These are my notes from our 5/1/2011 church meeting.
Leader: Tim Harris
Each of us, regardless of our situation, has a role within our family. Be prepared to discuss the following:
- Describe your current role within your family.
- What does GOD say about how you are to perform your role?
- List some keys to creating strong, healthy families.
- What areas are you individually focusing on in an effort to improve, grow, and strengthen your family?
Parents please have your children answer these questions as well.
My Current Role
Currently, my roles in my family are husband, father, son, and brother. In my immediate family, my most important roles are husband and father.
What GOD Says about...
- Lead your family (Eph. 5:22-24).
- Love your wife:
- As Jesus loves the church and gave Himself for her (Eph. 5:25).
- As your own body (Eph. 5:28-29).
- As yourself (Eph. 5:33).
- Give your wife the affection due her (1 Cor. 7:2-4).
- Do not divorce your wife (1 Cor. 7:11).
- Do not be bitter toward your wife (Col. 3:19).
- Live with your wife in understanding, giving honor to her (1 Pet. 3:7)
- Lead your family (Eph. 5:22-24; Prov. 1:8-9).
- Train up your children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6-7; Eph. 6:4).
- Discipline your children (Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13; 29:15, 17; Heb. 12:9).
- Do not provoke your children (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21).
- Give good gifts to your children (Matt. 7:7-12).
- Leave an inheritance for your children and grandchildren (Prov. 13:22).
- Love your brother (1 John 2:7-14).
Keys to Strong Families
- Cultivate the hearts of your family. If GOD gets a person's heart, He will transform their life step-by-step. Jesus said the heart is the key to life.
- Guard your heart (Matt. 5:8).
- Lust begins in the heart (Matt. 5:28).
- Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt. 12:34).
- Some people receive the word of GOD and then the devil snatches the seed out of their heart (Matt. 13:19).
- People honor GOD with their mouth while their heart is far from Him (Matt. 15:8)
- The list goes on...
- Establish proper priorities and clearly communicate them. GOD first, marriage second, children third, work fourth, and self last. Be consistent—children can smell a hypocrite like a dirty diaper, and believe me, they'll call you on it too.
- Read the Bible together and discuss what you read.
- Pray together. Avoid clichés which often lack meaning and are not heart-felt. Seek to cultivate a close intimate relationship with GOD. Avoid keeping Him "at arm's length." Ask GOD for wisdom.
- Spend time together living and creating memories. Recognize when you or your family are becoming too distracted with computers, TV, video games, etc.
- Make sure everyone knows that you can talk about any subject.
- Work through problems in an understanding manner. Take advantage of "life lesson" teaching opportunities as they present themselves.
My Focus Areas
I'm sure there are many areas where improvement is needed. Who can't say that? Here are my focus areas, some of which are being addressed and others need to start addressing.
- Teaching my children from the Bible. We do family devotionals regularly throughout the week, but I need to devote more time to helping them locate scripture more quickly and memorizing verses.
- Properly balancing responsibilities—marriage, parenting, work and play. I tend to spend too much time on the computer, even though I'm working on "important" things (not playing or wasting time).
- Teaching my children to have a strong work ethic. I need to be more consistent with giving them chores around the house, particularly outside. We do good for a while and then it trails off.
- Demonstrating an example of being a servant.
Lord's Supper Thoughts
Like each of us, Jesus also has a role within GOD's family. In eternity, He was the Word (John 1:1). He created all things (John 1:3; Heb. 1:1-2). Although He was GOD, He humbled Himself—emptied Himself of GOD's likeness—and became a man (Phil. 2:5-7; John 1:14). He showed us GOD (John 1:18; Heb. 1:3a). He went about doing the will of the Father (Heb. 10:5-7). He humbled Himself and obeyed, even to the point of death upon the cross (Phil. 2:8). He learned obedience by the things which He suffered (Heb. 5:8). His death cleansed our sins. GOD raised Him up, gave Him the name which is above all names, and seated Him at His mighty right hand (Phil. 2:9; Heb. 1:3b). Jesus, now having been perfected, has become the author of eternal salvation to all who obey (Heb. 5:9). At the name of Jesus, all shall bow and confess that He is Lord, to the glory of the Father (Phil. 2:10-11).