Summary: Last message: Family First!...Loving the Family In Order...Loving the Family By Discipline.. This message: Loving the Family By Providing...Loving the Family By Example...Loving the Family By Taking Time
Loving Others: Family First! Part II
(Watch SermonCentral video "I'm Watching You Dad")
Last week, we started the teaching on Loving Others, with the emphasis being that the family should be first before others. The order is found in a teaching by Bible Teacher Kay Arthur with the acronym JOY:
God always is to come first in the life of the believer, and then others:
Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
Matthew 22:37-40 (NKJV)
Last week, we covered the first two parts of the teaching on the family. These two sermons provide a thumbnail sketch of how a family should love each other, narrowed into these points:
Family First (Last Week)
Loving the Family In Order
Loving the Family By Discipline (Last week)
And these three points this week:
Loving the Family By Providing
Loving the Family By Example
Loving the Family By Taking Time
Loving Family By Providing...Not Overindulging
It is indeed, especially in light of the way our culture is these days, to balance the demands of both personal life and a person's career or profession. I have seen two sides of the spectrum in these instances: those that are lazy workers, and those that are consumed by their work. Both are injurious to the family unit, and a balance needs to be met.
In this passage, you will see a person who neglects his family is viewed quite badly by God:
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Tim 5:8
While this passage, according to the context, deals with the family members of widows sin of neglecting them it also applies to the parents not providing for the children. Paul words this quite strongly: it is a denial of the faith, and that person's actions are considered worse than that of an unbeliever. This does not mean, however, that if a man is laid off from work and, being diligent in seeking cannot find a job that he is in sin unless he was laid off for good reason. Also, it does not mean that if a man works in a job and is not paid well but cannot find other work and the family struggles, it is sin either. It's important to remember that today because of current Federal laws, many folks can't work more than 29 1/2 hours per week, and have to work two jobs just to make both ends meet, and that is in most cases not a sin for the person and family affected.
That being said, you have the flip side of the coin where some folks work so much that they never see their families. Sometimes this is a necessary thing, and cannot be avoided, as some jobs require shift work (I know this all too well, having to work holidays) and sometimes it is because that person is the only one that can do a certain job.
However, where the problem comes is when a man or woman works extra sheerly because of greed, or because of materialism. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Money in and of itself is not evil, but instead it is the love of money that is evil (1 Timothy 6:10), and actually can cause people to stray from the faith and brings much sorrow.
I know people that will work all kinds of overtime or work late hours so that they can have more money, or because they want to buy some item of luxury. I know a family, for instance, where mom and dad work all the time so that they can buy all sorts of stuff for their kids. Some people actually brag about spoiling their kids with all of the material things that they buy them, and this is so wrong. It teaches the children to do the same thing with their children.
It is important to have a proper balance in providing for a family. It is hard, yes, but whoever said that anything good--especially being a parent--is easy?-
Loving Family By Example
The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. Proverbs 20:7
"Now behold, you have risen up in your fathers' place, a brood of sinful men, to add still more to the burning anger of the Lord against Israel. Numbers 32:14, NASB