Summary: 1 of 6 messages on Putting Family First. This message gives three steps to helping families choose Godly Family Values.

Forming Family Values

Which way is your Deck Chair Facing?

There’s something about the cartoon strip, "Peanuts" that can evoke a chuckle while simultaneously piercing our conscience. That’s what happened to me when I discovered a profound message in one of Charles Schultz’s comic strips.

Charlie Brown was sitting in a deck chair near the front of a large boat when Lucy walked up. "Some people go through life with the deck chairs facing forward, gazing out where they are going," Lucy said philosophically. "Others go through life with their deck chair facing backwards, looking at where they’ve been."

She then paused and pondered her profound words. Looking directly into Charlie Brown’s sunglasses she asked him, "Charlie Brown, which way is your deck chair facing?"

Charlie Brown responded simply, "I really don’t know—I’ve never been able to get my deck chair unfolded!"

When it comes to figuring out your Family Values it can seem just about as confusing. Still, the direction the deck chair faces is very important – toward God or away from God? Your Family Values are being formed – Today I want to help you build values that reflect Godly influence. It isn’t going to be easy – but its not impossible if you understand what you face and what you must do.

Hanging By a Thread by David Boehl

We face a real challenge. About a generation ago the demographic group known as the Baby Boomers started an experiment in life. This experiment was based on new and different values. They broke from “traditional” values and they were based on new ideas and new freedoms which have been promoted, pushed, and hyped with unrelenting enthusiasm and energy.

Politicians, educators, lawyers, doctors, business executives, Hollywood filmmakers, book publishers, newspaper and magazine editors, perhaps even some key religious leaders, have all been engaged in selling us these new values.

David Boehl in an article called “Hanging by a Thread” enumerates these values in seven statements:

1. Personal happiness the main goal

Personal happiness, fulfillment, and independence are the highest goals for any person.

2. Marriage for life old-fashioned

The idea of marrying someone for life is old-fashioned.

Divorce is not harmful, but should be encouraged if couples are not compatible. We should not worry about how divorce affects children; they have a remarkable ability to adapt to hardship.

3. Traditional roles are confining and outdated

Women should be encouraged to pursue careers and personal fulfillment, and it is unfair to view men as leaders of their homes.

4. Teenagers should make their own choices

Parents should be encouraged to begin ’letting go’ of their children as they begin adolescence. Then these teenagers can began to make their own, independent choices.

5. There is no such thing as absolute morality

We encourage each individual to experience sexual freedom by setting aside biblical morals regarding premarital sex, extramarital sex, and homosexuality. We must embrace tolerance for any lifestyle an individual chooses.

6. Question all authority at every opportunity

7. The influence of Christianity should be eliminated from public life

Reaping the Whirlwind

7 “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”

Hosea 8:7

There is nothing all that new with these values and ideas. Hosea preached about the same kind of problems in his day – and that was over 2500 years ago.

Over those 2500 years cultures have risen and fallen. Societies have been built and then decayed. Nations have been established and then ruined. The values of the people made all the difference. The further away from Godly values the more likely the society is to be wrecked like a ship on a rocky coast – it founders and sinks.

Yet these are the values that are being heavily promoted in our culture and society today… We are being bombarded with this message and if anyone stands up to say something other than what fits with this message they are hammered personally, attacked viciously, and figuratively stoned to death in the public square.

You may recall the debate Dan Quayle ignited in 1992 by talking about how the breakdown of the family is hurting our nation.

His serious, seven-page speech was trivialized by focusing on one sentence in which Quayle criticized the television character Murphy Brown. The real substance of Quayle’s speech went mostly unreported.

For example: When we were young, it was fashionable to declare war against traditional values. Indulgence and self-gratification seemed to have no consequences.

Many of our generation glamorized casual sex and drug use, evaded responsibility, and trashed authority."

Dan Quayle, 1992

For making this statement and taking this position he was marginalized and treated as a dunce, stupid, foolish, and a dunderhead.

In this message today I’d like to give you three steps to take that will help you unfold the deckchair and face it toward God!

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