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Wisdom in Family

Wisdom in Family

Listen to your father, who gave you life,

    and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—

    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.

24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;

    a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.

25 May your father and mother rejoice;

    may she who gave you birth

Proverbs 21:23-25

Families are not strong by accident.  By accident, they are average.  In order to have a strong family, you have to be intentional.  You have to work at it.  

When I was at Baylor I had a good friend who told me of some really great advice had given her about relationships.  He said, “Your temptation will be to look for someone who is good looking or popular.  Look for someone who is a hard worker because relationships take hard work.”  

I’ve always thought that was great advice because he is absolutely right.  If your family is going to be an uncommonly strong family, it will take intentionality and a willingness to work hard at it. 

“Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”  Nehemiah 4:14

If you want a strong family, you have to fight for it. 

1. Strong families are intentionally joyful 


24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;

    a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.

25 May your father and mother rejoice;

    may she who gave you birth

Families are not boot camps and parents are not commanders.  They are not businesses and parents are not CEOs.  Life is busy and stressful and it is important for the home to be a place where families have fun. 

There is no perfect family, parents need to plan on play.  If you don’t have fun in your life, you are not wise.  

Ecclesiastes 8:15:  I commend the enjoyment of life.

Studies have shown that children learn at play.

1 Timothy 6:17:  Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Eccles 11:8:  However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all.

Don’t wait to retirement- enjoy life now.  When our kids were growing up we wanted our kids to know they were loved and that we had fun.  

People will not remember what you say, they will remember how you made them feel.  

Awesome families are playful.  

Ecco 9:9. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love.

Studies have shown that the number one thing children say they enjoy the most is board games.  Isn’t that amazing?  With all that technology, that’s what kids like doing more than anything.  

15 So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.  (Ecclesiastes 8:15 New Living Bible)

2. Strong families promote growth 


Luke 2:52. Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.

Look at how we are to grow in our families:  knowledge, health, spiritually and relationally.

There are some things you can only learn at home.  Five things you must learn:

a. What to do with feelings 


Parents teach children how do deal with how they feel.  How to recognize feelings and name them.  How to own up to them. How to express them correctly.     

When we lived in Texas- I was stung by a scorpion in the middle of the night.  

Teri said, “Find it.”  

I have found that finding the problem is most important in relationships.  

In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
Ephesians 4:26

b. How to handle conflict 


If you can’t handle conflict you become either a skunk or a turtle.  Either you are like a skunk, who lets everyone know they are mad.  The turtle pulls back.  

Neither really works.  

c. How to handle loss


You have to learn how to grieve a loss.  Everyone loses at some point.  You don’t want your kids to win every time.  If they don’t learn that failure wont’ kill them, it can be devastating.

The first time we had a family pet die, we made a big deal out of it.  We didn’t demean or dismiss the loss, we gave it dignity.    

One of the reasons I like sports or competitive teams- is because they teach children about loss.   That is a good thing.  

Proverbs 24:16. Even when good people fall seven times, they will get up again.

Even good people fall. Resilience is the most important quality for success.  Parents teach children to never give up.   The leaders of the world are the ones who never give up- they are resilient.  

d. What values matter most 


The world teaches values that are not very good.  THe world teaches that all that matters is how you look, or how much money you have, or the more power you have or that everything is about sex.  The world teaches that the more you can get people to praise you, the better off you are.  Those things are not true.    

THE lust of the flesh, the lust of eyes and the Pride of life .

For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world.  (1 John 2:16)

All temptation comes from these three things. All advertisement comes from these three things.  

e. Good habits


Our habits shape us.  

“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”  Ralph Waldo Emmerson 

3. Strong families put Christ at the center 


Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God (1 John 4:7)

What is the key to a strong family?

The key is this: Put Christ at the center. If you want to experience family the way it was designed to be, you need a vital relationship with the God who created you and offers you the power to live a life of joy and purpose.  Some of you came from families that were broken and the thought of a family is not a good one.  Do you know that Christ wants to welcome you into his family?  

Jesus Christ said, "I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly." And Psalm 16:11 tells us that in God's presence is "fullness of joy." God gives us a biblical plan for making family relationships work—and then He gives us the power to follow that plan through a relationship with Him.

Many years ago during the heyday of American river travel, two paddleboats carrying valuable cargo engaged in a fierce competition on the Mississippi River. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down that historic river to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel began harassing the sailors from the other about their slow pace. Words turned into insults, taunting into challenges of manhood, and the race was on. Competition became vicious as the two boats roared through the Deep South.

One boat began falling behind, burning through its coal that had been sufficient for the trip, but not for a race. As the boat dropped back, an enterprising young sailor took some of the ship's cargo and tossed it into the ovens. When the sailors saw that the supplies burned as well as the coal, they fueled their boat with the material they had been assigned to transport. 

They won the race but lost their precious cargo.  Strong families never lose sight of what is most important.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it mean to be “intentionally joyful” in the family?
  2. Why is it important to be intentional and to work hard as a family?
  3. How is a family a place where growth happens?
  4. Why are families important in teaching children important values?
  5. How do parents teach values?
  6. Why is it important to put Christ at the center of the family?

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