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Growing A Godly Family

Tim Burke played professional baseball, but had to make a difficult decision concerning his family. His dream growing up was to be a professional ball player. Through the years of sacrifice and hard work he achieved that goal.

While a successful pitcher for the Montreal Expos, he and his wife wanted to start a family, but discovered they were unable to have children. After much prayer, they decided to adopt four special-needs international children. This led to one of the most difficult decisions of Tim's life.

He discovered that his life on the road conflicted with his ability to be a quality husband and dad. Over time it became clear that he couldn't do a good job at both. After more prayer and soul-searching, he made what many considered an unbelievable decision: he decided to give up professional baseball.

When he left the stadium for the last time in 1992 playing for the NY Yankees, reporters wanted to know why he was retiring "Baseball is going to do just fine without me,"he said, "It's not going to miss a beat. But I'm the only father my children have. I'm the only husband my wife has. And they need me a lot more than baseball does."

Growing A Godly Family

Text: 1 Timothy 5:8 Introduction:

Family is important, but, how do we grow a healthy godly family?

1. Strong Families Understand Commitment

People today do not understand commitment. In these days of the disposable marriage. "If it works, fine, if it doesn't, fine"

Commitment is the assurance that this family will stay together, value each other, for a lifetime, no matter what. This understanding begins with the parents:

Strong marriages face problems/challenges together.

Strong marriages take the following words, and carve them in granite: I'm committed to you, no matter what.

Strong marriages take the word "divorce"out of their vocabulary.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Provide what?

Food, clothing, and shelter is a given, but to say that alone is like saying that a father is a male figure who has a child. There is more to being a father than that.

Husbands and wives need to provide a stable environment for each other first, then for their children. If they have it for themselves, they will be able to give it to the children.

Ephesians 5:33 let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Provide nurturing:

♦ Express to them that they are a blessing, not a burden. Children of this generation have been labeled, "the unwanted generation."Media sends the message: children are an unwanted expense, an interference in careers, or an untimely accident

.

Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

♦ Let them know they are loved unconditionally. What happens when someone fails in your family? Love should be the ONLY answer to that question.

Provide spiritual training:

2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your

grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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.

2. Strong Families Have Communion

In a survey, 1,500 children were asked, "What makes families happy?"Over 90% gave the same answer. It wasn't a big house, or lots of money. It was "doing things together".

One of the biggest lies we're sold these days is that it doesn't matter how much time you spend with each other, just make it quality time! Yes, it does matter. Time together is how you get to know each other, really know each other in a deep way, where you can eventually see right into their heart just by looking into their eyes, and where you can tell when they're lying right away!

Children spell love T-I-M-E. Time w/ family says to them, You are a priority, I love you! There's no substitute for time spent together.

There was a time when families ate meals together, worked together,l played together, and prayed together. That's communion.

3. Strong Families Communicate

Zig Ziglar tells the story of a lady who went to a lawyer to divorce from her husband. "do you have any grounds?"... 3 acres outside of town, you've been there!

"no, I mean, do you have a grudge?"... no, we have a carport

"no, like, does your husband beat you up?"... no, I'm up at 6, an hour before him!

"oh my, I'm saying, do you have a case?"... no, we've got a John Deere!

"ma'am, I'm trying to ask, are you and your husband having any troubles?"... oh yes, lots oftroubles...

"like what?"... He just can't communicate!

Marriage counselors say over half of all divorces are the result of poor communication, and that if they could have just learned to talk, they could have saved their marriage.

James 1:19-20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

4. Strong Families Have Good Coping Skills.

They have the rare ability to solve problems together, and always see the big picture.

Don't ever think that families that break up had problems, and that families who stay together

don't. All families have problems. Break-ups have to do w/ coping skills.

Adam came home from work, and Eve counted his ribs, then said "... just checking!" Adam and the kids walked by the Garden of Eden. The kids asked, "what's that, dad?"

Adam said, "That's where your mother ate us out of house and home!"

Some of Paul's statements to the Roman Christian fit very well here:

Romans 12:9 Romans 12:12 Romans 12:16

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, ... Never be wise in

your own sight.

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Don't be the problem, be the solution

How we respond to our problems will make or break us!

We have to learn to attack our problems together, instead of attacking each other.

5. Strong Families Have A Strong Sense Of Consecration.

There's no way to have a truly successful family w/out giving God first place.

Kids watch carefully... seeing what we're like at church, and at home.

A study once disclosed that if both Mom and Dad attend church regularly, 72% of their

children remain faithful. If only Dad, 55% remain faithful. If only Mom, 15%. If neither attended regularly, only 6% remain faithful. The statistics speak for themselves--the example of parents and adults is more important than all the efforts of the church and Sunday School.

Little boys staying overnight in backyard in a tent. Dad went out to check on them and overheard them talking, "My daddy knows the mayor!""My daddy knows the governor!" Then he heard the voice of his own little boy say, "That's nothin', my daddy knows God!" The others said, "He does not!""Does too!""How do you know?""I heard him talkin'to him just this morning!"

There's nothing greater our children can think of us, than that we know God! Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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.




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