Weâ€™ve just spent 10 weeks together working through how the different
members of the family should function towards one another. The family
is the most vital building block of society, not only because itâ€™s
first in line, but because the family is a direct reflection of the
godhead. Our God: Father, Son and Spirit is one God operating in
perfect communion. The Father sends the Son, and the Father and Son
send the Spirit. God the son submits to the father in full equality –
as does the Spirit of God. How Christian family members function
towards one another is supposed to be a visible representation of the
nature and Character of God on Earth.
The summary of relationships is simple and demands a repeat.
Husbands bear the chief responsibility in their homes. A godly man will
sacrificially Love, Lead, Live with and Laugh with His wife. He will
honor her, protect her, guide her towards Christ, and provide for her
every emotional, spiritual and physical need. Husbands, Love your wife
as Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior Loves the church.
Wives, you in turn are commanded to Submit to, Support and Strengthen
your husbandâ€™s position of leadership in the home.
Parents are commanded to bring your children up in the faith of Jesus
Christ, disciplining towards righteousness and focusing every energy on
developing Christ-likeness in your children.
Children are called to Obey, Submit to and above all to Honor their
parents throughout their lives.
That however is only four Functions of a faithful family. The Fifth
function is reflected in how the family as a whole relates not merely
to each other, but to the world at large and most importantly to God –
from whom all these individual commands are expressed.
The Familyâ€™s Function Toward God
Nowhere is the family's duties towards God more adequately
spelled out than in Deuteronomy chapter 6. The chief law of all the
laws was given to family units.
â€œYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all
your soul and with all your might.â€ (NASB95)
There is no greater task for the family than loving God. And in many
ways there is no greater challenge.
If you think about the way most of your families respond to God, is
your love towards God consistent? How do you express that love to God?
Do you worship together as a family in any way outside of church?
Worshipâ€™s essence involves more than music.
I would venture to say that for most Christian families in America
today – the struggle to incorporate family worship into a daily part of
your family suffers at the hands of too many commitments already on the
With or without children in the family, there is always more to do than
there is time to do it in.
I think D.L. Moody said it best â€œIf you have so much business to
attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it, you have more
business on hand than God ever intended you should have.â€
If your family is running in every direction and at the end of it all
you havenâ€™t the time to invest towards Loving God, than you – my
friend are extended beyond what God would have. And righteousness would
require that you scale back.
Loving God as a family can take place in two different arenaâ€™s
Structured Time and Unstructured time.
Structured time with God can be anything from praying together before
dinner, or before bed, or even in the morning when you all get up.
Itâ€™s not really important WHEN you set time apart to Love God as a
family unit. Whatâ€™s important is that as husband and wife alone or
with children – setting apart a specific time on your calendar to daily
be in Godâ€™s presence to love him should take high priority on your
While structured family worship appears to be the ideal, you and I both
know that it breaks down. We make grandiose plans to have daily family
devotions, and the very same night we find ourselves too tired or we
plain forget our commitment until the night is late and weâ€™ve decided
to go off to bed.
I donâ€™t want to discourage a set time by any means, but more often
than not, itâ€™s the unstructured times with God that will have the
greatest impact on your family. Itâ€™s easy to go into faithful mode
when the family bible is pulled off the shelf. But the lasting effects
will come when – in completely unplanned ways – you draw parallels
between real life and the scriptures.
Marshall Shelley tells a simple story which explains the concept. One
morning, while working in the kitchen a woman spilled hot oil on her
hand. Instantly the young boy piped up and declared that they should
pray for mommy before taking her to the hospital for the severe burns.
Most of us would have to confess that our reaction might be to brush
aside the prayer request as quaint because â€œReal help is neededâ€.
But they stopped and prayed. To this day that woman has no scar on her
hand, â€œand guess who brags on Godâ€™s healing power the most?â€
Every day you have opportunities to make our very real God a real part
of your real life. Thatâ€™s part of what it means to love God with all
of your heart, soul, mind and strength.
On top of loving God as a family which takes time, a family ought to
function towards God with Faithâ€¦
Hebrews 11:6 reads, â€œAnd without faith it is
impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that
He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.â€ (NASB95)
Every family experiences tests of faith. Itâ€™s no different for us,
than for the people in the Bible. Beginning with Abraham who believed
God and had it credited to him as righteousness, God has been looking
for people who trust him.
In Second Chronicles Hanani the prophet tells the king, (2 Chronicles
16:9) â€œFor the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth
that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely Hisâ€¦â€
Every Christian can accept difficulties either with or without faith.
With faith we look to God first as our source of hope and help. Without
it, we grumble and worry. What is the predominant Characteristic in
your household? Is it worry and complaining, or a quiet trust that
whatever the current crisis, God is still God and he is able to help
you bear the burden? The answer to that question is the answer to how
central faith is in your household.
A faithful family Loves God and trusts him through every circumstance.
And a faithful family also serves him.
Enclosed in that same key passage of Deuteronomy 6 is
the thirteenth verse Deuteronomy 6:13 â€œFear the LORD your God, serve
him onlyâ€¦â€ (NIV)
Joshua repeats the admonition (Joshua 22:5) â€œOnly be very careful to
observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord
commanded you, to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and
keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your
heart and with all your soul.â€ â€œ(NASB95); 1 Sam. 12:24; Matt. 4:10;
The primary act of service to God is that of worshipping him, and it
brings us full circle back to the concept of loving Him. But our
families are also called to Serve God in the specific sense of working
for Him. For Israel, service to God is set in opposition to 1) service
to Pharaoh, which was slavery and 2) serving the idols of the nations
which is idolatry.
In that context then, what service are you giving to God?
It is all too easy â€œto forget [God],â€ who delivered us â€œfrom the
house of bondage,â€ and to serve â€œother godsâ€â€”the gods of money,
power, and prestige. When we take the bounty of his gifts for granted
and enjoy them at the expense of others, we are on dangerous ground,
for God is â€œa jealous Godâ€ (6:15). He will not tolerate our serving
another master, however legitimate our actions may be in our own eyes.
Is it part of your family life to serve and focus on God, or is your
focus somewhere else. Let me close with this very simple admonition:
â€œYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all
your soul and with all your might. â€œThese words, which I am
commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them
diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your
house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you
rise up. â€œYou shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall
be as frontals on your forehead. â€œYou shall write them on the
doorposts of your house and on your gates.â€ (NASB95)
Beginning today, establish God as the true Lord of your house. Submit
yourself to do HIS will, and give yourselves over to him completely.