Summary: Sermon 1 of 4: Lessons learned from remodeling.
Extreme Home Makeovers
Remodeling: Dealing with Imperfect Families
Woodlawn Baptist Church
September 4, 2005
(The idea for this sermon title and series came from Outreach Magazine)
Do you enjoy home makeover programs on television? What about remodeling your own home? Of the many reality shows on TV today, I think perhaps that the home makeover shows are among the most popular. For a long time Trading Spaces was our family’s favorite. Two families would be hosted on the show, and supposing that it were Ron and me wanting our kitchens remodeled, I would get $1,000 and an interior decorator to remodel Ron’s kitchen for him, and he would get $1,000 and an interior decorator to remodel mine, then we’d get to go home to each other’s work.
Whether or not you enjoy watching or doing remodeling, it is always a necessary part of living in a home. Whether you rent or own, homes deteriorate, get damaged, go out of style or simply need freshening up from time to time. Sometimes you remodel because you have to, and other times because you just get tired of what you have.
Today I want to talk to you about remodeling as it concerns your families. Whether your family is young or old, regardless of how long you’ve been married or how many children and grandchildren you have, all of our families need occasional remodeling. Some of you are in need of some minor repairs, but others of you are in need of major renovation. Why? Because all of us live among imperfect families.
The term dysfunctional is used quite often today in regard to families. Dysfunction refers to the sense of disintegration produced in a family where there is a lot of hurt. From a Christian perspective it is a home that is not functioning as God intended. It could be the result of divorce, lack of communication, rivalry among the children, self-consumed parents, addictions, child abuse, sexual abuse, spousal abuse, affairs, and the list goes on and on. What I want you to realize today is that while we may pick and choose which families are labeled as dysfunctional, in God’s eyes all our families are dysfunctional because none of our families are functioning exactly as God intended. In other words, none of us live in perfect families.
One of the strange dynamics in family life is that when children grow up they often repeat the mistakes of their families. You see, dysfunction has the amazing ability to breed only more dysfunction if we allow it, and that is why I want to talk to you about remodeling today. Read with me the words of Psalm 127.
“Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
It is no accident that David was inspired to write these words about our great God. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” In other words, if God is not the one building your home: working in your family, then you’re wasting your time. God must be in absolute control – He is the general contractor. Is it not just a little ironic that Jesus worked in His chosen profession as a carpenter?
Now, I believe that your desire is for God to be in control of your family’s life. I really believe that you want the very best for your families. You want God’s blessings; His security; as much comfort as possible, and you want to go to bed at night believing that what you have done or the family you are building for tomorrow is considered significant.
I also believe that you are not content with dysfunction. As a child of God whose ultimate desire is to please God, you ought to want your family to be everything God wants it to be, but it will only come through that process of remodeling. You see, it is really not an issue of whether you enjoy it or not. It is simply a necessary part of living as part of a family, either because your family has deteriorated, been damaged, grown stale or just needs a boost as a witness for Christ. Having done some remodeling work through the years, I have learned some lessons I believe to be relevant to the remodeling that needs to be done in your family.