Prescription For A Healthy Family Series
Contributed by Jeff Strite on Jul 6, 2003 (message contributor)
Summary: Many families are struggling because they haven’t listened to God’s prescription for their homes. Even many Christians misunderstand what Paul was talking about in Colossians 3 and do great damage to their families.
OPEN: After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing the Heavenly Father said to these first children was, "Don’t."
"Don’t what?" Adam replied.
“Don’t eat the forbidden fruit." God said.
"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve. . . we have forbidden fruit!"
"Do NOT eat the fruit!" said God.
“Because I am your Father and I said so!" God replied. A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and was He ticked!
"Didn’t I tell you not to eat the fruit? "God (as our first parent) asked?
"Uh huh," Adam replied.
"Then why did you?" said the Father.
"I don’t know," said Eve.
"She started it!" Adam said,
"Did not!" "Did too!" "DID NOT!
At this point, God had had enough… and to punishment Adam and Eve He decreed that they
should have children of their own. Thus, the pattern was set and it has never changed!
APPLY: There are people who believe that their family was a punishment from God:
The husband doesn’t love
The wife doesn’t submit
The children don’t obey
And the parents are harsh and sometimes difficult to be around.
NOW… I don’t know if families (with problems like these) are being punished by God… but such families are unhealthy. They are diseased. They’re sick! And their sickness has a name: The sickness is called Sin.
But, there is a cure. God has a prescription that you can take to heal the broken home. And that cure is found in Colossians 3:18-21
“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”
I. As with all illnesses, when a Doctor prescribes a medication … you need to take it the way the Doctor ordered.
ILLUS: Now, I don’t know how it is with you… when I get medicines at the pharmacy - I don’t read ALL of the instructions on my medicine… or I just don’t bother to read them at all. I figure – it’s medicine – all I have to do is swallow it!
I did that once with a medicine my Doctor prescribed. I didn’t bother to read the instructions that came along with the antibiotic I was given and I ended up with a mouthful of sores that took me better than a week to get healed.
When you buy a medicine for an illness, they have those little papers that come along with them to tell you ‘how’ to take your pills. Believe it or not, we’re expected to read those silly things.
And if we don’t… and something goes wrong… we can blame ONLY ourselves.
So (now) God gives us instructions on how to have a perfect, healthy home
· Wives submit
· Husbands love
· Kids obey
· Dads don’t get too rough
And there are people who figure… if that’s the medicine all I have to do is swallow it and I’ll have a happy, healthy home… And a lot of times they’re not far off.
But there are other times when people use this prescription in a way it wasn’t intended and the result is damaged relationships and rebellious families.
II. How could you possibly misuse this prescription for creating healthy homes?
By not understanding the instructions that came along with the medicine. By not reading the rest of what Colossians has to say about your relationship to God.
You see, Paul’s theme, up to this point, has been – Jesus is Lord.
What does it mean for Jesus to be Lord? It means:
– He made everything
– He owns everything
– And (most importantly) He owns you
AND NOW, what we’re being told is - Jesus owns our families too. He owns our relationships.
When you declared that Jesus was your Lord you were turning over the keys to every aspect of your life
Ø Your possessions
Ø your future,
Ø and your spouse and kids.
Take a good look at your family – they don’t belong to you anymore. You gave them to Jesus when you were saved. They BELONG to Him. That’s what it means when we say “Jesus is our Lord!” We are saying that Jesus owns us and everything we have.
Now since, your husband/ or wife, children/ parents – belong to Jesus Christ, you are responsible to HIM for how you treat them.
Colossians 3 is a description of how Jesus expects you to treat what belongs to Him
It is not a description of how the people in your family are to treat you. (REPEAT)
If you don’t follow THIS prescription the way Jesus expects you to you will hurt yourself AND you will hurt your family.