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God’s Dream For the Family

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 4, 2021 2:00 am

God’s Dream For the Family

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 4, 2021 2:00 am

What should we strive for as a family? Dave Wilson delivers a word on God's dream for the family, and what it can look like to live it out.

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You know, when we started dating and I came over to your house, I actually thought I had just walked into the perfect family's house. It was pretty fun, wasn't it? It was amazing, but I was deflated at the same time because I was nowhere near the perfect, barren family. But we had our baggage too.

Oh, I found that out pretty quick. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson, and you can find us at or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. I'm always excited when the topic is family. And with Family Life Today, that's a pretty important topic is family. Almost every day.

But this topic today is going to be specifically about families. And even when you bring that word up, it conjures up emotions and feelings. I know that the weekend, remember, and we've been speaking at that for 30 some years. 30 some years, yeah.

Yeah. And so at the beginning, when we split up into men and women's sessions, I'll say to the women, okay, I'm going to say a word, and I want you just to blurt out what comes to your mind when I say this word. And the first word I say is mom.

And so women will start responding with the highest of praise. Oh, amazing, wonderful, present. And then you'll have absent, abandoned, you know, so you have these highs and lows. And I think that can happen with the word family, because some of us have had the most wonderful experiences and some of us have had really hard experiences. Yeah, I mean, you know this, but on the other side of that air wall in the hotel ballroom, I'm speaking to the men. When I say what comes to your mind when you think of your dad, the word dad is emotional.

I mean, again, it's similar. You hear positives because I think they think they can't say anything negative. And somebody will say something negative and it sort of opens up a flood of emotions in the room. And I've got it, too. You know, I think of my dad and I think absent.

He just wasn't there. And so the word family is an emotional word. It's attached to emotions growing up. And then now, as parents, we're trying to create something that when our kids are asked mom or dad, they have a positive feeling.

And it's kind of scary because you think like, oh, no, what are my kids going to say and what will they think when they hear the word mom? Yeah. And so today we get to listen to a message that I gave a couple of years ago at our church on family. You know what? You are my favorite preacher. What else are you going to say? I wouldn't have to say that.

I could say nothing. But I love it when you preach. You know, I'm glad somebody does. But I tell you what, this was obviously a topic I'm passionate about and I'm trying to say, OK, what's the ideal family? And we all have a vision in our head and what does the Bible say that looks like? And then also say we can't reach that. So if we're not the ideal, we're the real, how in the world do we live? And I hope to give people a clear picture of there is a beauty in being a real family and doing it God's way. And it looks like this. Here's the thing about family, if you think about it, if we don't have you know, we have all the things that aren't in common, what do we have in common in every family?

And here's one of the first things I thought of. If you're like me, you know this. In your family, you're the smartest person in the entire family. Am I right? There's nobody in your family as smart as you. Am I right?

Come on. You know, you don't want to say that out loud. But if you go to a family gathering, you would just love to grab the mic with you and go, hey, if you give me 20 minutes, I can fix all this. You know, you need to get a job and you need to stop drinking so much. And you need to start treating your. Am I right? We all have opinions on family and we're always right. And they're always wrong because you're the smartest person in the family. Here's the other thing that I thought about family that we all have in common. Family is wonderful and family is hard. And some of you can't even think family is wonderful. Maybe your experience has been really, really bad and it's not wonderful at all. But I think every marriage, every relationship, every job, every part of life, there's parts of it that are wonderful and beautiful.

There's other parts that are really, really difficult. Am I right? Think about this. Family is not neutral. Family is emotional. The word father or dad is not a neutral word. It's emotional.

You hear that word and you have emotional thoughts, good or bad or in between. Am I right? Anne and I are speaking next weekend, a weekend to remember family life, weekend to remember marriage conference. On Sunday morning at that conference, we've been doing this for 30 years. We will separate the husbands and wives from each other for just the morning session. And I will speak to the men about being a husband and a dad from God's viewpoint. Anne's going to speak to the women about being a wife and mom. Here's how I'll start the dad talk.

It's uniquely almost the same everywhere I go. I'll say, guys, get a picture in your mind of your dad. OK, what's the first word that comes to your mind when you think your dad? And then I'll say, yell it out. And words start coming out of the audience and they're emotional.

It might be really good. And usually the words start and they're good. And then somebody will be honest and say he wasn't there or he was a drunk or. And then, bam, they come out and you're like, wow, this is not family is not neutral. You think of your mom. You think of a brother or sisters or an uncle or aunt. Or a cousin. Seems like everybody's got Cousin Eddie in their family, right? And here's another thing that we all know.

And I already said it. Families are not perfect. There are no perfect families, except the Wilsons, of course, but there are no perfect families.

There are none. Cody's sitting right here. So I can't say anything today who just, you know, he'll correct because he was part of that family. But it's like there are no perfect families.

And so here's all we want to do today. It's like we want to look at what God's dream for the family was because I don't know about you, but the family I grew up in, single mom, dad gone, really didn't know him, shows everyone. So I can remember lying in bed and thinking, why can't I be in Mark Davis's family? You ever had that family? He was one of my best friends. He lived just down the block. His dad had money. His mom, they had a marriage, had three brothers. They take me on little trips to their little cabinet, had mini bikes and four wheelers. And we let off dynamite and they ate cereal for dinner and they walked around in pajamas all the time and they were fun. And I had nobody, just my mom and my little brother died. And I can remember laying in bed, looking at the ceiling and saying, God, why do I have this family? And Mark's got that family. Some of you felt that. So here's what we're going to look at for this series. What is God's dream for the family?

And so it's really interesting. I don't know if you've ever done this. You go to the Bible, you pick it up and you say, OK, what is family like in the Bible? Let's look at families in the Bible to get a vision for what God wants the family to be.

Have you ever done this? I didn't know this. I thought all the families in the Bible are perfect because everybody in the Bible is perfect. And so I'm just going to go do this and I'll give you a quick, very quick, but you should do this on your own. The families in the Bible are, you talk about imperfect. I don't know if there's a good one anywhere, maybe one. I mean, the first family. Who was it? Adam, Eve, right? Husband, wife.

How'd that one go? Adam chose Eve over God. And as John Eldredge says, he says, man chose woman over God and man has been doing it ever since.

It's true. Their son's first homicide in the Bible. Four chapters in, you've got a murder from the first family's kids. Oh, that's going really well, right? You get to the patriarch Abraham we talked about last week.

What's he do? Hey, honey, lie, because if they think you're my wife, they're going to kill me. So say you're my sister. OK, that's going really well.

Again, I could do this all day. You go all the way through the Old Testament. It is scary. The first civil war in history is who? Father, son, David, Absalom, civil war. Thousands of people are killed because a father and son can't get along. And if you read the story, you're like, we could have stopped this.

But that's family imploding. I don't think that was God's dream. Men had several wives and concubines. That was never God's plan.

Nope, it wasn't. And yet man did this. And so you don't sort of want to look there. So then you're like, OK, it's better in the New Testament, right?

So you go to New Testament and look at Jesus' family. Think about this one. They lose him at the temple for three days. If you did that today, you'd be thrown in jail. You don't even know where your son is for three days.

Can you imagine walking around? Hey, honey, do you see Jesus? No, I thought you had him. I don't have him. Well, you know, do the find his iPhone. We got to find him somewhere, right? They lose him for three days. Where were you?

I was in my father's house. What? You know, that's that's the premier family.

It's unbelievable. But here's what I want to look at real quick. And I'm taking too much time. But I want to just give you a fly by real quick of what God says about the family in terms of the the ideal. Because if you read the New Testament, this is where you get God's vision for the family. And I'm going to read you just a couple of verses. You bounce around and many of you will hear this and go, man, that is so old school. That is like, you know, a hundred years ago. Let me tell you something. In that culture, when this was written, this was revolutionary thinking.

Why? Because women were nothing but property. Children were not even kept unless they could give them some kind of legacy.

So they had no value. And Jesus walks in. I've said this many times. He elevates women to the same status as men. This was a male dominated culture where women had Jesus elevates them. And then as you go through the rest of the New Testament, the Apostle Paul writes much. Peter writes much about marriage and family and he elevates children and he elevates women. And he says, this is what God's dream for the family is. And again, you're going to think this is very old school.

And yet in that time, this was like brand new thinking. Here we'll go to Ephesians six and we'll start with children first. Ephesians six says this. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Now, here's what I know just happened in the room.

All the parents are like, yes, yes. You hear that, son? You hear that? You can go home right now.

You don't want to hear the rest. But that's what it says. Obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

And it says, look at this. Honor your father and mother. Where's that come from?

Anybody know? One of the Ten Commandments, which is the first commandment with a promise. Anybody know what the promise is? The promise is if you honor your father and mother, you will live a long life. He connects honoring your parents with a good life. Think about that one, because all the parents right here are like, yeah, I want my kids to hear that. They need to obey me.

Let me ask you a question. Parents, have you and are you honoring your parents? Because trust me on this one, they're going to copy more what you do than what you say or even what the Bible says.

How are you doing with that one? That's just one perspective of like, here's what it would look like from God's dream for the family. There'd be a sense of honor to parents and back to children and beyond.

OK, you jump down to another book, the book of Colossians, where Paul is writing. Wives, you're going to love this one. Wives, submit yourselves to their husbands as is fitting the Lord. Then it goes right to husbands. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Now, by the way, again, let me just clue you in. That's revolutionary thinking to them. They're like, what? I'm supposed to love my wife? She's just my wife. She's just a piece of property. I've got a wife. I've got kids. They're here to serve me. God is changing the whole paradigm.

I don't know. Let me give you a vision of what my dream for the family is. There's honor going back and forth with obedience to one another. There's submission to one another. And there's love and not harshness with your wife and your children. And then he goes on to say, fathers do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged. Again, raising the value of children. This was revolutionary in that time. And so it gives you a picture. And then the last one, 1 Peter, wives, you'll love this.

It says, husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect. Again, new thinking, changing an entire culture. You and I, we've heard these things.

Why? It should be our culture now. But where did this start? This started with God's design for marriage. And you hear people say that God's design for marriage is outdated.

No, no, no, no. It is the bar has been raised to. This is the ideal.

So I just put these all on one side. It's like, here's a summary of what we just read from New Testament for the different areas of the family. Husbands, here's what we're called to do. Love your wives and be considerate, not harsh. How you doing? Wives, submit to your husbands.

How you doing? Children, obey and honor your parents. And fathers, don't irritate your children. There it is. You can take a picture of that and say, there's the ideal. That's the ideal family from God's perspective. So here's the question.

How you doing on that? The real doesn't match the ideal. Now, here's what's really interesting. What does God say to us who are not reaching that, who are struggling with that? Because nobody here does all that perfectly. We don't live the ideal. We live in this reality of the real. And there's a gap.

Now, listen to this. What does Jesus say about that gap? You know what he says? When you don't reach the ideal, you know what he says?

I forgive you and I'm going to die for that. That's what he says. He doesn't change the ideal or lower the ideal. He keeps the ideal right here. He doesn't redefine marriage to be what the culture wants it to be.

He says, no, this is God's design for marriage and family. You're never going to hit it. But that gap I died for. I love you anyway. I take care of that.

I forgive you. Now, I will show you who I am. I will fill you with me if you believe. And I'll give you the power to start living closer to the ideal than the real. You understand what I'm saying? That's the beauty and the power of the gospel. And that's what happens when we invite Christ in our life. He says, OK, you're never going to hit my ideal and I'm not going to lower it to your culture.

It's still the ideal, but I'll give you power to live closer to that. You understand that? That's the beauty of giving your life to Christ and that's what happens. A family of faith should look different than a family without.

Why? Because there's a power source available when we plug into Christ that gives us the ability to get closer to the ideal. So, OK, if we're not going to be able to reach the ideal, we've got to live in reality. What do we do? How do we live this? I'm just going to give you one word that I hope is a word that permeates the atmosphere of your home.

And you may be empty nesters like me. It doesn't matter. Permeates your family structure, whatever structure that is. One word.

You know what it is? People are yelling out in the first service grace. And it sort of is grace.

But here's the word that came to me this week. Honor. I probably first saw it when I was studying Ephesians six about honor your mother and father. But it's the word honored. I'll never forget years ago, back in the VHS days, when we watched the tape and she was her first service.

We watched the tape of a guy named Gary Smalley. He wrote a book called The Blessing. He was talking about this word honor.

I'd never heard this before. So I looked it up and studied the Hebrew and the word in the Old Testament for honor and actually the word for bless and honor comes from a root that means to bow or to bend the knee. And I love, you know, Hebrew and the Jewish culture is so very visual. Like every word, every ceremony had such a visual thing. It's so beautiful.

And they're really into just beyond words, the posture thing. So think about this. The word bless, when you bless someone or you show them honor, it literally is this. You bend or bow the knee. Now, in our culture, we don't do that. We don't live in a culture that somebody walks in, you go, you know, showing them honor by getting low and bowing to them.

But there are cultures that still do that. Right? And it's a beautiful picture because to bless someone, here's what happens. When you bend the knee to someone, you are saying by your posture what? I am in the presence of someone extremely valuable. They're valuable. Honor, they are weighty. That's what the word honor comes from, the word weighty. In fact, you add value to their life by honoring them, blessing them by your posture. And again, we're not going to literally bow, but it's a great image to say, man, when you're in the presence of somebody really valuable, you bless them and you honor them. It's like I'm going to show you value and add weight to who you are. Now, think about that. We still have some of this in our culture.

How does a man propose to a woman on his engagement day? This is what they do. Do you ever ask why?

This is what they're doing. They're saying by their posture, you are extremely valuable. I am saying you're the most important woman in my life. I would like you to be my wife forever. It's a value of posture. And by the way, some of your wives are like, you can just stay there and do this your whole marriage throughout your life. Wouldn't it be good because it's like we do that one day and then it goes away.

No, no. It's a daily family belief that I am in the presence of a mom or a wife or a dad or a son or a brother who is extremely valuable. Now, we're never going to do this, but we can show honor by placing value on them by the way we treat them, we serve them, we honor them.

This is Family Life Today, and we've been listening to a message you gave, Dave, back in our church on the family. Yeah, and I tell you what, I was so excited, I remember, to give this message because we get into this concept of honor. And you remember.

I do. Early in our marriage, we listened to Gary Smalley. He was our favorite back in the day. He was amazing. And still is. His stuff is great.

His stuff is great. He wrote a book on it. But when he taught and we read about honor, I had never heard it taught like that. The concept, as we just heard, bend the knee, show honor and reverence to someone as they're extremely valuable. And boy, you talk about what that looks like in a home. If your kids felt honored, if your spouse felt honored or your parents felt honored, it would change the entire climate and environment and really aroma of the home.

And people want to run to that home, for sure. Yeah, and it's the way God treats us. He honors us, and we don't deserve it.

And you get into this a little more, and I'm excited to hear the rest. Yeah, because the truth is, did we live this perfectly in the Wilson home? Yes, we did. No, we didn't. No, we didn't even come close.

But at least we had a goal. You know, like, what's honor going to look like in our marriage? And then what's it going to look like in our family? And it could be a great conversation even to have at your dinner table tonight is this. Do you feel like I honor you?

Do you feel like we honor one another in our family? My wife, Mary Ann, and I were talking this week with a new bride who was lamenting the fact that she keeps messing up as a wife. She says, I'm not doing this right.

I'm not doing it perfectly. She was really feeling a lot of pressure for the ways in which she feels like she's failing as a wife. And we reminded her of all of the things she's doing right and then reminded her that the good news of the gospel is that Jesus knows we're not going to get it right, that we're continuing to grow and that there's grace and forgiveness when we mess up and there's hope that we can do better tomorrow because of the gospel. And I love the way Dave and Ann are so practical and so transparent as they deal with real life, real marriage, real family. In fact, both of their books, Vertical Marriage and No Perfect Parents, if you haven't read these books, these really are a treasure because they remind us that all of us mess up in marriage and in parenting.

And yet we have a God who, by his grace, is able to bring beauty from whatever ashes we create in our marriage and in our family. I would encourage you to get copies of Dave and Ann's books. Go to our website and you can order the books from us online or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to request your copies. The Vertical Marriage book is also available as a small group video series. Great for your small group to go through together if you're looking for something you can do on marriage. Again, get more information when you go to our website or call if you have any questions or if you'd like to order by phone.

The number is 1-800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. You know, our goal here at Family Life Today is to provide you every day with practical biblical help, encouragement, hope for your marriage, for your family. We want to effectively develop godly marriages and families. Our goal is that every home would be a godly home and we're able to do what we do because some of you as listeners have stepped forward and said, we think this is important, not just for us and our family, but for our community, for our country, and for our world. You make Family Life Today possible every time you make a donation to help support the ongoing work of this ministry. And right now, if you're able to help with the donation, we'd like to say thank you by sending you a copy of David Murrow's book called Drowning in Screen Time.

Practical help for how we deal with our devices and how we can have real, honest, face-to-face relationships with people rather than being dominated by our screens. You can donate to Family Life Today online at or call to donate. 1-800-FL-TODAY is our number and again ask for your copy of David Murrow's book, Drowning in Screen Time. It's our thank you gift to you and we do appreciate your partnership with us in the ministry of Family Life Today. And we hope you can be back with us again tomorrow when Dave and Ann Wilson are going to talk with us about how we honor one another in our marriage, in our family, in those moments when we just don't like each other very much. That's coming up tomorrow. Hope you can join us for that. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Bob Lapine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry, helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-27 17:35:43 / 2023-07-27 17:46:16 / 11

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