At least 80% of the prayer requests we receive here at Christianityworks ask us to pray for people’s families. Please pray for my son, or my wife, or my daughter or my husband, or my aunty, or my cousins, or….
That tells me something. It tells me that people care deeply about their families. As difficult and as strife torn as many families are, they really matter to us.
Yet so many of us are disappointed when we look at our own families, because somehow we imagine that out there somewhere is some perfect family – mum, dad and 2.4 well adjusted kids. And that perfect family is living a perfect life. In fact – not just one of them – lots of them – thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of them.
All these perfect families – I mean look at them!!! They all look so…well, perfect.
But not my family. Ohhh no! Blended, or dysfunctional – arguments and strife. People who haven’t talked to each other for years. Parents who drive their children nuts. Children who just don’t get it – they go off and do their own thing – leave their parents shaking their heads.
You get what I’m saying – right? It feels like sometimes its just our family life that’s in a mess and everyone else out there has got it together.
The point that I’m trying to make here is this: it’s not just you having issues in your families. 99.9% of families have problems and those that don’t are kidding themselves.
So let’s stop carrying around this stupid burden we’ve plonked on our heads, that somehow my family doesn’t measure up.
It’s not about measuring up. It’s about what you and I can do from this day onwards to build a godly family.
What seeds can I sow? What plants can I water so that the fruit of a godly family will grow for all to enjoy? That’s what it’s about – because your family matters.
So … what’s God’s plan for your family? Well, here it is (Psalm 37:35,36):
I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
They are ever giving liberally and lending,
and their children become a blessing.
See that’s God’s perfect plan for our families. For us to live a good life, for us to be a blessing to our children and for them to go on and become a blessing to others.
It’s a story that’s written in our DNA. It’s a story that plays itself out in our hopes and our dreams. But it’s a plot that we so easily lose in this consumer oriented, entertainment oriented, credit card oriented world in which we live.
Let me ask you again – out of everything in your life – everything you have, every hope and every dream, every possession and every desire – out of everything – how much does your family matter?
My hunch is that for most of us, the answer is a lot. Family matters an awful lot – doesn’t it? And if it does, if it really does – then surely, surely we need to invest in this thing – these relationships, these people who matter more to us than any other thing in this world.
So I want to encourage you to be deliberate – get that, d-e-l-i-b-e-r-a-t-e – about building a godly family.
And that’s what my current radio series is all about. Want to know more? Well …
Really enjoyed your talk on the family and this is indeed close to my own and most people’s hearts. I gave my life to Christ 5 years ago and have since had my struggles with my family. However, my daughter aged 8 has such deep love for God and thanks Jesus for living in her; recently my eldest son encountered the love of God very profoundly and is now living a Christ led life; praise God. Things are rarely straightforward or slot into place as we would wish, but I just keep trusting God and praying for my other son and my husband. I would encourage all your readers to pray for families, espcially over Christmas which can be for some a difficult time. Pray that they will seek comfort in God and not in the world. Amen.
At nearly 60 I returned too late to God to raise a godly family. I was brought up in a dysfunctional family and watching shows like The Waltons etc made one feel worse.(going to a RC school, with mostly nice parents made it seem worse as well) All I can do now is show a better way to live to my grandchildren, hope it is not too late, and pray for all of them. I feel like I have already said goodbye to a lot of my family who have passed, as I don’t know if they accepted Jesus in time, and I pray for the living to accept the Lord. I have moved passed being distressed by this and trust in the Holy Spirit to keep me on the right path.
It is so true about the seeds that you sow, they do grow well if well maintained. My niece and nephews are only young (3 to 9 years old), but I know I’m sowing good seeds into their life at a time when they are less influenced by their peers and they want to spend time playing, reading or talking with me. I get back more than I sow too and I believe it is a great foundation for our future relationships when they are teenagers and beyond.
Family is important to me, but my family is far from perfect. During the current difficulties I have been blessed by others who share their family difficulties and I realise I’m not alone. God cares deeply for those who feel misunderstood, ignored or abandoned by their families. You are not alone.