This past weekend, Jo Ann and I traveled to Fort Worth, Texas to watch our daughter, Cayla, and her UCONN Huskies Volleyball team’s first tournament of the season. So, Dave Davis, part of our GCC teaching team, finished the Modern Family series with Part 4, “Family First.” We arrived back in Denver Sunday morning in time to make the 10:30 a.m. gathering. Dave did an exceptional job with the teaching and below are some of his notes so you can further explore what it means to put Family First…
Big Idea: Your family is your first priority of ministry! God instituted the family before he instituted the church. A church is a “family of families” and is only as strong as the families in it. 90% of the men and women in the US will marry at some point. Someone said having children is basically “Mass Production by Untrained Labor!” When raising children, at best we do what we think our parents did, and at worse we do what we think our parents did. We want formulas and guarantees. God wants faithfulness and a good plan.
Ecc. 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Four questions to consider, IF you want to put family first and be a good parent: What do you want to do well? What are you doing with your time? What are you reading or listening to? Who knows and shares your struggles? Family first means……
Managing my personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Joshua 24:15) But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, 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 this statement for himself and those for whom he was responsible- those in his household, under his authority and control. When a call had to me made Joshua would make it. There is not a formula for this. It happens as we walk in relationship with God. 1 Cor. 10:23 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. He didn’t go along with the other spies. He lived his convictions and got to be in the battle of Jericho.
There is a really good chance that your kids will be like you, consider changing them by changing yourself. Learn and grow together. Change together. God did not intend for life to be balanced. How do you balance anything with a newborn? How do you balance anything with getting ready for the Bar Exam? Basically, it’s learning to understand the seasons and rhythms of life. Enjoy each phase. Work like crazy and learn to relax. A great book to consider is “Your life in Rhythm”, by Bruce Miller. Ecc. 3:9-14 What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
Managing my relationship with my Spouse Gen. 2:18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 1 Cor. 7:28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
Marriage is not the only option for not being alone. There’s friendship, a job – calling, etc. Paul was unmarried and very content. But, if you choose marriage you have that responsibility. You counted the cost. You are in a mutually faithful monogamous relationship. That may remind you of how happy you are or how miserable. But it is a place to start. A woman on EHarmony quipped, “I love everything about him, I can ‘t wait to marry him.” She just doesn’t know him well enough. Again: What are you doing with your time? What are you reading or listening to? Who knows and shares your struggles? What are those things that you love about each other? Remember, you did choose this person out of all the people in the world. You may have to admit you are already prone to bad decisions. How do you know that leaving them isn’t the bad decision?
Think about this: Do your friends tell you to stay or get out? You may have to change friends! What is your Life Group saying? You don’t have one…… well, get in one. You people who will lovingly speak and show truth. Practice Complimenting. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Managing my relationships with my children. (Prov. 22:6) Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. This verse refers to an archer who knew his arrows very well! He had purposefully selected each sapling. He knew the bent of the wooden arrow, the grain of the wood. He knew just how to aim each arrow so he could deliver to a target and point in the right direction. So it is with your children! Each may be yours, but each may be different! Do you know them? Do you know how to train them and point them in the right direction to fulfill God’s purpose?
Learn to do things like share your struggles. You and your kids may have the same ones. Be honest and open with them; don’t let them think you have it all together. And remember, the church does not raise our kids, we do. Judges 2:10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Two Generations are spoken of in this verse. One that knew, but never told. One that never knew, because they were not told. The older generation somehow failed to communicate the things of God to their children. Something else had become more important. Nothing is more important then bragging on God.
What are you doing with your time? Kids don’t care if you make $15.00 an hour or $500.00, they want an hour. If you hang out with your kids when they want to, there is a better chance of them hanging out with you when you want to. What are you reading or listening to? Who knows and shares your struggles? Only I can do my walk for Christ Only I can be the spouse to my wife. Only I can be Dad to my girls.
For the audio/video of this teaching, click here