Summary: I John 3:18-24 gives clear teachings and guidelines on how to make love last in the home and family.

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“Making Love Last in the Home”

I John 3:18-24

During the month of May we are focusing on the home and family. From Biblical and secular history the slogan that says “As the Family goes so goes the Nation” is more than a slogan it is a fundamental truth. Nations rise or fall according to the moral fiber of the home and family.

The evidence is clear that there is a breakdown of families in America. American families are in trouble.

• One million children a year see their parents divorce. (Heritage Foundation)

• America’s divorce rate is now more than double what it was in 1960.

• 35% of our nation’s children live apart from their biological fathers. (US Census)

• In the last 40 years, pregnancies out-of-wedlock have increased 600%. (US Dept. of Health and Human Services)

• Less than 40% of married people claim to be very happy. (National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago)

Many of us here this morning have personally experienced some of the statistics I just shared. So what is the answer to the national trend? The answer is for a spiritual revival to spread across our land. Each one us here today can make a difference. We can make the same commitment Joshua made when people all around him were turning to pagan idols and false teachings. He said, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”(Joshua 24:15c)

My prayer is that our church will make an impact on every home and family connected in any way to the Willow Vale Community Church. May every family honor Christ and make Christ’s love last in the home and family.

We are all part of a family whether married with children or single. We all have parents and brothers or sisters. We all have some family connection. We all can have a positive and Godly influence on our family. Remember, families are today because of choices made in the past by family members. Each one of us is responsible for all the choices we make.

I John 3:18-24 gives clear teachings and guidelines on how to make love last in the home and family.

I John 3:18-19, Love is demonstrated by our actions.

I John 3:21, Love in action produces a clear conscience.

I John 3:24 Love is continued through obedience.

I. Love is Demonstrated by our Actions.

“Dear Children, let us stop just saying we love each other, let us really show it by our actions. It is by our actions that we know we are living in the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before the Lord.” I John 3:18-19

Some of us have had to learn to express love verbally in our homes. I personally have learned to tell my wife, my children and my grandchildren that I love them. Its one thing to verbalize love and it’s another to actually put actions to your words.

In our family and extended family it is sometimes a challenge to love mean spirited dysfunctional and irregular family members. In the movie we saw a week ago Saturday night, “Facing the Giants” the coach of the high school football team observed one of his players being rude to his father. Several days later he told the student that he needed to honor his father and become more obedient. The boy argued that his father was mean spirited and the leader of those wanted to get rid of the coach. The coach encouraged him to honor his father and also to honor God.

In answer to prayer the young man accepted Jesus and told the coach he needed to ask his father’s forgiveness. The coach took the student to see his father at work and the father listened to his son tell him that he was sorry for the way he had been acting and vowed to honor him and be more obedient. The father had a client in his office at the time and apologized for the interruption. The client said he would give anything for his son to say to him what the father’s son said to him.

Matthew 5:43-47 (Message) Jesus tells us how to put love in action in our home and family. “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a metal? Any run-of-the mill sinner does that.”

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