Devotions

Tag Archives: family

Family: The Importance of Community

Genesis 2:18-23
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

The creation story in Genesis 1-3 is one of the most commonly misused passages in all of Scripture. You can find entire sections of the Christian bookstores dedicated to creation. They are filled with dozens of different theories explaining how God created everything and what the language really means in light of science. Most of the literature has in-depth and persuasive arguments explaining the methodology of creation. While this is certainly not a bad thing, and it has value, Genesis 1-3 intends to teach us about truth much more valuable than how we are created. When God inspires Moses to write Genesis He desires us to further understand why we are created.

Once God created man, He put man to work in the garden. As the man began working, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” This was not a specific statement speaking to the first man only. This was a blanket statement that has, and will continue to apply to all of mankind. Moreover, this need does not come from our sinful nature, but rather our intended creation. We know this because God gives man the community of a woman before sin enters the world. Therefore, what we find in Genesis 2:18 is one of the most significant concepts in all of scripture. Humans were created to be relational! This is why we long for a restored relationship with God, and it is also why we need to be in relationships with other humans. For many of us this relationship will be most actively displayed in our marriages and families. The very core of who you are as a human being is wired and designed to be relational. This means we must give these relationships priority.

This relational predisposition has significant implications in our lives. Maybe you have uttered or at least heard statements like, “All I need is God.” You thought that was a holy way of speech and attitude. While in context it could be, I would challenge you to consider and know that God is relational, and made us to be as well. In addition, while our greatest relational need is the need to know God, we are led to that relationship and encouraged in that relationship through our workings with community. After all, the Holy Spirit (who is God) is in each and every believer (1 Corinthians 3:16). This means the community of believers and your relationships with them is one of the ways we know and experience God.

I would encourage you to take this challenge today: Read Genesis 2:18-23 and let the significance of it settle in for a few minutes. Take a step back; forget about the “how we are created” questions and consider the “why we are created” question. You are a relational being. God’s very design of your life is to find value in community. Is that currently of value and priority in your life?

CHALLENGE
Have dinner with friends and/or family!

Family: A Place of Roles

Genesis 2:15,18,22
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

God is a God of order. Paul describes the concept of order this way in 1st Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” When God began to create, there was an order and structure to the creation. In Genesis chapter 1 verse 28, God speaks to man and says, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” In the church there is order. God has entrusted Pastors with the stewardship of the people of God. Peter writes to pastors, admonishing them to “…shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you….” And in the family, God still has a structure, an order, and a design. In Genesis chapter 2, the first man, Adam, is created and placed in the garden, but something was missing. The scripture says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Although Adam was in perfect and wonderful fellowship with God, he needed a partner. Marriage is exactly that: an equal partnership. The Bible teaches very clearly that men and women are created equally, however, they are designed differently. This point is crucial, particularly for our understanding and acceptance of our specific role within the family.

First, God has designed men (husbands) to be the leader of the home. Ephesians 5 says, “…the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church.” This does not mean that men are kings and should find biblical license to “rule” their homes. The scripture actually details that quite the opposite is true (Ephesians 5:25-33). However, what is clear is that God has a design for the home. Specifically for men, we must understand that God will hold us responsible for the spiritual tone and direction of our family, both those living in our house and those not.

Secondly, God has designed women as perfect partners. This does not mean that women are incomplete without a husband (See 1st Corinthians 7:6-9) nor does this mean in any way that women are second class people. Genesis 2 describes women as “…a helper fit for him.” And Proverbs proudly proclaims, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” So the role and design of a woman is beautiful, extraordinary, and just as important and specific as a man’s.

Lastly, children have their role in the family as well. I believe that this includes children (ages 19 and under) and in a broad sense includes young adults. The Bible calls children, all children, to honor and obey their parents. Ephesians chapter 6 is very concise. It reads, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother….”

At this point some would ask, “What does God say about singleness?” God answers that question in 1st Corinthians chapter 7, saying, “…let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” A married man and married woman and children have assigned places or designs in the family. A single person is not exempt from a role in the family. Men must accept their design and burden of leadership. Women must graciously embrace God’s design for them as well. Being single for a season or for life may in fact be God’s design for your life. Do not despise this calling. In the latter part of 1st Corinthians 7, specifically verses 25-35, Paul praises the benefits of being single and the focus on Christ that a single person is able to have.

In conclusion, the bible very clearly details God’s design for the family as a whole and each member in it. Although culture would have us abandon or redesign God’s structure, we must return to the scripture and commit to live our lives within the God- ordained design for the family, “…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)

CHALLENGE

Begin praying for each member of your family and their role within the family. Family prayer can bring you all together, take this month to commit to praying together on a daily basis.

Family: The Home is Central to the Word of God

Genesis 2:16-17
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.”

Genesis 3:2-3
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.

Unconditionally.  Forever.

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…

Matthew 11:28-29
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?

CHALLENGE
Spend time in God’s Word… By yourself and with your family.



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