Summary: God has a plan for our family relationships. Let’s discover God’s plan using the acrostic F.A.M.I.L.Y.
An old saying that hold a lot of truth goes: “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” God gave you your parents–your brothers or sisters; God gave you your children, and God has no exchange policy. Your family is yours for life.
God has created or designed man to share in intimate and loving relationships with one another. Remember the events describing the creation of woman in Genesis chapter 2.
✞ Genesis 2:18 The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
God was and still remains man’s perfect helper. But God and man are not suitable for each other; that is God and man are different; God knew that man would need a companion tailor-made for him.
✞ Genesis 2:20-22 But for Adam no suitable helper was found. [this was NOT GOOD.] So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had take out of the man, and He brought her to the man.
The woman is made for man and man for the woman. Within woman man found a counterpart of himself bearing his resemblance. Throughout all of creation nothing else can take the place of woman for the man; she is the suitable helper made for man.
✞ Genesis 2:23-24 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Adam recognized the special place woman had for man; she was a special gift from God. In all of creation none other could be found to take her place; she is made uniquely for man. That is still true today.
Men and women try to satisfy their longing for intimate loving relationships in many different ways today, but it is within the marriage relationship that the ultimate fulfilment is found. Sexual relationships and fantasies outside of marriage will leave the individual broken, and looking for more. Homosexual relationships are a perversion of God’s perfect design; homosexuality is not a disorder; it is not the way someone was born; it is a sin. Only within marriage can a man and woman be truly satisfied.
✞ Genesis 2:25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Man and woman were together in perfect harmony. You have heard the story when Eve asked Adam if he would marry her again, and Adam responds, “Who else?” Rather than thinking negatively, we should see that Adam knew Eve was made to be his perfect companion.
Family relationships are at the center of all human relationships. The place where each of us begin to learn about how relationships work is within the family. Paul addressed these foundational relationships in Ephesians 5 & 6, and Colossians 3.
✞ 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.
In four simple statements Paul shows us God plan for family relationships; four guidelines to make your family successful. But can we tell the truth in church this morning? Families in America today are failing; they are falling apart left and right. And many of those that are still together are less than ideal. We have a problem with our families. It’s the same problem we talked about last week which keeps us from enjoying relationships as God designed.
The problem is sin; God’s image within us has been distorted. Until we deal with the sin problem; we can’t expect much better than fractured relationships held together by duct tape. That’s even true for so called “Christian families.”
So how can we improve our family relationships; how can we place God’s design for health relationships back in our families?
Last wee we saw that Jesus is our example: John 13:15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ From Christ’s example we saw that Jesus could show us how to be the perfect F.R.I.E.N.D. Six basic relational skills that will improve our relationships. These include:
[F] A friend is Forgiving: Jesus purpose was to restore broken relationships; He lived out 1 Corinthians 13, “Love keeps no record of wrongs.”