I will… work on my family. Grace Church January 23/24, 2015
DRAMA – Adults doing adult things in childish ways. FUNNY
BIG IDEA: A healthy family starts with you.
Primary Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:11 / 1 Corinthians 13:1-11
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. NIV
INTRODUCTION / Transition from Drama (3 min)
1. Family is the greatest influence in a person’s life (7 min)
a. Family Stats & Shifts
b. Stories from the Bible (positive and negative)
2. We NEED to Grow Up (7 min)
a. Gunter’s Example
b. 1 Corinthians 13:11 “put childish ways behind me”
3. The Better Way: LOVE (8 min)
a. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
CONCLUSION: (6 min)
a. What do you need to PUT BEHIND YOU?
INTRODUCTION – 2 minutes
It’s one thing when child talks like a child.
A teenager acts like a teenager.
It’s entirely a different story when it’s an adult acting like a child.
I have to admit when watch this drama – I laugh but I also cringe.
It’s painful to watch.
And it’s even more painful in real life.
When ADULTs act like children everybody loses -- especially our family members.
In fact a friend of mine said:
Children have a much better chance of growing up if their parents do so first.
The family is where a person’s story begins…
it’s where we learn about life.
It’s where we FIRST get to know:
· ourselves – figure out who we are and what we believe
It’s where we learn how to:
· handle disappointment and pain
· enjoy life
· where we learn what’s important
It’s where we practice how to
· relate to others
Family is one of the greatest influences in a person’s life.
1: Greatest influence in a person’s life 7 minutes
Let’s step back for a moment and look at the family and how it has changed.
According to the Pew Research group,
The family unit of mom, dad and the kids—no longer has the stage to itself. A variety of new arrangements have emerged, giving rise to a broader and evolving definition of what constitutes a family.”
Take a look at this graph for a moment.
The % of adults who are married has been steadily declining.
· About ½ of American adults are currently married.
Part of this change is DUE TO:
· People marrying later – the average age is now 28 years
· The current % of adults who have never married is at 30% - this % has doubled 1960
· AND the % of people who are currently divorced or separated has tripled --growing from just 5% to 14%
ADD to these stats the rise in:
· single parenting,
· blended families,
· multi-generational HH where:
ü families are now caring for their elderly parents,-- OR on the other end of the spectrum à
ü families are welcoming / at least allowing their 20 somethings to move back in.
My point is this: Families are changing. And many of these changes are adding stress to our LIVES and strain to our relationships.
Families come in all SHAPES and SIZES – but 1 thing is true – Families are complicated. They always have been and they likely always will be.
So, for our purposes how do we define family?
Family includes the people we are related to (birth, marriage or adoption) or those we live with.
Why are families so important?
Families at their best, are a group of people who choose to do life together, to share with one another, to care for and support each other, and most of all love each other.
Family is one of the greatest influences in a person’s life.
Every family member effects every other family member in some way. (SAY THAT AGAIN)
Let’s take a few moments to consider what we can learn from the BIBLE about how family members effect each other.
You might assume that the Bible would only provide a look at healthy families – and their positive influences.
But the truth is, we see plenty of both the positive and negative influences family members have on each other.
In the Old Testament we witness siblings like Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau and Joseph and his eleven brothers dealing with the intense feelings of jealously and resentment.
Relationships are destroyed and families are torn apart because the roots of jealously and resentment and favoritism are never addressed.
We also see the positive influence of faith and loyalty. After Ruth’s husband dies Naomi, her mother-in –law, urges her to go back to her family – but Ruth’s reply is this:
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16
The New Testament offers it’s own commentary on family dynamics….
Sisters Martha and Mary are both dedicated followers of Jesus, yet they don’t see eye to eye on everything, and because they compete with each other – it drives a wedge between them at one point. Like many of us they fell prey to the comparison trap.
On a more positive note:
Surrendering your life to Jesus can open the door for other family members to follow. Just like the story of Lydia in Acts 16:13-15:
As she listened to us (share about Jesus), the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying.She and her household were baptized Acts 16:15
These are just a few examples how family members influence each other.
Sometimes the stories we read in the Bible help us see what to do—
WHILE other times the scripture warns us of the consequences of our behaviors and shows us what NOT to do.
The good news is this:
Although our families are one of the greatest influences in our lives, they do not have the power to determine who we are or who we will become. That’s our choice.
SECTION 2: WE NEED TO GROW UP ? 7 minutes
Brad (my husband) and I have 3 (almost) adult children – they are 27, 23 and 18.
In the course of raising all 3 of our children– we’ve had numerous conversations about growing up and being responsible for WHO THEY ARE BECOMING.
These conversations have gone something like this:
Calvin, Chelsea or Connor (depending on who’s in the hot seat at that particular time)
You get to decide who you are going to be.
We are FOR you
We are here to support you
We will do everything we can to GUIDE you
BUT you are the only one who can decide who you want to become.
ultimately it’s your DECISION
Ultimately WHO you BECOME is your choice.
I think this is the same kind of conversation God has with each of us. (NUMEROUS TIMES)
Doesn’t matter how old you are --
He says: I am here for you. I’ll support you and I’ll guide you – I want the best for you -- HOWEVER
ultimately you decide who you want to become
The choices you make determine who you become.
The question is, will you choose to grow up?
So let’s GRAB our Bibles – here @ 146th street you’ll find it under the seat in front of you / or if you’re at Fishers raise your hand an someone will be happy to bring you a Bible
AND let’s see what scripture has to say about GROWING UP
turn to page 813 -- or you can follow along using the NEW Grace App on your smart phone. – It can be found by searching for GRACE CHURCH INDIANA.
Page 813 – and 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 11–
Paul says this:–
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11
What does it look like to put childish ways behind you?
1. A childish person THINKS they are the center of the universe.
The two words they use most often are: “me” and “mine” --
it’s all about them with little to NO consideration of others.
When you grow up – you think of others – you consider the impact of your words and actions. GROWN UPS make decisions that are good for the whole family.
2. A childish person SEEKS immediate gratification.
They want what they want and they want it now.
Whether it’s 3 year old, a 13 year old or 30 year old –
childish people try everything in the book to get what they want –
When you GROW UP you are more likely to pause and consider the long term implications of your choices.
3. A childish person LACKS boundaries. Whereas people who have GROWN UP realize they are responsible for themselves and encourage others to be responsible.
Establishing boundaries, appropriate consequences and accountability between family members creates the environment for growth and maturity.
When boundaries, consequences and accountability are lacking -- family members become either:
a. Over responsible OR Under responsible – further hindering maturity.
GIVE YOU A FEW OF EXAMPLES:
¾ An over responsible parent picks up a child’s toys after asking them to put them away
¾ An under-responsible spouse expects their husband or wife to get them up for work after he/she has been drinking heavily the night before
¾ A teenager procrastinates and is going to miss an important deadline and the over responsible parent comes to the rescue once again and does it for them.
I think you get the point.
When we grow up…
1. We leave behind self-centeredness and consider others.
2. We leave behind the need for immediate gratification and we consider the long term implications of our choices.
3. When we GROW UP we REALIZE we are responsible for ourselves & we encourage others to be responsible.
THE BETTER WAY: LOVE 8 minutes
Putting childish ways behind us isn’t easy – working toward healthier family dynamics is hard work. And the more ingrained these unhealthy dynamics are in your family -- the harder they are to change.
Where do YOU begin?
First, REALIZE you are NOT in this alone. You’re not the only one fighting for your family.
God is already at work.
He is inviting you to COOPERATE / to JOIN Him in the places He is already working.
If we want to work on our families (with GOD) – WE must GROW UP.
You must leave behind your childish ways AND take up a new way of living.
clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience.Bear with each otherand forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.And over all these virtues put on love,which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, grace and forgiveness are qualities of a grown up.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? What areas do you need to grow in the most?
ASK a family member which qualities they see in you?
Or consider asking a trusted friend?
Sidenote: You can’t do this alone – you are going to need the support of others. There have been NUMEROUS times in my life when I needed the perspective and encouragement of a trusted friend or two – to be honest if I look around at my circle – MANY of the people who have been and continue to be there for me through the UPS and DOWNS of life–AND the CELEBRATIONS and CHALLENGES of family --- are the friends I’ve made here @ Grace.
Remember what Paul said in the Colossians passage we read: He said: clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience – BUT over all these virtues put on love!
Let’s look a little deeper at this virtue of LOVE
Go back to 1 Corinthians 13 again.
Back on page 813 of the house Bibles– look at verses 1-8.
1 Corinthians is a letter written by Paul to the church of Corinth. They were Christians who were finding out what it meant to be part of a large, growing, diverse spiritual family. What it meant to “do life together.”
In this letter, Paul addresses all kinds of issues common to the church (and really common to families) division, quarreling, pride, immorality, injustice and in Chapter 12 speaks to the equality of all members & the fact that the church needs the unique gifts of each of its members.
At the very end of chapter 12 of Corinthians,
He points to the virtue of LOVE again – and says this:
And NOW, I will show you the most excellent way.
The better way –
he goes on to explain what he means by this statement…
13If I speak in the tongueof men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteriesand all knowledge,and if I have a faiththat can move mountains,but do not have love, I am nothing.
3If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Paul is saying it doesn’t matter what you have to offer -- All these things are useless without love.
And then he doesn’t leave it up to his readers to interpret what LOVE looks like – He tells them.
4Love is patient,love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
6Love does not delight in evilbut rejoices with the truth.
7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails.
But where there are prophecies,they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
the highest virtue, the greatest quality, the most Jesus like characteristic you can imagine: love. N.T. Wright
Likely when you hear this passage you think of it in the context of a wedding.
Actually it is one of the scriptures most often read at a wedding.
Although it’s true this is a good reminder for husbands and wives...
It’s actually a great passage for all of us.
Truthfully it’s a mandate for Jesus’ followers to love each other like God loves them.
The kind of love Paul is talking about EXCEEDS what we are capable of on our own. This kind of LOVE comes from our Father, GOD and flows through us.
We are changed by receiving the love of God – then and only then are we able to allow God’s love to flow through us to others.
CONCLUSION 6 minutes
11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
A healthy family starts with you.
What childish ways do you need TO PUT BEHIND YOU?
Maybe your harsh and biting words are crushing a family member…
Will you stop using careless words and consider how you want to respond?
Love is patient and kind. It is not rude or disrespectful. Love is not easily angered.
Maybe you’ve been too busy or self-centered…
Will you ask for forgiveness and step toward your family?
Love is not proud or self-seeking.
Maybe you are so STUCK comparing, you’ve distanced yourself from others.
Will you stop comparing and look for ways to be grateful for HOW God has created you and WHAT He has provided.
Love does NOT envy or boast.
Possibly you’ve got a habit or addiction that continues to rear it’s ugly head and you know it’s destroying YOU and your family…
Will you get help and do whatever it takes to stop?
Love does NOT delight in evil.
OR Maybe you’ve enabled -- you rushed in, tried to rescue and cleaned up a family member’s mess too many times…
Will you stop and allow your family member to face the truth and experience the consequences of their behavior?
Love rejoices in truth.
It could be that a family member continues to be destructive or hurtful to you and others—and EVEN after many attempts to love them well they are not willing to grow up and take responsibility for themselves.
Will you commit to praying and seeking wise counsel regarding how to best deal with this situation? Remember learning to take care of yourself AND setting appropriate, clear boundaries in destructive relationships is the loving thing to do.
Love always protects.
Maybe you’ve allowed a hurt to grow into bitterness and you’ve been holding a grudge?
Will you forgive the person and do YOUR part to work toward reconciliation?
Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love always trusts and always hopes. Love never gives up.
Whatever your circumstance or current family situation is –
Remember, God is for you. God is with you. God loves you. He wants the best for you and your family.
It is critical we grow up and learn how to love others well because FAMILY is one of the greatest influences in a person’s life.
A healthy family starts with you.
** PRAY **
POTENTIAL RESPONSE CARD – HOST closing.
Remember God is already at work IN and AROUND you. His desire is to restore and redeem the broken places in you and in your family … will you join him?
Love is patient and kind
Love is not rude or disrespectful.
Love does not envy or boast.
Love is not proud or self-seeking.
Love is not easily angered.
Love does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth.
Love always protects, trusts and hopes.
Love never gives up.
I will love this way.
Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7