And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Family. We all have one. What’s yours like?
When you look at the family you came from are you left with good memories? Happy moments where love and security abound? Thoughts of family vacations or holiday traditions? Or does reflecting back mean digging up long-ago buried memories of pain and rejection? Hurts of past disappointments or broken promises? What about when you look at the family you have now? When you look at your family are you able to smile? Do you consider them a blessing or a burden? Does going home mean preparing for battle or being embraced by those you hold dearest? Maybe going home just means silence and loneliness? What does family mean to you?
I’m excited about this month’s focus on families. Why? We all have them. They’ve either made us who we are because we want to be like them or because we will do just about anything to not be the same as them. They are who has influenced us good, bad, and ugly. I’m excited about our month of families because the truth is… they’re broken.
We live in a world of broken families and shattered lives all trying hard to put on a façade of happiness, to look like we have it all together, to appear that we aren’t struggling.
We are. All of us.
Doesn’t sound too exciting right?! But this is the part I’m excited about. We don’t have to hold it together, to put on a show, or to pretend that everything is ok. We have been invited to be loved by the One who fixes the broken, who holds together the pieces when we’re shattered, who can give joy in the midst of any struggle. The One who can comfort us, help us, heal us and love us.
I read a book a while ago about the phenomenon of college age kids leaving the church. This book had all the reasons why 18 year olds didn’t want to be a part of the church anymore and why they were walking away from their faith and their God. Statistics, facts, interviews… it had it all. I finished the book and wanted to throw it across the room. Not one single solution. I care about the problem but I care more about how to fix the problem. The book ended up in the garbage. Here’s the thing, I don’t need to tell you your problems. You experience them every day. Our desire is that your families don’t end like that book… in the garbage. You’re not too broken or too shattered. There is a solution and we want to help you find that solution. Whether it’s your marriage, your parents, your kids, your siblings, your extended family, or friends who are like family. I want to invite you over the next month to join us on this journey to see families like God sees them.
So let’s start there. In God’s Word. In your home, in your families, in your relationships, with your kids… where is God’s Word found? Is it found at all?
Whether you’re young or old, married or single, with children or without, a child or a teenager, you and your family are important to God. So much so that when you put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior God welcomes you into His family!
We see from the beginning of creation with Adam and Eve that God created humans to live in families. We also see from the beginning the problem that sin causes in families. As we dig into God’s word we see exactly how God uses normal, sinful people to bring about a Savior. We see what leaving a legacy can look like when we look at people like David and Noah and their desire to follow God with their families (and yes, they were often broken too!) We see the purpose of marriage when we look at Christ’s relationship with the church. And we see the importance of parenting when we see God as the perfect Father. We can search the books of Psalms and Proverbs for thoughts and wisdom on relationships and parenting. Or look into Paul’s letters to the New Testament churches for instructions on how to handle problems in relationships. Over and over again, God’s Word shows us families and relationships and how they function are important to Him. No matter what you and your family are dealing with, what problems you face, or what encouragement you need, God promises to help you and your family through it… if you let Him!
I’m excited about this month of focusing on families because I’m excited to see what happens when we as a church family are challenged and encouraged to look to God’s Word and not to the world for help in our marriages and families, in parenting and friendships, in how we live our lives each and every day by ourselves and with others.
My hope and prayer this month is that you and your family will commit to join us for these 30 days. That you’ll commit to spend time each day in God’s word individually and with your family. That you’ll allow God to lead your family and begin to see the incredible things that only He can do!
He’s invited you to come to him…
28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29 Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls.
Will you take Him up on it?
Family. We all have one. Where’s God and His Word in yours?
Spend time in God’s Word… By yourself and with your family.