Here is a message I preached a few weeks back. It was from our series on Colossians. In the message I adress the supremacy of Christ in our marriage and in our families. Here are my notes and at the bottom of post is the link to the audio of my message.
We are a product of our families for better or worse. -
One of the more frightening thing for me as a parent is when I see my kids react to things the very same way I do, to see my kids sit how I sit, laugh at the parts of moives I laugh at. It’s very sobering as a parent and can be sobering as a child as I say the very same things to my kids my dad said to me.
Family is a powerful thing. Love how in the end of Charlie and the Chocolate factory When Willy Wonka asks Charlie what makes him feel better when he said. Charlie says “my family” This
Every problem is a relational problem - Paul was addressing families coming out of a pagan culture – He understood that we are shaped by our family more than anything else – Paul is trying to help us see what a family looks like where Christ is supreme.
Colossians 3: 18-21
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
The members of your family more than any other earthly relationship see who is most supreme in your life.
- The Goal of family and marriage
- What the supremacy of Christ looks like in our homes
- How Christ can be supreme in our families
The Goal of marriage and family
32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
The Goal of Marriage. -
“You cannot say too often that marriage is a model of Christ and the church.” I think she is right, and there are at least three reasons: 1) This lifts marriage out of the sordid sitcom images and gives it the magnificent meaning God meant it to have; 2) this gives marriage a solid basis in grace, since Christ obtained and sustains his bride by grace alone; and 3) this shows that the husband’s headship and the wife’s submission are crucial and crucified. That is, they are woven into the very meaning of marriage as a display of Christ and the church, but they are both defined by Christ’s self-denying work on the cross so that their pride and slavishness are canceled.” (John Piper)
Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically; it is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church. Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children. (John Piper)
Marriage is hard. – We make marriage far to often about what it isn’t – We think that it’s about getting my needs met, that I won’t be alone, Marriage is primarily about dying to self and laying down your rights for each other.
The Goal of family: To display to the world the power of a Christ Centered community.
We mistakenly think our families need to be perfect.
Families are not supposed to be perfect. It is in families that kids are supposed to see long-suffering, forgiveness and grace in action. Families will never be perfect because they are made up of fallen people living in close proximity to one another, which without a constant dependance and whole hearted trust in Christ is a recipe for disaster.
Public holiness stands or falls with private holiness. Aside from God Himself, no one sees our true character more clearly than our wife and children. It is in the home that our spiritual life thrives or fails, they said. Joel Beeke
It is in families that your kids and the world should see Christ and the Church modeled.
What the supremacy of Christ looks like in our homes
There is no where in our lives that our Christlikeness will be tested as it will with our family.
IT LOOKS LIKE TRUST
Women – Respect and not Manipulate
(This starts early – Women are born into this world with an advantage, men never really catch up. – my daughter can ask for something I say no she then smiles and says please and I find it infinitely harder to say no, all the while I am thinking where does she get this stuff?) Women generally don’t struggle with loving their family. Where women often struggle it’s finding their identity in their kids and in their family. This causes them to do is to manipulate people and events so that in the end their family comes out looking good. Jesus doesn’t want you family to look good he wants you to trust him. He wants you to trust him no matter what. He wants you to trust him no matter what the outworking of that looks like. In Proverbs 3:5 it says to trust the Lord with all your heart.
Men – Love and not get angry -
Fathers this takes trust. – Anger is a result of misplaced trust it’s a result of you putting your hope and finding Joy in something other than Christ only to have that thing threatened. And when it’s threatened you respond in anger every time. Fathers respond in anger when they are filled with fear. Out of fear we react in anger to try and control situation. Anger is an emotion that as John Piper says “Consumes all other emotions.”
Children – Obey and not rebel - As a child each of has to honor our parent all our lives we are called as young children to obey our parents. – You are going to feel like your parents are wrong a lot – you will be wrong a lot and not realize you were wrong until you have your own kids. It doesn’t say obey your parents if they are right. It says obey. To obey your parents even when they are wrong or you feel they are wrong takes trust. It takes the same heart attitude that Christ had. In Luke 22:42 “Is there anyway this cup can pass from me?” Never the less not my will but yours be done.”
How christ can can be supreme in our families
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Laying down our lives – Leadership in a marriage is not about rights or power it’s about responsibility and sacrifice.
Families have problems when people are more concerned with their rights than they are will laying down their life for the gospel.
The beauty of the gospel is that it isn’t about male chauvinism or feminism it’s about The father laying down his life to serve his family, to love his wife to provide for his kids. Wives trusting Jesus enough that you respond to your husband not by taking advantage of him but by following his lead and laying down his life for your family.
“The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church – read on – and give his life for her (Eph. V, 25). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is – in her own mere nature – lease lovable. For the Church has not beauty but what the Bride-groom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely.”
(One of the most moving examples of this is when Jean Valjean in Les Meriables steals from a priest who shows him kindness)
We are more concerned – with protecting our lives than laying them down. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 10:39 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
When we see someone lay down their life it’s powerful it’s moving. Because it goes against our sinful sense of self preservation.
In the last verse it changes from parents to Fathers. – I love and esteem women. I believe this shift in the text was purposeful. I believe that the spiritual temperature is primarily the responsibility of Fathers. Women have a role no doubt but the primary person responsible for the spiritual well being of children is fathers.
Finding our Joy in God. – One of the things we want to do as parents is produce children who are not discouraged.
(Make sure your discipline is not impulsive, erratic, or inconsistent)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
If you want to keep your kids from becoming discouraged you must find your Joy in God. Men as fathers and as husbands we must find our joy in God.
WHAT YOU ARE MATTERS MORE!!! How will your kids find their hope in God if you hope in money? How will your kids find their Joy in God if you find your joy in sports?
As the spiritual leader in your home you define the places where joy is found. You kids will be discouraged from time to time that’s not what this scripture is talking about. It’s talking about long term discouragement. Our kids will become discouraged, lukewarm and passionless when they put their hope and courage in something other than Jesus.
You kids are watching they see what the true source of your joy is, if you want to anger and discourage your kids make your source something other than what you say it is.
He is our source he is our life he is our Joy.
Your children will one day be what you are so don’t try harder, don’t be good – Be redeemed be converted be filled with joy in God alone.
Here is audio of my message.