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IS IT WELL WITH YOUR FAMILY?

Date: 
May 14, 2017
Speaker: 
Rev. Terry Martinson
Reading: 
I Corinthians 13:1-13 II Kings 4:8-26

THEME: Celebrating strong families and Christian homes…

 

INTRODUCTION

  • A mother of six admitted that she changed as a mother from her first child to her last… she mellowed a lot over the years. She said, “When our firstborn child coughed or sneeze, I called the ambulance. When our sixth child swallowed a dime, I just told him it was coming out of his allowance.”  (Dynamic Illustrations – AMJ ’02)
  • As children, husbands, and families honor mothers today, the church sets aside this day to honor Christian homes and Christian families.
    • Today on the church calendar is The Festival of the Christian Home which marks the beginning of “Family Week”
    • The home is the most important institution in this country… if we destroy the home and the family we destroy the nation, for the strength of our nation depends on the strength of our families… (Lybrand)
  • I’m going to share with you a quote from someone you may remember: “A small child waits with impatience the arrival home of a parent. She wishes to relate some sandbox experience. She is excited to share the thrill that she has known that day. The time comes; the parent arrives. Beaten down by the stresses of the workplace the parent often replies: “Not now, honey, I’m busy, go watch television.” // The most often spoken words in the American household today are the words: ‘go watch television.’ //
  • If not now, when? Later. But later never comes for many and the parent fails to communicate at the very earliest of ages. We give her designer clothes and computer toys, but we do not give her what she wants the most, which is our time. Now, she is fifteen and has a glassy look in her eyes. ‘Honey, do we need to sit down and talk?’  Too late.” Love has passed by.
  • The person who wrote these words was Robert Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo. (Brett Blair)
  • Love passes by many families, not because they do not genuinely care about one another, but because they do not take the time necessary to be a family and to create a home where everyone’s needs are met… other things may seem to be more important, but they are not!
  • Your children are yours for a limited time only… do not let love pass them by or pass you by.
  • In the Old Testament (II Kings 4:8-26) there is an encounter between the prophet Elisha and a woman who is not named. Elisha senses that there is something troubling the woman, so he sends one of his servants to meet her and to ask, “Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right? Is it well with your family?
  • Is it well with your family?  - That is the question I want to focus upon this morning: Is it well with your family?

 

A PLACE OF ENCOURAGEMENT

  • It will be well with your family if your home is a place of encouragement…
    • A healthy family affirms and supports one another with words of encouragement…
    • Members of a healthy family believe in one another… they believe that each family member is loveable and capable…
  • We all need to hear the words: “Good job!” or “Well done!” When
  • a job isn’t done the way it should be done, every parent has a choice to either encourage the child to do better the next time or to discourage the child from ever trying again…  (Sermon Notes)
  • The tone of a parent’s voice says so much to the one to whom the words are directed… the words, “You can do better,” can either say to a youngster- “This isn’t good enough and you’re a disappointment” or “This is a good start – you’re headed in the right direction.”
  • Don’t ever withhold your words of encouragement.
  • When he was 10, a young boy in Naples, Italy took his first voice lesson. The teacher pulled no punches: “You can’t sing! You have no talent at all. Your voice sounds like the wind in the shutters.” // The boy’s mother, however, heard greatness in her son’s voice. She believed in his talent. Even though they were poor, she put her arms around him and said encouragingly, “My boy, I am going to make every sacrifice to pay for your voice lessons.” // The mother’s confidence in her son and her constant encouragement paid off. He became one of the most widely acclaimed singers in the world – Enrico Caruso. (Dynamic Illustrations  - AMJ ’04)
  • Words of encouragement make dreams come true!

 

A PLACE OF COMFORT/WELCOME

  • It will be well with your family if your home is a place of comfort where all feel welcome and share a sense of belonging…
  • In a comfortable, welcoming home –
    • Everyone feels secure… There is a deep sense of trust… Family members can turn to one another when they have failed or when they are hurt…
    • The words – I love you anyway – are the words that have the greatest impact…
    • Molehills are not allowed to become mountains… challenges are taken in stride… Respect is taught…
    • Family traditions are developed and shared…
  • Family members enjoy interacting with one another – they know how to play and they enjoy good humor…
  • Children and their little friends are welcome... wise parents understand that having the perfect home where nothing is out of place, or the perfect yard is not as important as having happy, healthy children.
  • Everyone understands that people are more important than things… priorities are in order.
  • Children who are born into happy families and welcoming homes grow up speaking love as their native language. (Pastor’s Story File – May ’95)

 

A PLACE OF UNDERSTANDING

  • It will be well with your family if your home is a place of understanding…
  • Understanding comes from communication and caring – the most important part of communication is listening to one another… healthy families communicate clearly and honestly…
  • In a home where there is understanding it’s easy to share feelings, not just words…
  • Good communication takes practice… it doesn’t always come as easily as we would like it to…

 

A PLACE WHERE VALUES ARE TAUGHT

  • It will be well with your family if your home is a place where values are taught… values must be passed on intentionally by our words, but even more important, by our actions… your actions demonstrate your true values…
  • Healthy families practice respect and honesty…
  • Healthy families teach the difference between right and wrong…
  • Discipline is not withheld in healthy homes, but fairness is treasured and forgiveness flows freely.
  • Healthy families share responsibilities – “If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground put some responsibilities on their shoulders.” (Abigail Van Buren – PFS – 5/95)
  • Healthy families value service to one another and to those beyond the home – this keeps us from being self-centered or from believing that the whole world revolves around us.
  • The home is the very first and the most influential school that any of us attend…
    • A child’s character is shaped by his/her home…
    • Children are like wet cement – you have to work with cement in the early stages while it is soft and pliable, while it can still shaped and smoothed… once it dries, it sets and becomes impossible to change…
    • 75% of what a child will become is determined before his/her fifth birthday – it’s in those early years that the home has its greatest influence. (Lybrand)
  • If we give our children roots, we do not have to fear to give them wings.

 

A PLACE WHERE FAITH IS SHARED AND CHRIST IS CENTRAL

  • It will be well with your family if your home is a place where faith is shared and Christ is central…
  • A pastor asked a little boy, “Why do you believe in God?” The boys responded, “I guess it just runs in the family.”
  • In healthy families faith is shared and individuals are urged toward holiness… faith is not an after-thought, it is a priority!
  • Healthy families make room for God and pray together… perhaps it was the same little boy who told his pastor, “My mother prays with me every night… just before she shuts the light out she says, ‘Thank God he’s in bed!’”
  • You can not have a Christian home unless Christ is at the very heart of it…
  • Christian homes worship Christ as Lord…
  • Do your words and your actions demonstrate that Christ is the head of your household?
  • When the multimillionaire Andrew Carnegie was building a new home for his family, he instructed the architect to place the following inscription over the fireplace: The Hearth Is Our Family Altar – Its Warmth Reminds Us Of Christ’s Presence In Our Home.”  As the house was being finished, the architect went to Carnegie and said, “You’ll have to choose another motto – that one is too long to fit over the fireplace.”… “No!,” said the millionaire, “I want those words! If you must, then tear down the fireplace and build a bigger one.”… “Sir,” said the architect, “you cannot build a bigger fireplace without building a bigger room!”… “All right,” was the reply, “tear out the walls and build a bigger room!”… “But a bigger room will throw the entire house out of proportion!”… “Then tear the entire house down and start over,” the millionaire said, “for we must have that motto as a constant reminder that Christ is in our home.” (Lybrand)

 

A PLACE WHERE LOVE BLANKETS EVERYTHING

  • It will be well with your family if your home is a place where unconditional love blankets everything.
  • Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) There is no greater advice that I can give you this morning – “Love one another.”
  • Let me close with a wonderful reading with apologies to

I Corinthians 13 which we heard this morning:

 

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love, I am a housekeeper–not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love, my children learn cleanliness–not godliness.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love is present through the trials.
Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.
Love is the key that opens salvation’s message to a child’s heart.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child.
As a mother, there is much I must teach my child,
but the greatest of all is love.

Author Unknown

Sermon Seeds

  • Is It well With Your Family? ­ - a sermon by Brett Blair and staff
  • Traits of a Healthy Family – Delores Curran – Dynamic Illustrations J/A/S ‘00
  • Monday Morning Memo – April 26, 2005 – Sermon Notes
  • A House or A Home? – a sermon by R.E. Lybrand

Worship Bulletin