His People Pietermaritzburg
The Greatest institution - The Family
The Greatest Institution - Families
Gen 1:28 – Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it… - The command to man was not, build a church, ministry, but it was to multiply, fill the earth. It was going to be through families that God was going to impact the earth.
We serve a God of relationships! When he designed the world he saw that everything we were to do in the world needs to be based out of relationship. Even ministry today, it is not a structure, it is not a building – its relationships – next weekends social is about relationships.
It is for this reason that families are foundational to our society. So much of what we learn , so much of who we are has to do with our families.
WHAT HAPPENS TO CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF THEIR NATURAL FATHERS
Compared to children in male-headed traditional families where their
natural parents are married to each other, children living in
female-headed single-parent, lesbian or other environments where they are
deprived of their natural fathers are:
1. Eight times more likely to go to prison.
2. Five times more likely to commit suicide.
3. Twenty times more likely to have behavioral problems.
4. Twenty times more likely to become rapists.
5. 32 times more likely to run away.
6. Ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
7. Nine times more likely to drop out of high school.
8. 33 times more likely to be seriously abused.
9. One-tenth as likely to get A's in school.
10. On average have a 44% higher mortality rate.
11. On average have a 72% lower standard of living.
Healthy families are important for a healthy society.
So today I want to look at how to develop a culture of a healthy family.
Culture of a Healthy Family – they have a
- 1. Culture whereby Marriage & Family are Valued
God calls us worse than unbelievers if we don’t look after our family. – 1 Timothy 5:8
- Story of Samuel and Eli – I don’t want to get to heaven and have led thousands to Christ and not have my kids there! How empty!
- Your family is your first ministry – qualifications of an elder.
We need to develop:
Authentic family – who we are in our house is who we are at church!
- My kids know that I take Jacqui on a date, they know about it and they even joke about it.
- My kids know that mommy and daddy spend time with Jesus everyday. That is the greatest inheritance I can leave for my children (righteous man leaves an inheritance – Proverbs 13:22)
- Story of Bethany needing some space – going to have her quiet time.
We need to develop Value of Marriage – placing marriage before kids!
- Commitment to each other, commitment to the family.
- Timothy’s Grandmother. 2 Tim 1:5
Susanna and Samuel had 19 children. Nine of her children died as infants. Four of the children that died were twins. A maid accidentally smothered one child. At her death only eight of her children were still alive.
Susanna experienced many hardships throughout her life. Her husband left her and the children for over a year because of a minor dispute.
To her absent husband, Susannah wrote:
I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children…
She would cover herself with a blamket and spend time with God.
She would have a weekly time with every single one of of her children.
The fruit of her life – one of her children became the greatest hymn writer to ever live, the other a great revivalist who to this day we have a denomination named after him.
The woman was Susanna Wesley, and her sons were Charles & John Wesley
- 2. Culture of Unconditional Love / Honour
What is unconditional love? It means it has no conditions!
I love you no matter what you do?
A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco. "Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've a favor to ask. I have a friend I'd like to bring home with me." "Sure," they replied, "we'd love to meet him."
"There's something you should know the son continued, "he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mind and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us." "I'm sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live." "No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us."
"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own."
At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide.
The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know, their son had only one arm and one leg.
Does one child feel more loved than another because they are gifted – unconditional love!
How we speak to each other? Do we honour one another – Story of Sharal – You will not speak to my wife like that.
When I hear one of my kids disrespecting Jacqui – I intervene, my children need to understand that she is their mother and they should honour her.
Parents – you are a unit – You need to defend each other to your kids.
Don’t bring your kids into your arguments!
Honour your kids – Don’t speak disrespectfully about them behind their backs – don’t dishonour them, rather honour them. You want them to honour you, honour them!
- 3. Culture of Standards with Consequences / Discipline
Love without discipline is not love at all – God disciplines those he loves. He will prune you. Hebrews 12:6
To not discipline your child is to sacrifice their future to comfort your present!
100% discipline – 100% love
Giving your child a spanking?
- It is scriptural!
- What is your motive? Is it based out of anger? Is it the best way to deal with the present situation? Sometimes a child needs to cool off!
- Is it based out of love? So what does a hiding based out of love look like?
- Discuss with your child what they did wrong, do they understand? Give the hiding. NB. This is more important than the hiding – Reaffirm your love and acceptance of them afterwards.
There are times when Jax and I need to tag team. Sometimes I will get so angry with one of the girls that I have to walk away from the situation – the Bible says, “in your anger do not sin” – Ephesians 4:26
But can we move beyond hidings, the big question in Christians circles has been on the issue of whether to give hidings or not. We take a scripture like “ 24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” – Proverbs 13:24
and we miss the whole point. Where is that scripture found? Proverbs. What is proverbs – a book of instruction to the next generation. Solomon says, train a child in the way he should go…- parents we have a responsibility to train our children in the way they should go:
- We should introduce them to the Lord, live lives that demonstrate the Bible, be examples to our children. - Children will get what is caught not taught
- We should give direction to their callings? What is their prophetic identity. Try and get a picture of how God sees them and then you see them in that light.
- Create a culture of risk – a safe place to make mistakes.
- When our children mess up, we should be the first ones to pick them up and put them back on their feet. Help children learn how to make mistakes and help them to learn that in life, they will have to live with the choices they make, whether good or bad!
- 4. Culture of Communication
As a father I ask the question, how should I build today so that my girls will be open to speak to me?
Have you as a couple agreed to rules of engagement – what you will and will not do in the heat of the moment.
- Time when Jacqui and I had fight and she broke the gate.
- Not going to bed angry – the results
Our kids need to see that conflict in the home does not equate to break up in the home.
- 5. Culture of Fun / Memories
Have fun, create memories – this week – story of snakes and ladders – at the end of a long day, do I feel like playing? But am I going to give my family the scraps? Turn off the TV – have dinner around a table.
Story of growing up – watch Wimbledon around the fire!
Overnight hike in the berg.
Camping with my family at Bazley beach.
Going on a Holiday trip with my sisters around Mpumalanga and the Kruger
We serve a God of fun and enjoyment, relationships are meant to be enjoyable. No matter what age you or your kids are, its never too late to build family.
- Taking Bethany up the mountain – I was nipping. – Asked Bethany yesterday, what is the best memory she has of me – taking her up the mountains.
Ministry / Conclusion
I would like all the fathers to stand – well done!
Pray for Fathers – pray that God would help you in leading your family.
Today I am calling people to a greater level of commitment in regards to family.
- If you need to sort out a relationship with a family member – make a commitment today. I want you to come to the front, one of our cell leaders is going to pray with you and help you in making that step. Come to the front.
Today become that person who is a family-man.
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