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Summary: This message uses the text from II Tim. 1:7 as an outline for managing your family according to the "spirit of power, love, and sound judgment"

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Managing your Family

II Timothy 1:7

CHCC: August 2, 2009

VIDEO - The Perfect Family (available from Sermon Central)

INTRODUCTION:

How many of you had that kind of experience when you were getting your family to church? We’re starting a series today called iManage - and today we’re talking about Managing your Family.

The Bible talks about how important it is for us to Manage our Families well. In I Timothy, the Apostle Paul gave guidelines for church leaders.

When talking about Elders, he said this: “He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)” I Timothy 3:4-5

Then Paul went on to give the same requirement for Deacons: “Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.” I Timothy 3:12 Notice how important the FAMILY is to God. It seems that managing our families well is of PRIMARY importance to God.

Today we’re going to talk about what it means to be a good manager of your own household. So, let me start by saying that the family in the video is NOT what we’re talking about! Managing your family doesn’t mean trying to get your family to act like some sort of “Stepford Family” where everyone looks and acts like they’re in a 1950’s family sitcom. I showed the video because some of us tend to think everyone ELSE in the church has that picture-perfect family … and WE’re the only ones with dysfunction.

I’m here to tell you every family is dysfunctional … because every family is made up of PEOPLE. But praise God you don’t have to manage your family on your own!

In the second letter Paul wrote Timothy, he talked about the home where Timothy grew up --- about how his mother and grandmother had taught him God’s wisdom. Paul went on to encourage Timothy not to be timid about leading the church.

He challenged Timothy to be a bold, fearless leader because God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. (Holman Chr. Standard) II Timothy 1:7

This is a key verse for church leaders and for any other kind of leadership God calls you to do. Today I want to apply that verse to the way we lead our families. You can manage your home with confidence because God has not given you a spirit of fear, but the spirit of Power, Love, and of Sound Judgment.

1. POWER

We’ll start with POWER. This series is called iManage which is kind of a take-off on iPod and iPhone and so forth. But I want you to notice that it starts with a small i. That should remind you that the POWER is not yours --- the Holy Spirit gives you God’s own Power.

The starting point for leading a family is to realize that you are not perfect!

Which reminds me of what happened one Sunday. A family was driving home after church and they noticed little Johnny was sitting in the back seat crying his eyes out. Mom asked him several times what was wrong, but he just kept crying.

Then finally he sobbed, “The pastor said he wanted us to be brought up in a Christian home. but I want to stay with you guys!"

Even in the best Christian home, family life is like a wild roller-coaster ride. There are constant ups and downs … and unexpected twists and turns … and then just when you catch your breath you hit one of those crazy “Loops” and everything turns upside down for a while. Some days it’s all you can do just to make sure everyone’s strapped in … and try not to scream too loud!

(By the way, the last time I rode a rollercoaster was back when my kids were little … and I don’t have any desire to go back and do it over again! There’s a reason people need to raise kids while they’re young!)

When you’re in the middle of raising kids, always remember that the power to do it right comes from God … not from you. You’re going to have good days and bad days. Some days you may have all the patience and wisdom of a saint … then the next day you find yourself acting like the 2-year-old you’re trying to raise.

Don’t get caught in the trap of wallowing around in guilt over how you aren’t a perfect parent. Your kids don’t want or need a "perfect" parent. What they need is a parent who believes in a Perfect God! Let your kids know that God is the one who gave you the responsibility to raise them … that’s why they must respect and obey you.

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