The Foundation of Family

For audio/video of this teaching series, click here. If you’re going to have, be in, or start a family, you need to make sure the foundation is right! When you build a house, even though you don’t see it once you start building on it, the foundation is the most important part- if it isn’t right, the house can’t be right! So, what is the foundation of family? It is committed relationship that is right, respectful, and responsible! It means we have to put our house in order.

2 Kings 20:1 says, In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Notice God tells Hezekiah, “put your house in order.” This meant his “affairs”, his “family”, etc. What does it mean to have your house, your family, your life, put in order?

Jesus gives us more perspective on this. Luke 6:46-49 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” You could say that Jesus almost sounds frustrated! “You call me Lord, but you don’t do what I say- geez!” He wants out lives to be in order and he knows that requires obeying his word.

God created order, not disorder! There is an order to everything that he created- birds are for the air, fish for the sea, animals for the dry land, man for relationship with God. Adam’s sin caused disorder when he disobeyed God- something we are all guilty of! Every time we don’t do what God’s word says, we bring more disorder, more dysfunction to our lives. We need order if things- especially family are going to be right. Thankfully, God made a way, through Jesus Christ, to restore order to our lives, to bring us back into right relationship with him. And on our end, this requires commitment to doing what Jesus said- this becomes the rock-solid foundation for our lives. We need that unmovable, unchangeable foundation because 1) storms of life will come regardless of who we are, and 2) cultural “rightness” is constantly shifting and changing, and cannot be trusted- you build your “house” on what the culture says is right and you’ll soon discover just how weak and fragile this really is!

Building your house, your family on what Jesus said requires commitment. Commitment is the outcome of Conviction! What you are convicted about is what you will be committed to! Essentially you are building your life, your family, on your convictions, what you are committed too. A couple of key things to consider here: 1) As a Christ-follower you cannot live however you please! You must listen to, and obey what Jesus says! You imitate and you follow him. This brings order to your life. Not doing this brings disorder, dysfunction, destruction, 2) Your convictions and commitments must be centered in the truth of God’s Word. In this modern age, there is something more important than tolerance and that is truth! Truth that is substantiated by love!

The implication here for family is fairly simple: I must ask myself, “What does God’s Word say about family, and will I accept this as my conviction and be committed to it?? Because, storms, tough times, difficulty, will come and if our house is in order and built on the foundation of obeying truth, then we won’t end up in a pile of rubble.

Having a foundation that is built on what the Bible says begins with a Commitment to Right Relationship: Accepting Christ and Acting Accordingly! Note Rom. 5:11-21 Here’s the thing with the book of Romans- it’s called the NT Book of the Law, but in reality, it is a book about justification. We are justified by faith in what Jesus Christ has done for us and by obeying what he says. It is not about “justifying” wrong behavior, etc. Romans says there is a wrong way to live- which leads to death, and a right way to live- which leads to life! And Jesus says, “If you love me you will obey what I say!” (Jn. 14:15). Right relationship with God will always restore right order to our lives! A right relationship with God through Jesus Christ frames all your other relationships. Without right relationship with God, right relationships with others is going to be very difficult to achieve; because our convictions are going to be skewed! Without a conviction about truth (God’s Word is absolutely correct and right) and a commitment to it, anything goes, and we start justifying our behavior with all types of reasons! NOTHING can be justified except that by FAITH we have ACCEPTED Jesus Christ and ACT accordingly! And right relationship is what the Bible and Jesus says is right! Right? Rather than me giving you a list of what right relationships look like, let me challenge you to ask God and explore the Bible yourself! Seriously, say “God, is this (fill in the blank) right?” If you are sincere and open to truth, God, by His Spirit will reveal it to you! (John 14:17)

Having a rock-solid foundation for your family is about being Committed to Respectful Relationship: Submitting to and Serving Each Other! Right relationship will always result in respectful relationship! Paul’s words in Eph. 5:21-33 are all about respecting each other- a man and a woman, a husband and a wife in right relationship! Listen, if you’re not currently married right now, don’t just settle for who or whatever- wait on that person who will always RESPECT you!! We’ve lost a ton of respect in our culture today! There’s very little respect for authority, and more specifically, for truth as it is determined and defined by the Bible! As a result, not only is there rampant mistreatment and disrespect in all areas of life, but the church is probably a major contributor to this in our culture! WHY? Because we completely misunderstand and misappropriate the basis of true respect, which is submission to and serving each other! You simply cannot have respect without the willingness to “come under authority!” Submission is a strong word and acting it out is even more challenging, because at the core of our humanity we just don’t want to submit! Yet, that’s exactly what we are called to do if we are going to be a Christ-follower (Mk. 8:34-38).

Children don’t submit to their parents because parents don’t submit to each other, which mean we’re not submitted to Christ! Without going into detail, Paul is telling us that “respect is reciprocal!” A man AND a woman must be submitted to Christ- under his authority and in alignment with his word, etc. A woman “submits” to her husband, meaning she honors the role God has given him- one which every man will give an account for before God. An man deeply loves his wife and sacrifices for her- he submits to what God requires in his service for his wife and family! Submission is best understood in terms of service! Jesus served the will of the Father. So, here’s the question: Are you serving the will of God for your life, your marriage, your family, your relationships?? Are you submitted to God? Do you respect his authority, his word, what he wants for your life, marriage, family, children, relationships??

Finally, a right foundation for family is about being Committed to Responsible Relationship: Fearing the Lord and Faithfully Staying Committed! I really don’t need to elaborate on this, because we’ve really hit on this in the first two things I’ve talked about. Paul’s admonition in Eph. 5:21 to “submit to one another out of reverence to Christ” takes into consideration that you will have an ongoing faithful commitment to the Lord, his word, and to your family! As we should know, relationships break down, the foundation weakens and cracks when “unfaithfulness” happens- being unfaithful to God leads to being unfaithful in your relationships! Unfaithfulness results from not being submitted to what God requires. It’s pretty simple and yet when it happens it’s a very serious blow to the foundation of family! I often wish and pray, people would remember the commitment they made at the altar when they essentially said, “I’m committing to being faithful to God and to you, to being responsible for this relationship standing the tests of time! Jo Ann and I celebrated 31 years of marriage last week. 31 years! And I can honestly tell you that we’ve not merely survived 31 years, we’ve thrived because we’ve both stayed committed to being responsible to make our marriage a lasting one!

That’s not to make anyone who has experienced a failed marriage or relationship feel bad or guilty. That’s not my intention. I’m simply saying that relationship, especially having right relationship, based on your relationship with the Lord, takes work, effort, commitment, being responsible for your part, for the promises you’ve made, staying faithful! That’s the thing, isn’t it amazing that we can always count on God being faithful- he keeps the promises he makes, he doesn’t run out on us; that despite our unfaithfulness to him so often, he remains ever faithful! Doesn’t that blow your mind?? Hosea in the OT is really a picture of God’s profound faithfulness to us despite our running around on him! Hosea’s wife, Gomer had been a prostitute, and despite Hosea’s love, his unshaking commitment to her, she kept going back to her former lifestyle. Yet Hosea kept taking her back because he had made a commitment, he kept his promise, he took his responsibility seriously, he was ever faithful, he loved unconditionally. That’s a picture of God’s commitment, faithfulness, unwaivering love for us despite our lack of commitment to him. And it means two things for us today: 1) If you’ve run out on God, he loves you and will take you back, and 2) If you’ve run out on someone or had someone run out on you, God will help you overcome that- he can help you to forgive or be forgiven, and you can start over; you can renew your commitment to God and to right relationship!

Many of us recall the vivid pictures of people’s homes, that were devastated by the horrific tornado in Joplin, MO recently. You wonder if any foundation could have kept those homes, standing despite the fierceness of those storms! It never ceases to amaze me, that despite experiencing such destruction, people will always say, “But we will rebuild, this is our home, it will be stronger than ever this time!” Tornados, hurricanes, floods happen. Yet Jesus says that the “storms of life” we encounter are much more ferocious and devastating when it comes to our lives and families. Sure, losing a house can be very emotional, but it can be rebuilt, stuff can be replaced. But when relationships and marriages are torn apart, we can feel so hopeless or wrecked for life, or just rush into the next one…

Spiritually, satan wants to use these “storms” to wreck and destroy our relationships and our lives forever! That’s why having the right foundation is so important- a foundation that is about having conviction and commitment to obeying; living out what Jesus and the Bible says about every aspect of life; especially relationships and family.

What is your house/family built on? You can “put your house in order” today!

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