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Summary: Our homes deserve our attention to making sure that our love for God is priority one. This message is to set the groundwork for a series on the family.

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Matthew 22:35-40

Have you done your homework? Aren’t you parents glad that summer’s here and you can quit asking it? We expert parents know that you’re supposed to say that so that later you’re not saying, “What went wrong on this report card!?”

Schoolwork is important, and we teach our kids, homeschooled or not, to work on those assignments at home. After all, they’re involved in work that’s going to affect the whole rest of their lives.

So, this morning, we’re introducing a series just for this month, a month to really focus on family life called “Have You Done Your Homework?” We’re going to be dealing with topics for families of all sizes and encouraging a working response for the sakes of our homes and the Lord’s Church. This morning, I want us to take a look at a most important priority. We all tend to approach them differently.

Joke – The doctor shook his head. "John, you’re in terrible shape. You’ve got to do something, and I mean starting today. First, I want you to tell your wife to cook more nutritious meals. I want you to stop working like a dog. And tell your wife you’re going to make a budget, and she has to stick to it. And have her keep the kids off your back so you can relax. Unless there are some changes in your life, you’ll be dead in a month."

"Doc", John said, "this would sound more official coming from you. Could you please call my wife and give her those instructions?’ “OK.”

When John got home, his wife rushed to him and began to weep on his shoulder. “Oh, Honey, I talked to the doctor. You poor man – he says you have only 30 days to live!"

joke – 4 brothers in the UP went deer hunting and paired off in two’s for the day. They were deer hunting die-hards -- always had been. That night one of the brothers returned alone, staggering under the weight of a 200 pound deer. The other 2 brothers asked, "Where’s Sven?" He said, "Oh, Sven had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail."

"You left Sven lying there, and carried the deer back?" "Yeah, it was a tough call, but I figured no one’s going to steal Sven."

As we start to examine these complex microcosms we call “families” it immediately becomes evident that we don’t all see them the same. From family to family, there are a lot of differences, and within families, we see a lot of differences between family members. It’s not caused just by genetics or gender or family birth order. There’s another factor at play in the makeup of families. It’s called priorities.

Whether or not we’ll have priorities isn’t a choice. That’s like saying you’re not sure whether or not you want to have a great grandfather who was killed by lightning. You can’t change your predecessors. That’s just part of being human. So it is with priorities in our families – whether that’s a family of 1 or 10. All of us have them – whether we try to not think about them at all or we try to structure all our thinking around them, we all have priorities.

You’re here today. You’re here today because you chose it as a priority for your life. If you hadn’t, you’d probably be somewhere else. If you’re not here, it’s probably because you made something else a priority. We all have them.

And that’s important to accept from the start. Because not only do we all have personal priorities, but we also have priorities in our homes, and

I. Our Homes Will Reflect Our Priorities

Ill - Imagine with me that everyone here this morning was to leave with a foreign exchange student from, say, Crimea. And that student was here for one purpose: to learn what’s important to Americans by observing your home life. Where would he or she look? I imagine, if you permitted it, that student would start taking notes about how much time you spend in front of the TV, the computer, and what’s on them, and how many of them are in your house. I imagine there would be some notes about where you spend your time, about your eating habits, and the amount of sleep you don’t get. I could see notes about how much time families actually spend together, and what kinds of activities they’re involved in outside home. I suppose a look in your checkbook register would tell a lot. And let’s not forget the time you give over to church functions or just serving others.

After a couple of weeks in your home, what would that student say about what’s most important to Americans? It wouldn’t be very comfortable, would it?

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