As we continue in our look at the Building Blocks of Discipleship, we have covered a lot of ground, with what we BELIEVE, what we are BECOMING, and today the second part of what we are BUILDING. We found God puts us to work, after we’ve been worked on. As we become someone new, it allows us the opportunity to start BUILDING—in the most natural of all ways—with your…
FAMILY (As God Designed) Paul, who was single, nonetheless focused his teaching on building up the families of those who believed. Listen to his practical advice, I’m going to jump around in (Ephesians 5:21-22,25,31-6:1a,4a) Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Submit in verse 21 literally means to “yield in love.” Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord…Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh…Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right…Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
You cannot separate Paul’s advice from his God! Your conversion to Christ becomes visible in the most challenging and rewarding earthly relationships you will have, with your own family. The person you said you would stand beside in better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and in health. Maybe you are single—you still have the opportunity to yield in love to those close to you—your neighbors, friends, siblings, or parents. Paul points out that you get a chance to refine and grow in faith with those you love the most! It is reminiscent of the great movie by the Kendrick brothers called-
Courageous—It focuses on dad’s parenting because of the epidemic of children without a father in the home, but it is relevant on a larger scale in that he gives each of us a call to decide where we are going to invest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OEqYwz2qhw
If not you, then who? Ken Bevel, an actor from the movie asked that and another question of an audience: “If not now, then when?” When is infusing your family with Christ going to be more than a promise? Paul each and every time he gives practical advice about marriage, parenting, relationships, can never separate them from relationship with Christ. Before your children or spouse every come to church, they are part of a community that either makes God relevant and real or makes God relegated to the bottom of the pile of important things. You might have heard the commonly quotes idea that the divorce rate is the same within Christendom as it is outside of the church, but here is the reality. Ed Stetzer from Lifeway Research brought two interesting facts to the forefront: 1. Those who self-report as Christians but aren’t very involved or active actually have a higher divorce rate and family troubles. 2. Those who are actually striving to live for Christ, by the Holy Spirit actually have a lower rate of divorce, addiction, brokenness, and abuse. When is enough enough, when is it going to be time for you as a follower of Christ to start saying “No more!” No more to my family, no more to the families around me.”
What can you do about these issues—if you are a strong Christian couple—there are a lot of young married couples that need support. If you are a mature Christian there are young children who need mentors, single moms and dads who need help carrying the burden, there are your neighbors who might need direction. Andy Stanley said, “even if you have broken all the rules and messed up really bad, at least be a bad example for someone, showing them what not to do!”