Me and My House
Me and My House
“But for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
I like Joshua’s resolution. He knew what he believed and why. He knew where he stood. He knew what was best for his loved ones and family. And, he made it clear to everyone where he stood. How is my resolution? Is it clear to everyone, especially in my family, where I stand?
“Too many men sadly waste their lives. They don’t really know the God they claim to worship and have not ultimately concluded what they are living for. Halfhearted and indecisive, they spiritually wander through life in a fog of confusion and apathy. They can tell you what they’re doing this weekend, but they have no clue about their purpose in life or in eternity. As a result they go through the motions of day after day, wasting most of their time on trivial matters” (The Resolution for Men, Stephen and Alex Kendrick, pp. 1-2).
It is Very Easy to Drift
“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1). Not only this, but it is very easy to become insensitive or boring with spiritual truths and realities, “since you have become dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11). Dull of hearing means that among other things, you no longer find the message compelling enough to read and learn more.
Easy to Drift When Drifting is Popular and Common
“In the 1950’s and ‘60’s programs like Father Knows Best, The Andy Griffith Show, My Three Sons, and Leave it to Beaver showed strong, intelligent, responsible fathers. In contrast, dads on TV today are incompetent and constantly outwitted by their wives and disrespectful kids” (The Resolution for Men, p. 18). To put to another way, it is easy to drift as a man when drifting is accepted and even expected. The ironic thing is that while an element in our culture has increasingly downplayed and even belittled male leadership, all the evidence from both within and outside the Bible has only confirmed its necessity.
- “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord” (Genesis 18:19).
- “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
“Both the Scriptures and statistics clearly communicate that there is no more influential person in the life of a child than his or her father. Whereas moms are priceless, irreplaceable and needed beyond measure, they were never designed to be men or to fill the role of a dad. When the Bible states that ‘the glory of children is their father’ (Proverbs 17:6), it is revealing an important dynamic of how God has wired the hearts and minds of children… It changes the life of that child forever. Sons who have their dads in their lives do significantly better in school, have better social skills and self-esteem, and are more likely to say no to criminal behavior” (p. 20).
- They learn their identity from you. “Kids naturally go to their dads for answers to their biggest questions. Who is God? Who am I? Am I loved? Am I a success? Do I have what is takes?” (p. 20).
- They learn their values from you.
- They learn their worth from you.
Something to Guard Against
“Too many men only halfheartedly repent of their sin and then blame God for not being set free. They want freedom from guilt rather than intimacy with their Maker. Instead of ‘divorcing’ themselves from sin, they opt for a ‘temporary separation’… until later” (p. 43). So if you are a man and you are opting to become a Christian, husband and father, then for the sake of everyone involved, be dead serious about all those commitments. The whole thing will only become one big mess if you are entering it with a half-hearted commitment.
- “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). In fact in the next verse Jesus made the point that straddling the fence always results in failure (9:24 “he who wishes to save his life will lose it”). In another passage Jesus emphasized the point that anything less than total commitment to Him would result in the inability to live the Christian life (Luke 14:26 “…he cannot be My disciple”).
The Privilege to Be the Chain Breaker
“Here it is: we need to ask God to break the chains in our lives and from our past. We need to become chain breakers – men who break away from anything holding us back from leaving a new legacy of faithfulness behind us (see Hebrews 12:1). A chain breaker is the fork in his family tree. He’s the one God uses to end the legacy of rebellion against God that he may have learned from his parents or grandparents. Instead he passes on a legacy of faith, faithfulness, and blessing to his children and grandchildren” (pp. 39-40). What a privilege to become the fork in the family tree that creates a new path, just like Abraham (Joshua 24:2).
- “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers” (1 Peter 1:18).
- “So as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).
Breaking the Chains/Stopping the Cycle
- In some families there has been a cycle of bad or inconsistent examples upon the part of the men in the family. I can change that.
- There is equally a chain of lies that can be broken. “Lies about other races, for example, can lead of racism. Lies about God can lead to rebellion. Lies about our origins as human beings and our moral responsibilities can lead to a life of self-hatred, vanity, or destructive hedonism. Lies can cause us to fear or give up, even when there’s nothing to be afraid of” (p. 46). As a dad I can bring into my life and the life of my family the truth that can set us all free (John 8:32).
- As a father I can equally break the chains of destructive traditions that have ran through a family. “Some cultural traditions imply that the teenage years should be wasted. Or that it is permissible to be sexually immoral while single. Or that certain holidays are not officially celebrated unless you overeat and drown yourself in alcohol… Some families traditionally fight about everything” (p. 48).
For the Future Generation
“That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may raise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments. And not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God” (Psalm 78:6-8). So remember, we are not simply seeking to save ourselves, but to save those who will follow us as well (1 Timothy 4:16).
- Where sin has crept into your life – repent.
- Where bitterness has taken root in your heart – forgive.
- Where lies have been woven into the script – seek the truth.
- Where traditions have taken precedence – start fresh.
- Where problems have tried to steal and malign – pray.
- Where hindrances are piling up – consecrate and dedicate your family to God (pp. 51-52).
Mark Dunagan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017