“HOW TO LEAD YOUR FAMILY” 1 Cor. 16:13-14
INTRO – (Father’s Day video)
“A man ought to live so that everybody knows that he is a Christian…& most of all, his family ought to know.” (D.L. Moody)
How many of you men want folks to shoot straight w/ you? Most men do. Whether it’s a business deal, a problem at work, or an issue w/ their kids, men don’t want to beat around the bush & have to try to read between the lines. They want to cut to the chase & get to the root of the issue & deal w/ it. That’s why, when we were kids, we could duke it out on the playground at school at recess & be best buddies again by the time the bell rang at the end of the school day.
So, today let me shoot straight w/ you men: OUR FAMILIES NEED US! I’m not here today to beat up on us men. But I do want to challenge you to take a serious look at your life & assess where you are in relation to the truth of God’s Word. Yesterday was Mission Byram day. You probably already know this, but every person who comes through meets w/ a counselor who asks them about the personal relationship w/ Christ & prays for whatever needs they have. Yesterday, the prevailing prayer request was for family. Wasn’t “pray for my arthritis, or my health, or my job.” “Pray for my family.” OUR FAMILIES NEED US!
The church in Corinth to whom Paul was writing was a church that had experienced a lot of upheaval & struggles. Had some serious problems:
- They were a prideful people.
- There was divisiveness in the church due to people’s loyalty to different leaders. Led to strife & disunity in the church.
- They tolerated & approved of immorality in the church. Refused to deal w/ it.
- They abused & misused spiritual gifts.
So, after writing this letter to this church to deal w/ all of these problems, Paul threw these 5 admonitions in at the end of the letter. He challenged the men of the church to stand up & be the men that God had called & equipped them to be. This church needed strong leadership from the men in the church so that it could accomplish God’s mission.
And while there’s a great sermon right there about the need for strong, godly men to lead the church, we can also rightly make application of these verses in our families today. Who among us has not experienced struggles & difficulties in our families? Which one of us hasn’t had problems in our families? In fact, which one of us doesn’t have some kind of problem in our family right now? May not be a big problem, but, I would venture to say that all of us are dealing w/ some sort of problem in our family right now in some way or another. None of is immune to the attacks of the enemy against our families. The Christian family is under direct attack from all sorts of satanic forces. The assault against the family is real, regular, & relentless.
Dr. Robert Carpenter, “Answers in Genesis” article: “As Genesis 3 shows us, Satan’s desire is not only to destroy our lives, but also to weaken and sever the relationships we hold dear. We might all agree that Adam and Eve were both at fault for their disobedience and rebellion against God’s commandments. But a careful reading of Genesis 3:12 shows that Adam blamed his sin not only on his wife, but also on his Creator by saying to the Lord, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate’.
Without question, Satan is still using the same tactics against our marriages and homes today. He seeks to divide us from our spouses and our children as he plans his strategies to destroy the unity God has designed for us. Just as he was successful in breaking the unity Adam and Eve shared with their Creator, he is still achieving an alarming number of victories in the modern-day Christian home, as the sins of pride and selfishness are often all too prevalent.” (https://answersingenesis.org/angels-and-demons/the-reality-of-spiritual-warfare-in-the-home/)
So, guys, let’s all agree – OUR FAMILIES NEED US! Just as Paul was exhorting the men of the Corinthian church to stand up, man up, & lead that church, the Holy Spirit is saying to us today: “Stand up! Man up! And lead your family!” Our families need us!
They need our vigilance – “Be watchful” – “stay awake; stay alert; be watchful” – In NT, this terminology frequently refers to the return of Christ. When you’re looking expectantly for the return of Christ, your life will be characterized by holiness, faithfulness to the Lord & His Church, & intentional service to Christ.
There is also the need for us as men to be alert to the attacks of the enemy. What do most men do when a tornado is coming? They go outside! They watch for it. They’re looking for the storm that’s coming.
We need to be alert & watchful. Look for signs in your life & your family’s life that the enemy is creeping in. Pay attention to what’s happening in your life, wife’s life, your kids’ lives. Here are some signs that you may be under attack:
- Loss of spiritual desire & passion
- Physical fatigue – when we are physically tired, we are more vulnerable to temptation & sin
- Undue anxiety about money – We are very vulnerable when we have everything & when we have nothing. Jentezen Franklin – “If [Satan] can get you worrying rather than worshipping, you will start making decisions based on opportunity rather than anointing.”
- Weak prayer life – Jesus in Garden w/ disciples – “Could you not pray w/ me 1 hour? Watch & pray lest you enter into temptation…” (Matt. 26:40-41).
- Feeling overwhelmed & helpless – “circumstance” – from 2 words – circum – “encircle”…stance – “stand.” Feel encircled by whatever is happening in your life right now.
- Old habits, lifestyles, & sinful activities return.
- Pulling away from church & godly relationships.
They need our convictions – “stand firm in the faith” – “continue to be; steadfast; a state of certainty w/ regard to belief” – Many of you played football in your younger years. A key battle that happens in every football game is the battle for ground. The offense is trying to push the ball down the field, while the defense is trying to hold their ground & stop them. Many games are decided at the goal line when the defense has to make a “goal line stand.”
As the enemy & his forces push harder & harder against us as Christians, we are going to have to make a stand. We need to know what we believe, why we believe it, & stand on it! Our families are counting on us to know the Word, believe it, live it our in our lives, & lead them to do the same. Spiritual leaders of the home do this!
They need our bravery – “act like men” – Old English – “Quit you like men.” – MAN UP! Doesn’t mean you have get some tattoos, drive a big 4WD truck, have a big man cave, go to Monster Truck Rallies, & be able to out-shoot, out-fish, out-spit, outrun, & out-arm-wrestle everybody else.
What Paul is challenging us to do is to grow up in our faith, in our walk w/ God. “…there is nothing more challenging to every bone of masculine strength in our body than to truly, deeply, consistently grow into Christian manhood. It means standing out and being different; it means doing things that aren’t easy; it means permanent commitments; it means thinking and talking about difficult things.
This is why many Christian men hide behind mere “masculinity” (cars, sports, work, etc.); it is far more difficult to be a mature Christian man than merely a dude or a jock.” (http://www.baptistbiblehour.org/resources/blog/quit-you-men-what-does-it-mean/)
They need our strength – “be strong” – “strong & healthy” – We are reminded of God’s powerful instructions to Joshua as he took over the leadership of God’s people after Moses died. 3 times in the 1st 9 verses of book of Joshua, God says “Be strong & courageous.” Only way we can truly be strong is b/c GOD IS W/ US!
“God calls Christians to a way of life that incites opposition from the world. He calls his people to enter a spiritual war in which opponents seek believers’ destruction and fight against believers’ goals. In this hostile world, it is essential that followers of Christ be courageous and strong. Christians can do this in the face of strong opposition because their victory is sure in Christ, who has already overcome the world (John 16:33).”
They need our love – “Let all that you do be done in love.” – agape – “to come into being; to happen; to become; accomplished” – Finally, & most importantly, our families need our love. That may seem to be a no-brainer, but our love for our families goes much deeper & farther than just SAYING it. We must DO it! As Paul said in 1 Cor. 13 – “Love is patient, kind, not envious or boastful, not arrogant or rude. Does not insist on its own way. Not irritable or resentful. Does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices w/ the truth. Always protects, trust, hopes, & perseveres. It never fails.”
CONCLUSION – FB post today from a young friend of mine who is in the Navy:
“Dad, wish things coulda been different for us and our story, but GOD is still good AND HE is my true Father! Thankful for HIS wisdom, grace, and presence in my life. I hope you got to know HIM some before you left. Rest in Peace.”
NAIL IT DOWN!
 Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, p. 286). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.