I had a friend that called me about a little auto repair that needed to be fixed. Apparently, there was something wrong with the brakes on his car. It was making a little bit of noise, but everything seemed to still be working, and he did not want to take the time to fix or work on the problem. He had gotten some advice that it was okay to drive on the malfunctioning brake. So, he continued to drive on the brakes each day.
1. Usually, does it work out to your benefit to ignore a problem with your car? Why?
2. Do you have a specific example of where you ignored a problem? What happened?
Well, you guessed it. The problem went from a little auto repair to a much larger repair, but now he did not have enough money to take the car to an appropriate auto repair shop. So, he asked me and my brother if we would help him repair his car. I admit that I am not a mechanic by any means, but my friend needed to fix his car. We borrowed the appropriate “mechanic’s manual” and read up on how to properly repair the car. Things seemed to be going pretty well. By that I mean we did not have any left-over parts. So, everything was back together. It was time to take the car on a test drive to see if it worked. Everything was going well, but the car seemed very sluggish. We had not worked on the engine at all, just the brake assembly. When we got home to the driveway, we jumped out of the car to look at the tires. The brake rotors and drums were so hot - they were bright orange. They almost looked like lava from a volcano. Well, now we had done it. I was afraid that the drums were going to melt the tires. So now, we had no choice. My friend took his car to the local mechanic and had to replace everything on the brakes and wheel assembly. So a neglected repair turned into a larger repair, the advice was incorrect, and he had gone to the wrong people to fix it.
3. Do you have a story of trying to fix something with your car or house that did not go well?
4. Had you researched how to fix it or did you enlist any help?
During my time working with families, I see this scenario playing out within the family. Something is broken within the family, but Mom or Dad choose to ignore it. They may not have the time or think that they do not have the time to work on fixing the problem. So they ignore it and keep moving forward just like my friend who ignored his needed brake repair. We know that this really does not help to address the situation. When something is broken within our families, what does the Lord want us to do?
Ephesians 6:4 reads, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
This tells us that God intended our homes to be centered on the instruction of the Lord, but often I hear of Christian homes that are grounded on the world’s discipline and instruction.
5. What is the current worldly wisdom on families? Is it grounded in the Lord’s instruction? Why or why not?
Ephesians 4:14-16 reads, “So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Have you ever wondered how a child’s mind or our minds jump from one thing to another? We can go from laughing to crying at the same moment. Often this is the result of the family listening to the world’s instructions. We are never truly established as a family if we follow the world’s instruction.
The family is taught to “follow your heart.” This is poor advice. As a family, you should follow His heart and this comes from knowing His Word.
Jeremiah 17:9 reads, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
The advice we should follow in our lives and in our homes should be grounded in God’s Word. Remember to follow His heart and not follow our hearts because they will deceive us.
6. Can you share a time when your heart was deceived on a family decision?
Moreover, the family is taught to “be true to yourselves.” Again, if we accept that man’s state is that of rebellion and wickedness against God, why would you want to be true to yourselves?
In being true to yourself, we see the flaw of our lives are consumed with our thoughts and desires. Instead, we should be consumed with His thoughts and desires.
Colossians 3:1-3 reads, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
7. Why do you think we need to be reminded to “seek the things that are above?”
Lastly, I hear from families that God wants them to be happy. I am not too sure about this advice. It sounds very man-centered and not God-centered. We use our happiness as an excuse to make decisions that are contrary to God’s character and God’s Word. He has called us to be holy, which means set-apart. If the world is making decisions to be happy, then why are they not happy? We cannot take God out of the formula for fixing the brokenness in our family.
In 1 Peter 1:14-16, we read, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
Just as my friend should have gotten the correct advice about his car repair, we should seek advice from His Word and His Church. We need to build our family lives on His truths.