Somebody sent me to an article the other day called "Raising a Faithful Family in a World Against God" by Matthew Jacobson and it was GOOD...a much better version of what I was trying to say a few weeks ago about our Holy God being faithful, unchanging, and what that has to look like for His children, no excuses. Wanted to share...
It’s only a matter of time before the Bible is officially
designated “Hate Speech”.
It’s inevitable and we’d do well to sober up about that
eventuality. This world won’t be giving Christian parents help with raising
their families to know and love the Lord any time soon.
We are surrounded by a culture that diminishes marriage,
parenting, and family – at least the biblical definition of those
relationships. You might call it, the way of the world. And for
parents who pay attention to what is going on around them, it can be greatly
discouraging at times.
What does it all mean for a family that refuses to
accept the culture’s standards for how they think, act, and live?
God has a very specific perspective on how His people
should conduct themselves, regardless of how dark are the times in which they
live. Whether it’s Noah and his family leaving the ark, Lot in the midst of
Sodom, the Israelites living in The Promised Land, early Christians
listening to growls of hungry lions in the Roman Coliseum, or a discussion in
the Church lobby about the latest R-rated movie, God’s call is always the
same for the faithful . . .
Be holy as I am holy.
It is so easy for us to use our circumstances or other
people’s actions as a reason (excuse) to explain why we can’t walk in holiness,
but that doesn’t change the call of God to faithful families.
We may be surrounded by one thousand enemies and
influences that seek to impede or destroy altogether the effort to raise a
family for God’s glory but we’re still called to faithfulness in the midst of
It is easier to be holy when you’re worshipping God in
your prayer closet than it is walking through your day in this filth-saturated
culture but, in one sense, that just doesn’t matter. Our circumstances and
the people we encounter may change but, God doesn’t. In every era of
history, God has always called His people to multi-generational faithfulness,
one generation – one relationship – one person – one child at a time.
Are you in the lions’ den with Daniel or surrounded by
godly people who love you, respect you, and have your best interests in mind?
God’s call is the same to every person in every circumstance: Be holy
as I am holy.
Dad, Mom, is your home a holy place?
That question starts with you and me, doesn’t it? Am I
walking in holiness? Am I walking in purity, gentleness, humility, kindness, and
in truth? For many (and for me repeatedly throughout my week) it’s time to take
stock. Like about 5 minutes ago (literally) when I had to ask my 16 year old
daughter to forgive me for my fleshly response to her in the middle of a task I
was focusing on. Yes, Dad & Mom, a holy home starts with you and me.
I’m the kind of guy that wants to fix something ONE
time – and one time only but I find in the process of sanctification along
with the natural inclination of my flesh, it’s not a “one time” endeavor. Our
spiritual lives, and especially being parents just isn’t like that. Certainly,
this was part of what Jesus had in mind when he said, Take up your cross daily,
and follow me.
I have to center my mind and heart every morning on
God and His sovereign rule over my life. Just like the cross
that killed Jesus body, so I have to take up my cross every day to, once again,
kill the natural inclinations of my flesh. I have to be reminded, again and
again, what I’m called to as a husband and parent. Jesus said, without
me you can do nothing. Leading a faithful family means starting with
your Leader, your Head, your Sovereign: Jesus Christ.
So, what does the “doing” part of being a faithful family
look like? The Bible says that the Spirit of God is like the
wind. Last time I checked, the wind was blowing all over the place, so you can
pretty much count on The Spirit blowing through your faithful family
differently than the Christian family down the street. But in every faithful
family, Dad and Mom are:
denying themselves and following Jesus Christ.
2) Serious about
discipling their children throughout the day, which is nothing more
than walking with a yielded heart to Christ and telling your children about God
from the Scriptures, and of what Jesus commanded.
3) Serious about
loving each other, as an example to their children of how true
Christian marriage is supposed to look and feel.
When I get overwhelmed in the moment and lose perspective
on my role and responsibility as husband and parent in leading a faithful
family (can you identify with that!) I need to get to a quiet place and reflect
on the Spirit’s words found in the book of James – Draw near to God and
He will draw near to you.
Isn’t that fantastic? When we draw near, God draws
near to us. And, for those to whom God is near, He will eventually say, Well
done my good and faithful servant.