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Family First

Fam First! A Christ Centered Home [Notes by M. Rivera & C. Cruz-Mendez]

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Family is important to God, it is important for the Kingdom of God, and it is important for all of God’s purposes.

God has always wanted to use the family, so He instituted in his perfect plan, even before establishing the Church. However, the family has been deteriorating day by day.

This situation is extremely serious. The family is the nucleus [a central part about which other parts are grouped or gathered; core] of society, and if society is not made up of strong families, society cannot be stable and will encounter serious problems. The problem of the family is not only incumbent upon the government and society, but a situation that directly affects the church. God instituted the family to be the model and example for the Church and for society. Churches and strong families form strong partnerships. Family’s united and cohesive societies are churches, etc. 

The world tells us, “Orange is the new black, Sons of Anarchy or Breaking Bad” are how we live. Technology and social networking are teaching our children what values? They are taking God out of the laws of our nation, out of our schools and the next level is out of our families! Study Psalm 119 as it shares about God’s values.

GOD IS CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR FAMILY!

Your family is a priority for God!

The first ministry is family! Not church ministry—too many lose focus on this and neglect their first priorities.  We are essentially acting as “pastors” in our homes and our first “members” are our loved ones—spouse, kids, siblings, parents, etc. This responsibility lies with you! You have to build it and cultivate it. Not the church, society and school first but you. This has its part but depending on how you do yours – this is the next impact.

Although we know from experience that there are no perfect families. Why? Because the family is composed of human beings, people like you and me. And since we are not perfect, we cannot wait to have a family, a church or a perfect society. But thanks to Jesus Christ for His great love and mercy toward us who rescued me from sin, death and even ourselves. We can make our families balanced, healthy and wholesome. God then places His perfection on our imperfections.

1 Timothy 5:8
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Titus 1:16
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good.”

We must do everything we can to make our family reflect Christ. Our spouses, our children, and family, they have to be first, to benefit from our good reputation. We must ensure that they can see Christ in us. In our homes, marriages, children, ethics! There are many good qualities of a healthy family. Below are 7 keys:

1. A Healthy Family is Committed: Every family, Christian or not, will have problems, illnesses, economic problems, conflicts, interpersonal problems, etc. And each of us will have problems as individuals. The difference between a family who fails and who succeeds is commitment. The compromise means that responsibility you have, to cope with the family; both good, the bad and the ugly. The commitment is not only words spoken, but is demonstrated by concrete and specific facts. When there is commitment, family goals are more important than personal goals. The family success is more valuable than personal success.

2. A Healthy Family Loves, Appreciates and Values: Appreciation and love have to prove it and you have to express it. We must tell our spouse and our children that we love them & that they are important to us. We must learn to express our love, respect and admiration, saying, “I love you.”If something does great harm to the family, is the lack of personal estimate, lack of valuation. One of the strongest weaknesses of family abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, mental and a failure to meet basic needs. Every day, we have to ask…How much is my husband, my wife? How much are my children, my family? And realize that their value is so great that Christ gave His life for them. And if God was able to give His life for them as for me. I cannot mistreat the person who is the image and likeness of God. Our family is a legacy, a treasure, a gift God has given us. But often we forget that this treasure that God has given us is very valuable. Study Ephesians chapters 4, 5 and 6 regarding character, marriage and children. 

3. A Healthy Family Communicates: Years ago, the family ate together, had fun together. The company previously had time to share, to communicate; but modern society has devalued the importance of communication. It is important to learn to listen, to grasp what the other person says. Similarly, we must learn to speak. Watching what we say and how we say it. Also understand your role and teach that. Enforce that in your home. For parents –don’t let kids rule the house, you are the adult. Discipline them!
Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his children…
Proverbs 23:14 Do not withhold discipline from a child…
A spank is different from abuse!!
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way [Jesus is the way, the truth & the light] that he should go, for when he is old he shall never depart from it.
Deuteronomy 6:7-9 “You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” That is a lot of communicating – through teaching!

4. A Healthy Family Spends Time Together and Recognizes all Family Members in Need: All these needs are important, and must be met at the house by the family. We must ensure that our home is AN OASIS (an area having a spring or a well) in the desert. Time to converse, to rest, for acceptance, playing, affection,   emotional support and more. Otherwise, these and other needs will be met elsewhere and by others. Provide a SAFE PLACE, SECURE PLACE, PLACE OF RESTORATION & RELAXATION. TEACH in your home, correct, guide and usher them to a healthy place!

5. A Healthy Family Can Solve Problems: All families have problems and challenges that they face. For us to be very mature and grow, they always will appear. Over time situations change LEARN HOW TO CONQUER CHANGE. The cycle of change for the couple, children, the house, more spacious place, work, finances, when children marry, the empty nest, grandchildren, loneliness, advanced age, illness, etc. Things are constantly changing. The point is that changes and crises require adjustments. And to address them, we need maturity, we need wisdom and we need the presence and guidance of God through the Holy Spirit.
EVEN IF YOU THINK THAT YOUR FAMILY IS BROKEN—GOD IS A MENDER, A FIXER, A BUILDER!
IT TAKES COURAGE TO START OVER AGAIN with family—we start over again!
BELIEVE GOD! ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! FILL YOURSELF (HOME) WITH TRUTH

6. A Healthy Family Must Cultivate the Spiritual Life: The success we have with our family will be based on the confidence we have in the God who is perfect, who is eternal and makes everything perfect. Sometimes things are not going well, because we do not trust the God of miracles, you can switch to any person or situation. Who is the God who reigns in your life / family? How much do you know? How big is this God? Like Joshua, we have to fear Him, serve Him with Integrity and Truth [Joshua 24:14].

7. Making the Right Decisions: Continued from Joshua 24:15, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; but as for ME AND MY HOUSE, we will serve the Lord.” We have to serve the Lord despite all problems, Illnesses, issues, and more. Decisions need to be made based on the good of the entire family not just the one person. We cannot live selfish and choose a path in life just for us but for all the members in our family.

God wants us to have a glorious life, a successful life, a powerful life, a life of purpose for each of us and for every family. But to enjoy these promises, we must allow the Holy Spirit to take control (be the priority) of our lives and our family. Only then we will make our family the most beautiful testimony that Christ reigns in our lives.

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