Summary: 5 of 6 on Putting Family First. About dealing with rebellion. Several Sermon Central contributors were used in preparation for this message.

Repairing Your Family

This is going to be a hard lesson today. Everyone wants a perfect family – but they don’t exist. There is brokenness in every family. We are going to talk about repairing your family – and that implies that your family is first broken.

Broken families are the result of broken relationships. And broken relationships come from people who reject one another. In fact all brokenness comes through rebellion.

In the story Jesus told about two sons we see one who rebelled outwardly, Other Rebelled Inwardly - and the Father loved Them Both

Using the beloved story of the Prodigal Son as an outline let me give you a peek into a home that was touched by rebellion. There is more here than most people realize. This story is being played out in the lives of families in your community, county, and even church on a daily basis. You will be amazed at how relevant God’s Word is to your need.

Luke 15 is Understood in Six Concepts:

Before We Know It They’re Grown Up

Kindergarten The first day of school; the first time they stood in a little league batter’s box staring down a 50-mile an hour fastball from some wild pitcher; and who can forget that first date? Some young wolf shows up at the door and wants to take your daughter out – it’s enough to make you consider purchasing a 30-30 rifle with a sniper scope and following them across town – just in case. And what about driver’s education – who came up with the idea that 16 is old enough to start driving? I think growing up is harder on the parents than it is on the kids.

In Luke, we have a child that stands before his dad as a man. His deep voice says, “Dad, I have some inheritance coming and I’d like to start spending it now.”

The voice of impatience rings out that day as a young man counts down the minutes until he is free of the restrictions of the home. All parents know this day is coming but we’re never quite ready for it when it finally arrives. And when it comes, there will be no time to make changes.

Sometimes you’re left with the nagging questions:

• Did I spend enough time with them?

• Did I do all I could to help create a sense of significance?

• Did I give enough attention to the spiritual role that I play?

• Did I listen to the things that matter to them?

From the beginning our story drips with rebellion, from the tone of voice to the wild living that follows shortly after the son’s departure.

Look at how dad handled the request and departure. He graciously responded to his son’s request. No lecture. No prophetic warning of storm clouds of failure stirring on the horizon. It isn’t easy to do what he did.

We talked last week about dedicating your children to God and of releasing ownership. That’s the first step. The second step is even harder – really letting go. How you approach that when they are rebelling and fighting you is very important.

Have you ever considered the connection between how you release your child and how they return? In fact, sometimes how you let them go will determine if you ever get them back! Let that sink in for a moment.

It isn’t long before the young man is a speck on the horizon. The father’s heart was shredded as he wondered if he would ever see his son again. At times like this, a parent wonders if it’s worth it all. No job is tougher.

When a Child Rebels Is Often Prescribed By Their Personality

Why is it so hard to deal with rebellion?

Because this is our own flesh and blood - innocence run amuck.

And it’s not if – it’s when. Certainly there are degrees of rebellion as well as the time and method of rebellion. Some kids are “in your face”. Some are “behind your back”.

This boy can hardly get out of town fast enough. He sets out for a world that is cold, ugly, and anything but pain free. There is no, “and they lived happily ever after,” in a rebel’s life. In fact, most dread the coming of each day.

In his mind, he had grown up with too many restrictions, now he wanted the right to call the shots. Free at last! Free at last! With the sound of Dad’s good-bye ringing in his ears, the young man stretches his wings and flies off to a world of self-indulgence.

“… and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” (15:13)

The young man was on a mission. His mission statement was: Operation Personal Gratification

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