Summary: The family is His idea. The nurture of the family is a high priority for God. That fact is quite clear when we consider all the fences God builds around family relationships and the emphasis His Word places on proper order of the godly family.
Family! Pleasure, pain, comforting, aggravating - and so much more, right?
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going with my Mom and Dad to a reunion of her family in Indiana. For a weekend I interacted with a few dozen people with whom I share nothing but DNA a common ancestor. We gathered from all over the country, bringing our stories and our pictures to share.
Why would strangers (some of us, others were well acquainted) spend the money, and invest the time to meet people who share little in life except having the same great Grandfather? I’m sure that someone could give me the scientific reasons, but all I know is I felt warmth, acceptance, and a sense of kinship. Knowing who those distant cousins are helps me find a ’place’ in this world.
I am really attached to my family. Stories about my wife, my kids, and the grandkids show up in this pulpit often, too often for some, I imagine! The greatest joys of my life are found in my adult kids, my wife, and our extended clan. My wealth is not in the bank, it’s in the love we share. When we vacation, it’s almost always to connect with the kids. We talk weekly, sometimes more often. I love to rejoice with them, cry with them, and to offer advice - sometimes when asked, sometimes even when they don’t want it! Why? Because they are my family!
Ours is a big, happy family; certainly not without stresses, not without dysfunction, for ours is a family that is real and that is impacted by the sinful world where we all live. We are saints in process! Truthfully, we have grown closer in the tough times when we have had to fight through misunderstandings and disappointments with the choice of love. Admittedly, we are God-blessed family, too, and for that I have to thank the godly grandparents who sowed the seed of the Gospel of Christ into our extended families 60-70 years ago, creating a legacy of godliness from which I am reaping huge benefits.
PRINCIPLE - God is dedicated to the family!
The Bible says
"Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families;...." (Psalm 68:5-6, NLT)
The family is His idea. The nurture of the family is a high priority for God. That fact is quite clear when we consider all the fences God builds around family relationships and the emphasis His Word places on proper order of the godly family.
∙ Do you regard your family as a gift of God?
Some of you just sighed, I heard it. You’re thinking, "My family - a gift from God? Come on. They only cause me grief." Sure, I know that is sometimes true. Never the less, the family is God’s plan, and we must value it. The person who treats his family with contempt, robs from himself, and misses the best that God has prepared.
As the Lord leads, I want to explore issues of the Christian family in a series of sermons. I want to help us to answer, in a Biblical way, some important questions:
What are “family values?”
How do we best serve our family?
What does God expects of us in our role as a son or daughter, a husband or wife, as a parent?
What about order in the family unit?
Please do not misunderstand one basic idea -
I do not believe that any person is less of a person because he or she is single! This series is not propaganda designed to convince single people they must marry in order to be whole persons! However, I do believe that the Scripture presents marriage as desirable state, and the formation of a family as work that honors God. If you’re one of those called to singleness, please do not feel that I regard you as a 2nd class Christian. And know this... in this series, even those who are single will find information that will help them in relating to the extended family in ways other than being a spouse.
Just about every wedding ceremony that I conduct has words to this effect in the opening paragraph -
We are celebrating the family today. The covenant that we recognize in this ceremony is a sacred and holy agreement having honor in heaven and here on earth.
God created three institutions for the good of man: the Home, the Church, and the State. According to the Bible, the home was the first of these institutions. It is the cornerstone for the structure of the other two. We recognize the divine importance for marriage that bring us together today. What we solemnize in this place creates a rock of stability in this world.