ideal family  “Ideal Family”             Believers Statesboro 05-21-17

Do you have an ideal family, or are you like the rest of us who find ourselves asking, “How do I deal with my real family?”

So, if you are nervous about this topic today, you can just relax.

There really is no such thing as an ideal family, ideal marriage, ideal teenagers, or ideal children.

For the next six weeks we will learn together how to deal with ourselves and our families God’s way.

There is hope!  There is a real Jesus, for your real family!

God wants the best for the family.  It’s the foundational piece that can change communities, cities, states, nations and the world.  God knows the potential for a great marriage and great kids.  As a matter of fact, this family series may be the most important series this year as far as having a potential to change our world.

Back to our question, “How do I deal with my real family?”  We begin by lining our families up according to Gods divine order for our families, “God’s Positioning System” (GPS).  As long as we live according to His GPS, we can expect that our real family is moving in the right direction toward ideal.

GPS – GOD’S POSITIONING SYSTEM

1)         God

Ephesians 5:1 “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children”  

Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG) – Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.  Mostly what God does is love you.  Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us.  Love like that.

2)         Marriage

Ephesians 5:22-23 (MSG) – Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to His church, not by domineering but by cherishing.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. 

3)         Children

Ephesians 6:1-3 (MSG) – Children, do what your parents tell you.  This is only right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, 3 “so you will live well and have a long life.”

Obey your parents.  This is only right. / Honor your father and mother and you will live well (be blessed).  You will have a long, good life. OR Disobey and dishonor and pay the price, possibly not living well or blessed!  The choice is yours.

But what do we do?  We put kids first, marriage second and God third.  We invert God’s flow chart.

This inversion has become a perversion of what God wants in every single-family unit.

Do we every lose direction in our families.  One day you look around and say, “How did we wind up here?”  Is your family is quickly moving forward, but you have no idea where you are going?

GPS for the family, God, marriage, and children, brings God’s direction and destination back to the family.

  • I don’t care if you are in a blended family.
  • I don’t care if you are in a single-parent situation.
  • I don’t care if you are in a typical nuclear family with 2.3 kids.
  • I don’t care if you are single. 90% of you, stats show, will get married.
  • Children and students listen up because these principles and these precepts will give you a great focus and a great trajectory when one day you have your own family.

NEXT LIFE STEP:  Honestly list the order of your family.  Commit to GPS.

Six Ways to Deal with Your Real Family

  1. Make Sure Everyone Knows, They Matter.

Your husband, wife, children, and parents need to know that they matter, and they are valued.

How they perceive that you see them will change what they feel and think about themselves.  They will either feel important or worthless.

When children are raised in an atmosphere where they are valued and they matter, it will change how they live their lives.

  • They will make wiser decisions.
  • They will be able to overcome the temptation that will come their way in life.
  • They will live their lives with purpose.  MY LIFE MATTERS!

Psalm 37:23 (NLT)  The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.  He delights in every detail of their lives.

If they feel worthless, they may mistakenly feel like Isaiah did in Isaiah 49:4

Isaiah 49:4 …I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all

Job said, in Job 7:6, “My life drags by – day after hopeless day.” (TLB)

Job 7:16 (GNT) “I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone.  My life makes no sense.”

The Greatest Tragedy in Life is not Death.  The Greatest Tragedy is Living Your Life Without Purpose!

  1. Express to Them That They are Loved.

Your family needs to know that they matter and they are loved.

John 3:16-17 (TLB) – For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

Your family needs to know they are loved.  Loved when they are good and loved when they are bad.

They need to know that they don’t have to deserve your love; that your love is not performance based.

When our children mess up, they need to know that they can still come to us …because we love them.

The first person you should go to when you are in trouble should be your heavenly Father.

Let your family know they can come to Him even when the children are in trouble or struggling.

  1. 3. Tell Them to Choose Their Friends

Friends will shape your life.  This applies to adult family members as well as the children of the family.

Philippians 2:4 (GNT)  And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.

When your children are young, you need to choose your children’s friends for them.

It’s ok to say, “No, you can’t play with them.”  You need to be the parent and make those choices for them.

  • Children that you want your children to be like.
  • Children with parents that reinforce the values you are teaching your children.

Adult children should choose their own friends.

We want kids who are moving in the direction of Christ.  Start with PromiseLand, Believing Kids, and then EDGE.  Take advantage of Family Worship times, Family VBS, Kid Camps, Family Life Groups.

(They tell you they don’t like it, take them anyway.  If they don’t have any fun there, they aren’t having fun anywhere!)  Put them in the right boat.

Your kids need to know that who they hang around with will shape their lives!  You know that, don’t you?

  1. You Must Work for a Fulfilled Life.

Work brings satisfaction and value to life.  This is how your family will feel good about themselves.

2 Timothy 2:6 (TLB) Work hard like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop. 

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 (TLB) – Even while we were still there with you, we gave you this rule: “He who does not work shall not eat.”  11Yet we hear that some of you are living in laziness, refusing to work, and wasting your time in gossiping.  12In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we appeal to such people–we command them – to quiet down, get to work, and earn their own living.

Every child needs to know how to work, and as parents, we have to teach them the importance of work by our example and work ethic.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

You can do just enough to get by, but if you realize that you are working to bring glory to God, and all you do should bring glory to God, it will change the way you do things.  It will change your attitude while you work.

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

  1. You Must Remember Your Steps Take You Somewhere.

Relationally, Financially, Physically, Spiritually?

  • School: If you play rather than study, those play steps won’t get you an “A”.

Your family needs to know there are consequences to the decisions they make.

  1. Christ Jesus Must Be the Center of Your Family

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The journey can be difficult with many winding paths and ups and downs.  It’s easy to lose your way. We need Gods Positioning System for our Family to keep us on course.

NEXT LIFE STEP: THE IDEAL FAMILY TEST

Today, we are going to take a little test.  We’re going to find out how real or ideal your family is.

“But, Scott, I’m single, man.  I’ll just skip this test.” No. Don’t do that.  You fill the test out like your family of origin treated you.  Because when you fill it out through your parents’ eyes, you’re going to see what kind of mate you will probably become.

In fact, I could probably say this is almost as much for singles as it is for those of us who are married.

If you are a single parent, blended family, whatever, let’s take this test.  Please, don’t show other people your scores or your answers.  This is kind of some personal stuff, so kind of cover it like that, okay?

NEXT LIFE STEP:        THE IDEAL FAMILY TEST

How to score yourself:   1 = Never.   2 = Sometimes.   3 = Always.

#1: Do you go on a date with your spouse at least twice a month?

#2: Do you eat dinner as a family around the dinner table at least 3 times per week?

#3: Do your children sleep in their own beds (not your bed) every night?

#4: Do you and your spouse have TLC (Touch, Look, and Conversation) on a daily basis?

#5: Do you get away for a weekend alone as a couple (without your kids) at least twice a year?

#6: Do you have sexual intimacy with your spouse at least two times a week?

#7: Do you and your spouse present a unified front when your children question your authority?

#8: Do you have a set bedtime for your kids/teens that’s consistently enforced?

#9: Do you regularly evaluate your calendar to prevent overscheduling extra-curricular activities?

#10: Is weekly church attendance (age-appropriate worship and family worship) a priority for you and your children?

The Ideal Family Test Score Results 

Score 10-17

You are lost and need directions, but, it’s not the end of the world.  You can get back on track and potentially discover the greatness that God has for your marriage and family.

Score 18-24

You are headed in the wrong direction, but you are not lost yet.  Your family is out of order.

Score 25-30

You should be preaching; not me.  Good for you, but don’t rest on your laurels.  Don’t say, “I’ve got that down!  I’ve cracked the marriage code.”  Keep it fresh!  Be the best that God wants you to be.

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Which of the six ways to deal with your family are you doing well and which ones do you need to work on?
  1. Discuss the Ideal Family Test. What do you think this test is revealing to you about your family life?

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