The role of the foundation of a home is hold the load of everything to come. When there is no foundation, the structure just can’t hold as much of a load. It’s the very first way we PROTECT our homes and buildings. Interestingly enough, when contractors build skyscrapers… almost half of the budget is spent on the foundation alone. The foundation distributes the load evenly. It put the weight and pressure in a solid place. Let me tell you, if you’re family really doesn’t have a good foundation. If you’ve thrown it together and find yourself winging it as you go along… You’re load capacity, what your family can handle, is going to be significantly lower than one with a strong foundation.
So what is God’s view of a healthy family?
Let’s take it back again to Deuteronomy 6:4-9
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
First and foremost, at the very foundation of every home is disciplemaking. It’s all about discipleship: We have been called to raise these children with full knowledge of how awesome God is and how he longs to be close to each of us. Then, in return our children will spread that truth and pass it on to their children and grandchildren. It is the job of every person in this room to raise these kids to be warriors, ready to do battle in a fallen world.
James Bryan Smith calls the home “The Workshop of God.”
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
What are arrows made for? They’re not made to look at. Their not made to sit in the quiver for ever.
They’re made to be shot!
If there’s one thing I know about, it’s having a full quiver. We have six! Although they might not alway look “perfect”, they’re a blessing! Not only is it a blessing, it’s a responsibility. How many times do you an I look at our children and make decisions in our families based on character-forming traits you want them to possess. Far too often, we’re too busy parenting based on what other might think or on what we think looks the best. Have you ever done that? Have you disciplined out of embarrassment? Your children did something that embarrassed you and you let them have it. We look at that family sitting in front of us and think, “why can’t my kids act like that”?
Have you ever walked into church and saw a family sitting their all in a row like the Von Trapps? I laughed the other day when I had a conversation with someone because my family was the picture perfect one. I had to remind them that their behaving now because just 5 minutes ago I threatened them all within an inch of the life. What that person saw was the “final stack photo”. They missed the 7 shots leading up to that one.
Everywhere you go, you’re reminded how ideal families act and dress. They’re like stock photos. Guys, stock photo’s are designed to make you dissatisfied with who you are and what you look like…
Lot’s of families will never fit into a “Stock Photo”… Real is closer to home than Ideal. But you know what? God isn’t holding up the perfect picture. Look at the families he has throughout his Word. They’re all messed up. – You’re going to be hard pressed to find beautiful family after beautiful family in the Bible. He’s writing a bigger story!
God’s story in which everyday faith becomes reality. A story where we have a chance to redefine our relationships. A way to start again. It’s a story that gives every family and every parent a chance. If God can use them… then there might be hope for me.
It’s all based on the belief that the family is all about discipleship. Parent and disciple-making always go hand in hand. Of coarse that’s true for all of us, isn’t it? We are all told to Go and make disciples… the Greek actually reads, “as you are going, make disciples.”
Here’s the application:
Some of us need to lay a new foundation: There’s a house down the road from us. I’ve been intrigued to watch them as they have lifted the house off the foundation and rebuild a new one. It’s been amazing to watch. Some of us just haven’t had the opportunity to start it right. – It’s never too late. I have seen family after family commit to making this day a new beginning. And guess what? I’ve never once seen God say, “Nope, it’s too late.”