Summary: A look at many of the God-given tools to help strengthen our homes

I don’t care much for TV, but I have to confess there was a program that I used to watch when it was still not reruns. A few years ago, it was rated as one of the most watched family-oriented programs on TV "Home Improvement."

Not only does Tim Taylor mess up things and receive minor injuries along the way, but he's also usually messing things up in his marriage or parenting that he has to repair too.

I guess one of the reasons I liked that show is because I can relate to a blundering husband and father who has to constantly go back and fix whatever it was that I messed up at home - both in house repairs and family repairs!

-For you fans of Tim: there's a way to get "more power" into our homes! So, today really is a Tool Time - time to get some tools into your family to make it stronger.

In the text that was read earlier, we get the news that God has given us the tools we need for strong homes. He has given us the things we need for life, and godliness - to participate in the divine nature and to escape the corruption in the world...

Tools that, if we will pick them up and use them, will protect our homes from the dangers we spoke about last week and strengthen them where they're weak. (All T's...)

I. Terrific Priorities

-when you send something by "priority mail." The idea is for it to get the 1st attention and preferential treatment. So that's what we're talking about here. What gets preferential treatment and 1st priority in your life?

-God's word has a lot to say about priorities. When they're confused, they endanger our home, but when they're correct, they become a useful tool to make it stronger.

(Col 1:18) "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the Body, the Church ; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy."

-the first helpful tool is to make Christ the head of your home. Make Him top priority. Got a financial question? -Mt 6:33 - seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

-Then, discover from that point what God would have you to put first in your life! Check His word, and you'll see that family life receives a high-priority rating:

• When God flooded the world, He preserved a family

• His promise to Abraham was that through Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed

• men who had recently married were exempted from military service for 1 year

• Widows and orphans were to be cared for

• Christians are commanded to provide first for their own immediate families

-Ill - American adults, in the Louis Harris poll, expressed the things in life that were essential or most important to them: Good income 60%, Successful career 80%, Close Friends 85%, Clean environment 95%, Happy family life 97%! In other words, people say that they hold family life as a #1 priority - do they?

-1988, I did a survey at MSSC, "How important is family life? 1-10: the overall importance of family life rated 86% (the importance of Mom being at home rated 82%), yet only 21% said a person should endure a bad marriage for the children's sake. They also believed about 1/2 of all family problems were due to circumstances beyond their control - education, pressure from society, the economy. Conclusion: "While people tend to realize what problems are threatening the families of today, and while they realize that the family unit is important, few are willing to assume their role of responsibility or to admit that the solution is up to them."

-Priorities are more than what we say is important to us, they're what we act like is important to us.


-List your priorities. Make a list of the things that determine your decisions in life. God should be at the top of that list. Then go down, and in the order of importance, list the things that make up your life; the things that take time, energy, or money: family, job, hobbies, friends, health, things you own - list them out until you have 10 items on that list. NOW...

1. Does your list reflect God's priorities? Rewrite it until it does.

2. Memorize it or carry it w/you. Whenever a question of priority comes up, go back to that list. When things that demand your time conflict w/each other, which one is higher on the list? When money is limited, and something will have to be left out, start on the bottom of your list. When you have a decision to make, and you're not sure which way to go, go to that list - always making sure from God's Word that His priorities are what's on that list. It will be a useful tool for tough decisions.

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