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My Thoughts on the Family.

Pastor Dave Rajoon.

The family is the most important building block of any society. It is a unit made up of individuals, with each person fulfilling a particular role. First, there are the parents -mother and father-who are responsible for bringing children into the world. Through their union, children are born, to whom they have a responsibility for caring for and nurturing. In addition to parental roles, mother and father have other distinct roles such as “bread-winner” (the one who works and brings in a salary), home-maker (the one who stays at home and takes care of the needs of the home), and so on.In our modern society, roles are not always clear-cut and sometimes they are interchangeable. For example, the father may stay at home while the mother becomes the chief earner. In other cases, one parent may be absent – for a variety of reasons – and it falls upon the one who is present to function in both capacities. However, in the interests of developing a successful family, each person must recognize and fulfill his or her particular role, whatever it might be.

When children are very small, they are helpless and need the complete care and attention of their parent(s). But as they grow older, children must learn how to become contributors to the family. Their contributions could be small at first, but as they grow older and additional responsibilities are given to them they should recognize their place in the family. For example, children should be taught how to pick up after themselves, clean their rooms, and put away their dishes, among other household chores. Long ago when people lived on farms and their subsistence came from the land, it was necessary for every member of the family to pitch in, even the smallest children. Times have changed, along with people’s way of life but children can still learn what it means to be a productive member of a family unit.

There is one very important role that is often overlooked in these modern times. It is the role of the spiritual leader in the home. In the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:1-5), Moses tells the nation, as they are gathered before him: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.”

Two things that the families of Israel were to understand clearly: The Oneness of God and the need to love Him! He also instructed that these precepts be passed on to the children. They were to teach it to them: “…when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” But who would do the teaching? Parents, of course, but especially the males, or the fathers and grand- fathers! Here is what he tells them: “that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.”

Israel was a patriarchal society, where men played an important role in the spiritual lives of their families. This truth of the Oneness of God and the command to love Him, would be passed on in the oral tradition through the males of the family.. As far as I know, God has not taken away the responsibility for men to be the priests in the home, from them. What we have seen, is that men have abdicated this responsibility in favor of other ‘important’ matters. In some cases they have abandoned their fatherly roles completely, thereby creating a disproportionate single family society.

Does this mean that women, and mothers can’t be spiritual leaders? No. As a matter of fact, some of the best spiritual leaders in the homes have been women. My mother was my spiritual leader when I was growing up! Someone has to do it. This is actually a call for men and fathers to recognize their role and resume their God-given responsibility.

In the Genesis account, Adam, the first male, is placed in the Garden and tasked with taking care of his ‘home.’ Soon it becomes evident that he needs help, thereby setting the stage for the creation of Eve – a suitable helper. Both Adam and Eve were to be partners in taking care of their home. Soon children would be born to them, and the roles would differ somewhat, but being partners, they would find ways to make it work.

Reading though the account of the ‘fall of man’ in Genesis chapter three, we soon find that things do not remain the way it was meant to be. Through disobedience, the first family’s relationship with God is permanently damaged leading to family problems which have magnified over time. But the story did not end there. In Genesis 12, God promises Abraham that He will make him a great nation and “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed..” This promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
 
Through Him, families can be whole again.
February: Family Month
February is  the month when we – as a church – celebrate the family. Every person belongs to a family or have come from a family. Some people may feel that the family to which they belong, or from which they have come is not ideal; or that family life has not always been good for them. Unfortunately this is a sad fact of life, and millions of families around the world are broken, some beyond repair. There are also those who have come from decent, stable families and they may laud the family they were privileged to be a part of.

Whatever the state of the family that you were born into, there is a purpose in you being there. No one has control over the family that they are placed in, and it would do no good, spending a lot of time crying and bemoaning your birth family. Instead you can purpose in your heart to make your family better, and if you have a chance to start your own family, decide that it would be different to the one you had. When Joshua uttered the now famous phrase in front of the children of Israel (But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Jos. 24:15), he was declaring his intention to let God be the center of his family.

So, forget about the kind of family you were born into and think about the kind of family that you want to develop. If you are the head of a household, it is not too late to start. If you are a young person and you know that eventually you will have a family of your own, start planning for it. When we consider the state of families in the world today, there is one bright spot; God has invited us to be a part of His family (read the verses in the sidebar).

The following studies are intended for you to conduct with your family. Ensure that all family members make the effort to attend

(Click link to download)
 

Ephesians 2:12-13 & 19-22

12 Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizen- ship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

19 Consequently, you are no lon- ger foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,

20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to be- come a holy temple in the Lord.

22 And in him you too are be- ing built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

 
FAMILY TIME
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Jos. 24:15
 
GUIDELINES FOR SETTING FAMILY TIME:
1. Set a pre-determined time when all family members can get together.
2. Make it a point to remind one another.
3. Determine that family time will be a priority.
4. Assign functions for each family member. For example; who will read, who will pray, etc.
5. Remember, it is your family at stake, so do not depend on any one else to make it happen.

GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCTING FAMILY TIME

1. The head of the family should set an example by being there on time.
2. Turn off the TV, and other distractions.
3. Begin with prayer.
4. Read the scripture together (each individual should have his or her own Bible).
5. Read the notes together.
6. Review the daily scripture verses.
7. Allow time for discussion and questions.
8. Pray for individual as well as family needs.
9. Share a meal together.
10. Create a *S.O.A.P journal

TIPS FOR BIBLE READING:

1. Use Bible versions that are easily understood by all.
2. Read together.
3. Each person read a verse of the passage.
4. Read slowly and clearly.
5. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring clarity and understanding.

Starting a S.O.A.P. journal

  1. This is an acronym meaning Scripture, Observation, Application,

    Prayer.

  2. SCRIPTURE: Begin by reading one of the daily verses on pages 5-8 (read several times).

  3. OBSERVATION: Jot down any observations that you make

    from the verse.

  4. APPLICATION: Write down a few ways in which you can apply

    the scripture to yours or your family’s life.

  5. PRAYER: Ask the Lord to give you clarity in understanding and

    applying the scripture to your life. 


Monday 

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Eph. 6:1-3

Tuesday

 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6: 4-5

Wednesday
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ ] forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Thursday“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and

not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Friday
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9

Saturday
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

Sunday
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you ] through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Tim 1:6-7