Summary: Never underestimate the value of raising godly children.

“Family Matters”

Ephesians 6:1 – 4

OPEN: So this morning we are going to be continuing in our study through the book of Ephesians. And this morning we are going to be looking at family matters and God’s pattern for parenting. What one word would you use to describe your mom – your dad? What one word would your kids use to describe you? Do you sometimes ask yourself whether the sacrifices you've made for your family will have any lasting effect? Let me assure you, your life does matter and your family sacrifices do have an impact. Ill - research centered on the lives of two men: Max Juke and Jonathan Edwards. Here's how the men lived and the legacy they left. According to research conducted by Richard L. Dugdale there was a man named Max Juke who lived in American colonial times. Juke was reportedly an atheist who believed in liberation from laws. He allegedly advocated free sex, no formal education and hated imposed responsibilities. Dugdale wrote that Juke was "'a hunter and fisher, a hard drinker, jolly and companionable, averse to steady toil, working hard by spurts and idling by turns.” In other words, Juke was neither principled nor industrious. Some years later, a gentleman named A. E. Winship studied what happened to the descendants of colonial era evangelist, Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was everything Juke was not: hardworking, God-fearing and Bible believing. Edwards “was a godly minister who was credited with igniting The Great Awakening through his sermons.” He served for a brief period just before his death as president of what is now known as Princeton University. He believed in leading by example. Certainly Juke and Edwards had an impact on their immediate families, but what about the generations to follow? Here's what happened in the years after Juke and Edwards died:

Of 1026 descendants of Max Juke, 310 died as paupers, 300 were convicts, 27 were murderers, 190 were prostitutes and 509 had wrecked their lives living as either alcoholics or drug addicts.. 60 were habitual thieves, 20 became tradesmen – 10 of them learning their trade while in prison. Dugdale was able to estimate that the Jukes had cost the State of New York almost $1.4 million dollars to house, institutionalize and treat the family of deviants.(those are dollars in 1877) By contrast, the 929 descendents of Jonathan Edwards included 13 college presidents, 86 college professors, 430 ministers, 314 war veterans, 75 authors, 100 lawyers, 30 judges, 66 physicians, and 80 holders of public office, including three U.S. Senators, sevencongressman, mayors of three large cities, governors of three states, a Vice-President of the United States, and a controller of the United States Treasury.

Don’t ever underestimate the impact you are having on your family and thereby on our world.

Ill of having a 74 year old in my office. I was actually talking about purchasing a piece of property from him. Somehow we got onto the topic of talking about his father. He just started weeping over the pain that he carried within him because of the negative experiences he had gone through with his dad. His father was long dead, but he still carried the pain of never receiving his approval and the relationship he had always longed for from his dad. He was 74 years old! Many of you sitting here this morning can probably relate to that yourselves. Your dad may still be living or he may be gone – but there are few people who don’t long for the approval of their father and a relationship with him. The same is true of course when it comes to mom. I know people who remained embittered during their entire life because of the way the mom treated - or in most cases because of the lack of they intuitively knew their mom should have been towards them. And likewise, I know people who have been impacted in a very positive way because of the very special relationship they had with their mom. And even though they face difficult trials and disappointments in life, they always would still fall back to that one relationship with the one person they knew they could count on – their mom. The character of parents has lasting influence on their children

We’ve looked at the distinctiveness of the marriage relationship as God designed it and as it normally appears in the world. God’s pattern for marriage is vastly different than that which we see around us. As God's redeemed people we are called to be unique, we are called to be different.

We are called to be distinct.

We are called to be separate from the world. In fact, the whole epistle of Ephesians points to the reality that we are not to live as the rest of the world lives. We live in light not darkness. We live in wisdom not foolishness. We walk in the Spirit not the flesh. And we are unique then because we have the knowledge of God, we have the Word of God, we have the Spirit of God and God has called us to live in unique and distinctive ways.

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