Summary: We are to love God first and foremost, and love our neighbors as ourselves. But we must love our family first by loving them in order, by discipline, by providing, by example and by taking time. Part 1 of 2, sermon number 4 in the Kindred United series

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Loving Others...Family First!

Over the next two weeks, we will focus on the family (no pun intended) and how we should have a love for family right after our love for God.

To discuss the theology of the family, and the full depth, breadth and scope of that topic would take much time, and is not the intent here. Instead, we will look at six different sub-topics within this topic of loving the family:

Family First

Loving the Family In Order

Loving the Family By Discipline

Loving the Family By Providing

Loving the Family By Example

Loving the Family By Taking Time

While today's key scripture is found in the context of caring for widows, it is also a truth that needs to be applied to the family as a whole as well. We will discuss this more in Wednesday's devotional.

I think that today a key word that would apply to the family is this: distraction. There are so many distractions that damage the family unit today. Many of these distractions are not really sinful in and of themselves; it is instead an obsession with these things that often cause a problem. As is has been said, "too much of a good thing is a bad thing".

I have said this many times at our church: 100 years ago, churches in our area were the center of the community. Churches were full on Sunday mornings, and it was the norm for each person to socialize with each other in their communities.

However, today we have distractions. The telephone replaces the personal touch of a personal visit; travel has changed so that we go out of our communities on a regular basis, consuming time; television, internet and other media consumes time at a voracious rate. People often say they have no time.

I submit to you that most people today, because of modern technology, should never complain they do not have enough time. We are able to do things faster, better and more efficently than ever. That being said, if you are looking for more time in your "busy schedule" the answer is usually pretty simple: use that red button on the remote control and turn your TV off. Power down your computer and the internet or your Xbox 360. Turn off your computer and smart phone. You will be surprised by the time you have on your hands.

With all of that extra time you will have, spend that time first showing God that you love Him. But in the category of loving others, we should put Family First. Let's discover how we should do that this week.

Loving The Family...In Order

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 5:22-24; 25-28; 6:1-4, NKJV

Let me tell you two of the most heartbreaking things that I see in today's society. First is when a mom or a dad will make this statement: "My kids are the most important thing in my life!" The second are the number of times I have visited a home and looked at family pictures only to see that the pictures are of mom and the children, and the dad is not in the picture. This is clearly not Biblical.

First, we as parents must realize that our spouses are to be number one in our lives right after God. If you look at the above Scripture, you will see that wives are supposed to be devoted to their husbands and vice-versa and to be under their loving headship. I know that some women hate this doctrine, but if you think about it ladies not only is it biblical but it should be viewed as a great relief. Why? If your husband is lead by God then it is his fault if he makes the right decision. This does not mean that the wife has no input in the decision; wives are to be the "helpmeet" of the husband, and good solid counsel from the wive is not only a good idea but it is expected.

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