I wish you blessings on this lovely Father’s Day.  I hope you have had a joyous and restful day with your father, or the father of your children, or spent some time today reflecting on your blessings from our Holy Father God.  I thank God that I was greatly blessed with a godly father, and although he has been with our Lord for more than 20 years I oft-times miss him as if it were yesterday.  Not all of us had good earthly fathers, but regardless of your past, if you have been born again, you now have God as your “Father”.   John 1:12-13 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”   God in his grace and mercy sent Jesus to redeem us and make us his own children—and as it says here we are “born” spiritually, not of blood (our heritage), nor of the will of the flesh (our determination), nor the will of man (the bestowment of others, any other).

As we looked last week at friendship, I’d like us to go a little deeper and look at “Family”, not just family in general but the “Christian Family”.  Let us consider what God’s word has to say about families, particularly “Christian Families”.

First of all let’s answer the question “What is a Christian family?”  I’d like to answer this question first with what it is NOT!!  A “Christian Family” is not simply a ‘Christian’ who marries and starts a family.  It is also not two ‘Christians’ who unite in marriage and start a family.   Regardless of the “political correctness” it is not professing “Christians” or non-Christians, living together in states other than marriage—that includes adulterous relationships, polygamous, homosexual, or any and all other immoral unions that our world has tagged “family”.   Without getting deep into politics, we must take a stand on truth, and if we, God’s own genuine children, will not speak and live the truth, why on earth would we expect the world to live by God’s standard.

Now, if none of these things define a “Christian Family”, what does?  Of course God’s word does!!  There are so many scriptures to choose from but I think the best place to start is at the beginning.  Genesis 2:21-24 “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  Here we see that GOD established marriage!!  And in verse 18, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”  God establishes this “godly” union for companionship and procreation.  Jesus expands on this by telling us in Matthew 19:5-6 “And (HE) said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”  Marriage is the joining of a man and a woman, and the establishment of a new branch of the family.  What an accurate term “family tree” is!  God established marriage to meet our needs for companionship, to meet our physical needs (and yes God created “sex” not Satan), and to bring the next generation into the world and prepare them for carrying on a godly heritage.  Psalm 127:3 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

So, what then, is a “Christian Family”?  It must be a Christian man, and a Christian woman committed first of all to God, then to each other, and extending on to the children and grandchildrenNot just two ‘Christians” but two committed Christians devoted to God, His word and ways, and consistently, diligently passing this on to their children.  Not just taking them to church, but training them at home as we see in Deuteronomy 6:5-9,20, & 24-25 says “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates……. 20 And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord our God hath commanded you? 21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son,…….. 24 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. 25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us”.  Here we see a “Christian Family”. What does this mean to you and me? Regardless of our age, we are commanded to –love God ourselves, have His love and word in our hearts, TEACH OUR CHILDRENCONTINUALLY IN ALL THAT WE DO, EVERYWHERE WE GO, ALL THE TIME?   Quite a tall order isn’t it?  A Christian family has “parents” who follow God and love Him devotedlyParents who teach God’s word and His principles with honor and integrity before their children every day, in every way.    Living and expecting godly behavior in the family!!!

Are we willing to follow our God with this kind of devotion? To proclaim and then hold our loved ones to the sacred truth of God’s word?  Or do we accept moral turpitude (depravity and wickedness) from those closest to us without intervention for righteousness or warning of judgment?  I hear so many say “Well, if I say anything they’ll do…..this or that thing (you fill in the blank)”… that would cause us sadness or separation.  If you remember, Jesus’ family didn’t believe Him and wouldn’t follow Him until after His resurrection.  Well, friends what price do we put on acceptance?   Is acquiescence or consent to wickedness the price we are willing to pay to have cordial relations with those we love?  Or are we willing to call those dear to us to live righteously and follow God’s plan?  Are we willing to speak the truth to them and let them know what God says about any particular behavior. (and in order to do that we must know for ourselves what God has said—that’s called Bible study).  Now, I understand that we can’t make choices for others, nor am I talking about cramming things down someone’s throat, but we are compelled by God’s word, and His Spirit to let others know that God judges sin–to speak His word faithfully. In the matter of marriage the scripture is clear, Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”    The rules haven’t changed, regardless of what the world says!  Marriage is one man+one woman for all time!

Galatians 6:7-8 reminds us that ALL will give an account “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”  I can choose to be popular, accepting and  ‘open-minded’ to the ways of sin, or I can choose to honor God, speak the truth in love and call people to righteousness.  Especially those who claim the name of Jesus.  Especially those with whom I have an intimate relationship—my family!!!  Our Christian Family??!!!  What about you?

God bless you, grow you and speak to and through you this week.