl. -- But that time they didn’t, and they forgot Tyler. A few hours later they stopped at a Wendy’s in Jackson, MS. That’s when Tyler’s family noticed he was missing.

*Back in Nashville, a woman had heard Tyler screaming and opened the door for him. He wanted his Mommy! Tyler was completely safe with the police in Nashville. They gave him teddy bears, coloring books and candy while they waited. Then, when Tyler saw his mom again, he gave her a big hug and said, “I’m never going to the bathroom again.” (2)

*That story turned out well. But it reminds us that all families have troubles.

-Preachers too? -- Oh yeah, Preachers too. Mary and I have never had a Cat-5 problem over the 33 years of our marriage, but we’ve definitely had some Cat-4s.

*Pastor David Dykes was preaching on marriage and wrote:

-Before I share this message I must issue a caveat: I don’t claim to be an expert on marriage. I don’t even consider myself to be a very good husband. I am constantly trying to improve. (And) I can say that outside my relationship with Jesus Christ, my relationship to Cindy is the most important in my life.

*Our anniversary is June 1, so in three weeks, Cindy and I will have been happily married for 10 years – of course we’ve been married for a total of 28 years! We have a strange and wonderful relationship: I’m strange -- and Cindy is wonderful. In 28 years, we’ve never had an argument. But we have had some serious discussions that made the neighbors next door call to see if everything was okay. I’m far from a perfect husband. Once when I did something stupid, Cindy wrote me a note that read, “Dear David, I hate you. Love, Cindy.” (3)

*All families have troubles. This Scripture shows us that the only family who ever had a perfect child had problems. So will we.

*And family problems are getting worse in the USA. The 2000 Census found that almost 40% of American families with children under 18 are single parent families. 40%! That compares to only 13% in 1970. And you could call this the age of the missing dad, because moms head 9 out of 10 single-parent families. (3)

*Families are in trouble today. But I want you to understand that families have always been under attack, -- Partly because of our sin and selfishness, -- Partly because the devil hates families and does everything he can to destroy this thing God created to be a blessing.

*Families have always been under attack. In his last letter to Timothy, Paul talked about the joy he had when he thought about Timothy’s genuine faith. Paul told Timothy that this faith lived “first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.” But what about dad? -- Where was dad?

*Families have always been under attack. Twelve years ago Stephanie Coontz wrote a report on American families with this conclusion: “Raising a family is hard enough without having to live up to myths. In fact, the American family is as strong, and as fragile as it ever was.”

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