Happy Heralds, Inc

LAYING FOUNDATIONS FOR A SUCCESSFUL

FAMILY LIFE
(Ex. 2:1-10: Gen.12:1-8)

by Dr. Fred Wittman

I.A. Building Proper Relationships

Introduction:

    A well-known motto of yesteryears was, “The family that prays together stays together.” When our seven year old daughter began weeding our garden with her Daddy she added to that motto, “And the family that weeds together, feeds together.”

    The ichneumon, a small weasel-like animal, can attack and destroy a yard long venomous snake if it is near a specific plant with leaves that contain an antidote for poisonous venom. When wounded it eats the leaves of the plant. When attacked by Satan, go to The God’s Word for the antidote.

    Henry Grady, a southern Christian statesman saw the nation’s home in Washington, D.C. and his emotions were stirred. Later he visited a humble planter’s cottage. Before the family retired the father gathered family for family altar. In light of a tallow candle he read The Word of The God and knelt to pray. He concluded that he was mistaken about the nation’s home. He found that the nation’s home is in that planter’s home, cabin, and cottage and everywhere the children are taught The Word of The God and to serve The Christ It reveals. It is difficult for a family to become dysfunctional when the family altar is persistently maintained.

     Dysfunctional families are categorized by divorce, immorality, bitterness, envy, selfishness, strife, lack of communication, and lack of filial love. Functional families are more generally the result of persistent spiritual emphasis upon family altar with Scripture reading, discussion, prayer, singing, and obedient observation of what has been read and discussed.

    If The Lord Jesus Christ were standing before you and offered to make you, your children, and your family successful, what would you do? To what extent will you go to provide such assurance for you family? In order to have a successfully functional family, certain foundations must be laid. The earlier after marriage that these are laid, the more likely successful the marriage will be.

    The first foundation is to establish proper relationships. Marriage is a relationship. So is the family. The Godhead is a Family. The local church is an extension of that Family. It is possible and necessary to be born into the family of The God in order to insure a spiritual and successful marriage preserved from dysfunction. The family of The God head is a prototype of the human family. To understand how families properly function, one must study The Godhead and how They relate. Then incorporate such relationships into our homes. We must first have a proper relationship to The God, to His Son, and to The Holy Spirit. Only then can a couple be sure to have a proper, secure relationship preserved from dysfunction.

A. To God, The Father First (1 Cor. 11:1-3).

    Because He is The Head of The Godhead and because in The Old Testament characters that are examples from which to learn about relationships with The Godhead, The Father is placed first. However, without a proper relationship with God The Son, there can be no relationship with The Father because Jesus taught His disciples, “ Not one is coming to The Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6c APT).

The best example of a relationship with God The Father is Abraham (Gen. 12:1-8).

    1. Important Aspects of Such A Relationship

a. Realization of The God’s Purposes (Gen. 12:1-4):

(1) The Call to the Parting - consecration. Note: ‘had said’ indicates that the call (A.C. 2078) was from Ur (Gen. 11:31) five years prior to what took place at Haran (A.C. 2083).

(2) The Conditions to the Promises (Gen. 12:1-3).

(3) Continuous Prosperity Promised (3c) - spiritual and temporal prosperity, only IF the conditions of the promises are persistently met. It took Abram seven years to completely fulfill four conditions (Gen. 13:11, 2085 A.C.) of the call of The God (Gen. 11:31-12:3) to him (at 70 years of age, 2080 A.C.[after creation]). The God took seven more years to promise Abram a son to be his heir and confirm the land covenant (Gen. 15:1-21) to him (at 84 years of age, A.C. 2092). Sara couldn’t wait for The God to fulfill His promise and induced Abram to sin in order to obtain an heir (Gen. 16:1-4,16) who was born in A.C. 2094). The God waited fourteen more years after fruit was reaped to establish with Abraham (99) the Abrahamic Covenant (A.C. 2107) which was confirmed by circumcision of all males in Abraham’s household (Gen. 17:24,25). At this time Abraham complied at once.

b. Receptive to The God’s Precepts [His Word] (Gen. 12:4 cf. Heb. 11:8):

    Obedience, even if it is costly to self and family (Gen. 17:10-14,23-26; 22:1-3 cf. Heb.11:17-19); costly to (only beloved) son.

c. Reverence of The God’s Person (Gen.12:7):

(1) Bow in homage - with the family daily; with the local church whenever she meets;

(2) Song and Prayer;

(3) Family altar (cf. Gen. 13:4,18) Fellowship/communion together with The Godhead.

d. Reliance upon The God’s Promises (Heb. 11:8-10,13):

(1) Commitment (Gen.15:1-6);

(2) Circumcision (Gen. 17:19-27 cf. Col. 2:10-12);

(3) Confidence (Gen. 22:8 cf. 17:21; Heb. 11:19);

e. Responsive to The God’s Program (Gen. 12:4;15:5,6; 24:2-9)

(1) To make a nation (Gen. 15:13-16 cf. l Pet. 2:9) pure and holy.

(2) To offer his son (Gen. 22:1-13) - commit him to The God for whatever He determinedly wills.

f. Respectful of The God’s Priorities (Gen. 18:17-19; Heb. 11:17-19) - to command his children and household to keep the way of The Lord, and to justice and judgment (three of The God’s Priorities);

              Therefore Abram:

(1) Received The God’s Provision (Gen. 22:13 cf. Mt. 6:33),

(2) Received The God’s Promise (Gen.22:15-18),

(3) Received The God’s Protection (Gen. 20:3; Ex. 1:22-2:10 cf. Heb. 3:5,6).

    2. Implemental Action

a. Come to The Father through The Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6);

b. Cleanse your heart from all bitterness (Eph. 4:31);

c. Consecrate yourself and your family (Rom. 12:1,2)

d. Commit yourself to total obedience [includes baptism by immersion] (Rom. 6:11-16; 6:3-6);

e. Construct a daily family altar (Gen. 12:7,8; 13:4,18) consisting of singing, Bible reading, discussion of content, and prayer [husband and wife even while engaged; if children include them as well].

f. Conjoin yourself to The God’s program, the local church which is the only protection from Satan, his wiles, and attacks (Mt. 16:18).

Conclusion:

     Review the aspects of a relationship with God The Father: Realization of The God’s Purposes; Receptive to The God’s Precepts; Reverence of The God’s Person; Respectful of The God’s Priorities.; Reliance upon The God’s Promises; Responsive to The God’s Program; and Respectful of The God’s Priorities. How persistently and positively are you responding and performing the conditions of the God’s promises?

Application:

    To what extent are you responsive to The God’s precepts? How do you exhibit reverence for The God’s Person. How much do you comply with The God’s priorities? How much reliance do you place in The God’s promises? How responsive are you to The God’s program? In what ways do you demonstrate Respect for The God’s Priorities?

    All of these areas are vital to your family’s spiritual survival and prevention to becoming dysfunctional. What effort will you exert to insure your family functions spiritually?

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Last modified: November 11, 2006