“Hit him again, Lord.” Sometimes we need God to hit us again, especially when it concerns our families. We pray for God to change our world . . . we pray for revival to sweep our land. But, this revival must begin with our own lives and our families. I was teaching disciple making at a Bible College in Romania a few years ago. We had a time of question and answers at the end of each day. I was asked “is it okay to disciple my family.” Is it okay! We are commanded to do this task. We cannot effectively disciple others if we don’t first disciple our families.
God lets us know how important the family is to him when he went to kill Moses. Moses was perhaps the biggest figure in the redemptive plan of Israel other than Christ and God seeks to kill him because he hadn’t taken care of his family (Exodus 4:24).
Deuteronomy 6 gives a formula for us to have a family that makes a difference. That formula revolves around the Word of God.
I. You must love Him (v5-6)
a) Foundational to fatherhood is a passionate love for Jesus Christ. Do not tell your children or spouse about the love of Christ . . . show them! This nation is looking for men to be the godly example that is needed.
b) love your children/ spouse . . .in their language. Dad used to tell the story of the young child who climbed up into the daddy’s lap. Children spell love TIME.
II. We must teach Him to your children (v6) shaman to sharpen or teach diligently
Our constant conversations should be God.
We need to:
Have devotions with our spouse. A recent study that I read claimed that only 1 out of every 400 marriages ended in divorce where the family: 1) prayed together daily; 2) read the Bible together daily; 3) attended church together. Another study said it was only 1 divorce for every 1050 marriages.
The key is that we have a responsibility to speak it (the Bible) to our families. Likewise, we must speak it to our children. We need to have devotions with our children daily.
Eli allowed his sons to steal and be sexually immoral and they lost their position in the sight of God. Samuel, likewise, didn’t speak it to His family and they also turned from the Lord. And, David said nothing when Amnon raped his sister Tamar. As a result, Absalom killed his brother Tamar and eventually attempted to kill his father. You remember the scene when David receives the word that Absalom had been killed, “Absalom, my son my son, if only I had died instead of you.” Hosea 4:6 We must teach our children the knowledge of the Lord.
III. 1,3 We must live Him (v7-9)
God has given us His Word so that we might live it in the land. Our lives as examples for our families. V. 3 “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly . . .” James 2:14 teaches clearly that faith without works is dead!
Foundational to our impacting our family for Christ is our own relationship with Him. I remember a deacon at our church at Buck Run hiding his alcohol from me.
God wants us to be radically in love with Him. If you are radically in love with God, your family members will see it. One of the reasons the church in America is so mediocre is because we are not passionate about God.
Look at Revelation 3 and tell about the water supply. Rev 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm . . . I will spit you out of My mouth.”
Men, our children will not listen to what we say unless we first “do it.” They will model after what we do more than what we say. Will you “do it?” Alcohol, for example. Dr. Carter told of a young high school student who was killed in a car wreck. The father went and sought the killer who sold his son the alcohol.
IV. We must Pray to Him (v4)
Verse 4 is the Shema . . . it is a prayer. To make a difference in our family we must first take prayer seriously. And, this prayer must be for your family. Whether it is with your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, God longs for us to make a difference in our families through prayer. It has been said that when we get to heaven we will be amazed at the number of blessings God wanted to give us that we didn’t receive because we didn’t ask. James tells us that we have not because we ask not. Each of us needs a prayer list with the dates you began to pray for something and the date God answered. This prayer list strengthens your faith and reminds you to thank God for His blessings. Also, it helps us to think through our prayers and pray specifically.
Do you want to change this world? First, start with specific prayers for your families.
He has served as Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Double Springs, AL, Associate Pastor at Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY, Evangelism Associate for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, and an Adjunct Professor for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.