Summary: Sermon 4 of 4: Facing the inevitable storms of family life.
Extreme Home Makeovers
Weather-Proofing Against Life’s Storms
Woodlawn Baptist Church
September 25, 2005
During World War II Winston Churchill spoke some powerful words that inspired his nation and has continued to inspire today. He said, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills." His words may have inspired a nation, but they sound more like a typical day in many families!
From Adam to today, families have faced an onslaught of tough problems. Adam and Eve had a dysfunctional marriage. Their family was shamed by murder. The Bible tells us that Abraham and Sarah suffered financial distress, causing them to move out of the country. Isaac and Rebekah played favorites with their children. Rebekah plotted against her husband. Jacob betrayed his brother’s trust. Joseph lived in family plagued with so many problems that his own brothers sold him into slavery and told their father that he had been killed. All of these family problems came about because of sin, but what about Job? Job was a man who lived close to the Lord. You might say he was in church every time the doors were open, gave his offerings, taught a Sunday School class and sang in the choir and lived a holy life, but in one day the Bible says he suffered the loss of all his children, all his wealth and his health.
The Bible is full of such stories: stories of families as they suffer the storms of life. Those stories are the stories of our lives today. No family is immune to the storms of life – they are simply a fact of life. Every family here today is facing storms: you are either suffering through them now or you know they are coming. Some of you are in financial distress and there seems no way out. Some of your marriages are taking a beating from the hurricanes of life and you wonder how much longer you can hold out. There may be family shame, lying, deception, jealousy, or mistrust. It may be that you’re burdened with having to take care of family that cannot take care of themselves.
Gas prices, grocery bills and utilities are rising. Insurance premiums, particularly health insurance is putting many people in a bind where they are having to choose whether to have it or not. Have you ever noticed how much insurance and clothes have in common? They both keep getting more expensive, but neither seems to cover as much as they used to. Some of you are living on fixed incomes that can’t meet your needs. These are just examples of the storms that come from without. What about those that come from within? I mean storms like when families are fighting over values or ideals? Frustrations that are building over family disagreements? A part-time dad or an overcommitted mom? Our families are operating on such a high level of stress today that many are going up in flames.
Storms come in all shapes and sizes. Some are near misses on your home, but others make direct hits and do much damage, but all of us are affected. I don’t know if I’ve hit anywhere near your storm or not, and I won’t begin to try to guess what each of you is facing this morning, but I do believe God’s Word gives us some insights that will help us to weather-proof our families against the inevitable storms of life that each of us faces on a daily basis.
Let’s return to Psalm 127 and be reminded of what verse 1 says.
“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.”
A home most fundamentally is a place of shelter against the elements of nature. I realize we build them with much more than that in mind, but that’s really all a home is. You want your home to keep you dry when it is wet, warm when it is cold, cool when it is hot and safe when disaster strikes. To weather-proof a home we might look at storm windows, good weather-stripping around the doors, caulk in all the right places and much more. But what about your family? What can you do to weather-proof your family from the storms of life?
Accept Their Reality
Storms are going to come, and anyone who thinks they can escape them is living in a dream world. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus spoke about the way storms hit a house.
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”