I hate to be the bearer of bad news but “Leave it to Beaver” has left, Mayberry is a distant memory, and the Waltons have said, “goodnight!”, The Brady Bunch has left the building. The little house we live in no longer resembles the one on the prairie! We have moved from “Father Knows Best” to we aren’t sure daddy knows anything! and The Partridge Family ain’t singing no more.The day we live is different. The climate has changed. This modern age has impacted and shaped our families. And as we are seeing now the goal of this modern age is not really to shape but to redefine family. Unfortunately, we will never be able to go back to yesterday. Therefore, we must learn to deal with today and tomorrow. However, even though we are in the modern age I believe there are still some old truths that modern family’s need today.
What has gone wrong with America’s Family?
· Did you know that in the US, every 8 seconds of every school day a child drops out of school?
· Every 26 seconds a child runs away from home.
· Every 47 seconds a child is either abused or neglected.
· Every 7 minutes a child is arrested for a drug offense.
· Every 36 minutes a child is either hurt or killed by a gun.
(Jeremiah 6:16 ESV) Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
“The family has always been the cornerstone of American society. Our families nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation for our freedoms. In the family we learn our first lessons of God and man, love and discipline, rights and responsibilities, human dignity and human frailty.” Ronald Reagan
Condition of Today’s Family
(Isaiah 53:6 NIV) “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way.”
STAT: Average father spends 7 minutes a day with his kids. That’s 49 minutes for the week
(Mark 3:25 ESV) And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand“ (NLT) A family splintered by feuding will fall apart.”
(Titus 3:3 ESV) For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
(James 3:14-16 NLT) “But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”
Dysfunction is Dangerous – dys means dangerous, impaired in function. A dysfunctional family is one functioning dangerously
Family is not an important thing , it’s everything!
Nehemiah 4:14 NIV – After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
- Nehemiah faced the awesome task in the restoration of Jerusalem. But he was surrounded with: 1. Unbelief 2. Opposition
- He lacked resources and he was operating in hostile territory with a meager number of supporters.
- He had to have a plan that had enough power and energy to overcome obstacles.
- Nehemiah put the people on two Unshakable Foundations:
- The Sovereign power of God
- The nearly unlimited protective power that comes from men and women when they fight for their families
- Nehemiah’s Strategy was that he was to station the rebuilders in front of their own house (Nehemiah 3:4)
How to be an Uncommon Family
If you don’t have kids these are amazing principles for your life – If you do have kids these are principles that will help grow your child
- Love and Serve God
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NIV – Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Kids Who Become Active Christ-followers as Adults
If mom and dad went to church: 72% of kids will as adults.
If mom only went to church: 15% of kids will as adults.
If dad only went to church: 55% of kids will as adults.
If neither mom nor dad: 06% of kids will as adults.
(Joshua 24:15 NIV) “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
• Joshua made a choice for his home. His choice was for his household to serve one God only. A choice against idolatry and for faithfulness. Regardless of the choices of others Joshua’s wife and children knew which way he would lead them.
•The challenges of Joshua’s day are no less than those we live among today. We have to choose to live according to God’s design for us IN OUR HOMES and FAMILIES.
•Is Christ is the head of this house, The unseen guest at every meal, The silent listener to every conversation.
The Most Important thing in Life
Matthew 22:37-38 NIV – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
Do you love God with all of your heart or some of your heart?
2. Make God’s Word the standard.
•With so many “experts” running around with all of their ideas and inventions, It can sometimes be confusing to know who to listen to. The Bible specifically outlines God’s original design for the family. As long as we live according to His will, we can avoid the world’s less than perfect lifestyle and live in His perfect peace.
(1 Corinthians 3:19 NIV) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness
•Arguments and division need to be squelched with a higher authority than opinions or out of control emotions. To be a functional family in the plan of God, we must live according to Biblical principles. What is right for this situation according to the scriptures? How can this problem be solved with a Biblical mindset?
(Psalm 119:24 NIV) Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.
Obeying God’s Word brings blessings to the family – Obedience is our Success
Deuteronomy 5:29 NIV – Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
Deuteronomy 12:28 NIV – Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.
Remember: Our instruction to our kids is never better than God’s
Proverbs 1:7 NIV – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
3. Lead Your Family
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV – These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
“The thing that impresses me most about America is the way the parents obey their children.” Edward, Duke of Windsor
Girl from (COYFC) comment – “I looked at my parents and family of an example of what not to be and do”.
Proverbs 22:6 ESV – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Train: to initiate, dedicate, or train.
- Train them to manage God’s money. (Prov. 3:9-10) 2) Train them to carefully select friends. (Prov. 13:20) 3) Train them to watch their words. (Prov. 4:24) 4) Train them to be responsible. (Prov. 6:6-8) 5) Train them to guard their minds. (Prov. 23:7) 6) Train them to be generous. (Prov. 11: 25) 7) Train them to fear God. (Prov. 1:7)
Are you leading your children or are your children leading you?
4. Pray for and with your Family
Prayer is the way we write the future. It’s the difference between letting things happen and making things happen!
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”
We have 2 options – We can Panic or Pray -You decide – Martin Luther said, “Pray and let God worry”
“Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bare; All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer” Joseph Scriven
Remember this – You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent.
Ill.—little boys staying overnight in backyard in a tent. Dad listened to them talk… “my daddy knows the mayor!”/ “governor!”/then he heard the voice of his own little boy say, “that’s nothin’, my daddy knows God!” (top that!) They said, he does not! “does too!” How do you know? “I heard him talkin’ to him just this morning!”
When you face unexpected problems and pressures, when you have a crisis, who do you turn to? God says,”Turn to Me first when you’ve got a problem.” Many people, when they’re in a tight situation, prayer is the last resort, not the first option. They do everything they can physically to try to correct the problem then they say, “I guess now all we can do is pray.” Like it must really be hopeless! Prayer should not be your last resort, it should be your first option.
Make God your first resort in difficulty. He says He is an ever present help a refuge in time of need. God is waiting. He commands us to turn to Him first.
Psalm. 50:15 “Call upon Me in your day of trouble and I will deliver you and you will honor Me.”
Some people get embarrassed and think, I don’t talk to God much when times are good and I don’t want to bother him with my problems. God says, “Bother Me. It’s no bother. I can handle your and every other person’s problems at the same time. Bring it to me. Don’t carry it all yourself.”
“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.” Abraham Lincoln
“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” Oswald Chambers
When we pray we give God legal invitation to bring His will to pass. His will is always accomplished through obedience in prayer.
Luke 18:1 NIV – Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up
I Thessalonians 5:7 NLT – Never stop praying
Prayer is always the will of God – Don’t Give Up, Get Frustrated, disappointed, or lose hope – Praying is what we do in our time, and the answer happens in God’s time
One prayer can change ANYTHING. one prayer can change EVERYTHING
A Prayer for Family
Heavenly Father, Please shine your light upon my family. Give us strength to overcome all of the difficulties that we are dealing with now and protect us against any and all problems we may encounter in the future. O Lord, please bring us together as we are meant to be. May the love that binds us only grow stronger as we fulfill the destiny you have laid out for us.
Grant my family forgiveness for any sins we have committed. May we also forgive one another Lord, as it is sometimes difficult to do. Father, let no sickness, disease, harm, division, distruction, or injury come upon us, protect us, have your angels encamped around us and protect us. Stop the assignment of the enemy. We will prosper, be in health, and our souls with prosper. Bless us Lord, In your name I pray, Amen
If we’ve failed or messed up in these areas (and most likely we all have) – we can make a fresh start today!
Acts 3:19-20 NIV – Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.
Lamentations 5:21 MSG Bring us back to you, GOD—we’re ready to come back. Give us a fresh start.
Jesus, forgive me for all of my sins, I give my life to you, make me brand new. I believe you died for me so that I can live. Fill me with your spirit that I would know you, & serve you with my life. My life is not my own, I give it to you. Thank you for loving me, in Jesus name, Amen!
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