The month of May is our Family Month. We will be considering the Faces, Facets and Facts of family units, and, family life with the study of the earthly family of Jesus Christ as the model of the ideal Christian home. We had a series of teachings on the subject of The Family, in our Bible Study, in the months of February and March. So, we will be treading on a familiar ground.
A family is any group of people who live together, related by blood or marriage, especially parents and their children. Those who are bonded together by a common faith are also called a family. Christians, through faith in Christ, are members of the family of God – John 1:12
The interaction of the members of the family – father, mother and children, produces family values. The society itself mirrors the sum total of the values of the constituent family units. Whatever change, therefore, that is desired in the society must start with the families and the change desired in the families must start with the individual members.
Families have a common ancestor, a common heritage as well as common characteristics that distinguish them from others. Jesus had an earthly family (Mark 6:3) Learning about Jesus family will draw us closer to Him and enhance our appreciation of God choosing an ordinary human family to nurture Jesus during His childhood.
The father is the male head of the family; the man in marriage. God counts on him so much for the success of the family. He is given much preeminence that through him the family is defined and described. He is the symbol of authority, and protection.
These can be said of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus:
– he was tolerant and understanding – Mathew 1:18 -20
– he was sensitive to the Spirit – Mathew 1:20-24
– he exercised self control; Joseph didn’t see his wife until Christ was born – Mathew 1:25
– he put spiritual values above self interest.
– he was obedient to divine instruction – Mathew 2:21
– he taught his children true worship – Luke 2: 41-50
The Mother is the female partner in marriage. She is the manager of the home. Her influence on family life is enormous. She molds the children, models them after the man and makes or unmakes her man.
Mary was the earthly mother of Jesus (Luke 1: 33-35. )
– she was courageous to accept God’s will – Luke 1:38
– she valued Spiritual privileges
– she endured disgrace and risked death – Deuteronomy 22:23-24
– she had faith in Jesus.
– she dutifully followed Jesus till He was fulfilled
Children are offsprings and fruits of the womb. They are a unifying factor. Jesus had a humble beginning as a child, He grew up with other children in the family. These can be said of His childhood:
– Jesus had a humble beginning – Mathew 8:20
– Jesus was subject to His parents – Luke 2:51
– Jesus managed to live with his half brothers and sisters.
– Jesus put the mother in care of John the beloved
– Jesus brothers were unbelievers till He died – Mark 3:21
– Jesus did not put Mary in their care but with John the beloved
– Although they were unbelievers, Jesus did not reject them
– Jesus brothers were not by the Cross
– Jesus brothers exercised faith in Him only after resurrection
– Jesus humility and accomplishments changed them.
– they were in the group that met in Jerusalem before the Pentecost – Acts 1:14
The ideal Christian family is the one with the attributes of Christ.
And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers. Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. Jer. 35:5-10, 18-19
The generation like the sons of Rechab exists today as discovered in certain Christian homes where you still find their children boys and girls getting married at the of 27-32 as virgins. As a pastor I have joined many in holy wedlock in recent years with these great testimonies from the spouses. We have recorded genuinely converted sons and daughters to God with a total departure from their old lives of sinfulness. What can be the secret of such families and children? I discover the secret in five cardinal things:
We shall discuss each of these points below:
The phrase faithful family altar means a well planned structured family Bible Study, worship and prayer time. It is called faithful because it is strictly adhered to. It is not off and on thing but constant and maintained. It is amazing how few families really take this seriously and practice this routinely. It is the best guarantee to have Christian children with good moral standards that do not drift through the teen years; to have a family that has a witness for Christ in the community, and to have a family that takes the church seriously and enjoys going to all the services. BUT MANY FAMILIES PREFER CIRCULAR EDUCATION (SCHOOL) TO FAMILY ALTAR. It ought not to be so. Please, let us read – Deut. 6:4-7.
What is the purpose of the family alter?
Your family altar could be made more interesting by making it short, allow questions, allow participation, discussion and Holy Spirit to lead always.
A purposeful family is a family that is raising children with a purpose and future in mind. This is what we see in the life of Abraham. God spoke about him in Gen. 18:19 “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgement; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him”. You must have a purpose as a family and for each member of the family. This is possible through this five steps.
Example is better than precept. Apostle Paul said in 1 Cor 11:1 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ”. Apostle Paul told Timothy in 2nd Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also”. Hello, can you pray and say to your children that they should say and do what you are doing. This can only be achieved by these ways:
Wake up and display the right kind of attitude and character you want your children to emulate.
You have to discipline yourself and your children. Heb 12:6-12, Prov 3:11-12 “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth”. Prov 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Prov 23:14 “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
However, you should not only beat the child. You can use other corporal punishment and minor ones. But three things are important:
Please, you must train your children not only rebuking in Prov 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Eph 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” These scriptures means three things:
In conclusion, if all these fails don’t fail to do these in your family daily – Prayer, counsel and care. Please, show concern, compassion and love with understanding. God will grant us the grace not to fail as parents, children and families. It is well in Jesus name.