FAMILY-RELATED CHALLENGES - God daily devotion

22 Nov 2021

FAMILY-RELATED CHALLENGES

 CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLDWIDE

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON

(KINGDOM OF GOD FAMILY)


THEME: IN TIME LIKE THIS


Unit Three 

BREAKDOWN IN FAMILY STRUCTURE 


DIVISION II

FAMILY BECOMES CHALLENGING (Genesis 3:1; 16:1ff; 29:14b-30; 1 Samuel 2:12ff; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 10:13; Ephesians 4:1ff; 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:4)

    There are smooth and rough moments in every family life. Family relationship can only begin enjoyable, if the members will cooperate with God the Creator and Director of the home.


A. CAUSES (Gen. 3:1; 16:1ff; 29:14b-30; 37:12-36; 1 Sam. 2:12ff; 1 Cor. 3:3; 10:13).

     For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and division divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Cor. 3:3)

i. No relationship, marriage inclusive, is immune from challenges (cf. 1 Cor. 10:13). God, in His sovereignty, allows some challenges in families, but in the end, result in His glory and the blessing of the affected families (Amos 3:6; Rom. 8:28).

ii. 1 Cor. 3:3: Most family challenges occur whenever we rebel against God's original will, plan and instructions. Satan is the cause (1 Pet. 5:8). Family feuds, murder, incest, etc. followed the sad incidence of man's fall in Gen. 3.

iii. Any marriage/family founded on any other foundation than Christ and His holiness cannot but be regularly rocked by the storms of life (Psa. 11:3; cf. Matt. 7:24).

iv. Gen. 3:1: Where was Adam when Satan was discussing with Eve? Undue distance and separation are major causes of challenges in marriages. There is no excuse for avoiding and prolonged geographical, or any other separation between spouses.

v. 16:1ff: Delay in child bearing can cause some challenges in the family. It made Sarah to advise her husband wrongly. It caused rivalry in Elikanah's home (1 Sam. 1:1ff).

vi. 29:14b-30: Polygamy is another cause. The life of the one who started it is nothing to be desired at all (4:19ff). It brings envy, competition, rivalry, stagnancy, and sometimes, death in families. Better to avoid it like a plague.

vii. 37:12: Seed of hatred/bitterness that made Joseph's siblings to sell him off (cf. Eph. 4:31; Heb. 12:15).

viii. 1 Sam. 2:12ff: Problem children can be as a result of parental negligence. It may turn out to be a great problem in some homes; Eli's regret and death, a case study. Absalom dislodge his father, King David, from the throne.

ix. Death of loved ones --- spouse, children, etc., can result in serious crises in the family. For instance, widows go through a lot of challenges to make ends meet with their children (2 Kings 4:1-8).

x. Above all, when genuine love (Agape), is lacking in the family, avoidable challenges and headaches would be regularly visiting the home (Eph. 5:22ff).


B. CURE (Eph. 4:1ff; 5:22-23; Heb. 13:4

     Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (Eph. 5:33).

i. Eph. 5:31,32: Build the home on the solid foundation of Christ and His holiness (Psa. 11:3; Build the home on the solid foundation of Christ and His holiness (Psa. 11:3; Matt. 7:24ff). Learn from Isaac and Rebecca (Gen. 24:1ff).

ii. vv. 22ff: Love, genuine love (Agape) should be the basis and motivated of the family members:

* the wife's love should be genuine, she should be totally and unconditionally submissive (vv. 22-24);

* the husband's love should be genuine, he should be totally and unconditionally sacrificial (vv. 25-30); and

* children's love should be genuine, totally and unconditionally obedient (6:1-3), even as their parents also seek the help of God to train them in the Lord without provocation.

iii. Heb. 13:4: The standard of holiness must be highly maintained in the family so as to enjoy God's favour throughout. 

iv. Eph. 4:1ff: Oneness and unity must be held in high esteem. United we stand... Every member should sacrificially do everything to keep the unity of the household -- no selfishness, no vainglory.

v. Family members should learn the principle of disagreeing to agree. Disagreements shouldn't tear them apart. So, shun bitterness and hatred (Matt. 5:21-25; Eph. 4:26; Col. 3:13).

vi. When the family is going through any challenge, members should see it as God's way of glorifying Himself (Rom. 8:28` cf. Jn. 9:1-5); no blame games.

vii. Above all, heaven-mindedness, facilitated by being filled with the Holy Spirit will help the members of the family to keep the same focus --- God's glory --- thus avoiding unnecessary tensions and overcoming all challenges together (Col. 3:1ff).

viii. To make your home God's joyful abode, you are expected to change your perspective, mind-set, your thought must align with God's, as enshrined in His Word; no adulteration; no twisting.


LESSONS DERIVED

1. Without prioritising God and His holiness before stepping into marriage and family, all efforts will fail.

2. Be a lover of peace, love, unity and and progress. Seek peace with family members, and see God taking you together to the height of His programme for your family.


QUESTIONS

1. The family is God's institution. What does that mean to you and your family relationship?

2. Can a broken home be restored? Discuss.


SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

ANSWER TO QUESTION 1:

i. Family is God's institution. God established the family; it all started in the Garden of Eden. God created Adam and formed Eve (the woman) out of the rib He took from the man's side to form a helpmeet for the man (Adam). Family was instituted by God to fulfil His divine purpose and programme.

ii. What does that mean to you and your family relationship?

iii. God, being the Source of the family means:

* God created the family and should therefore be seen as the Head and Sole Administrator.

* The family was instituted by God for His divine purpose.

* Family was created for companionship, love and unity among its members.

* God, the Author of family/home, must be given due recognition and acknowledgement in our families/homes.

* The family cannot succeed without obeying God's leading, Word, instructions and commandments.

* The family was created out of divine love. Therefore, the only way the family can function as God (the Designer) wants, is to genuinely and wholeheartedly love one another in the family.

iv. In the family relationship, God must be seen in the following ways:

* The love of God must be reflected out of endurance, selfless attitude (1 Cor. 3:1ff).

* Effective communication among family members, especially the couples.

* Rendering assistance to one another physically, spiritually, financially, socially, emotionally, economically, etc.

* Commitment to God and His service.

* Training the children in God's way (Prov. 22:6).

* Not being judgmental, but living together, even in crisis or storm.

* Forgiving each other and one another always (Eccl. 8:9, 1 Joh. 3:21).


ANSWER TO QUESTION 2:

i. YES! A broken home can be restored. Nothing is too difficult for God to handle, He is the reason for home existence, and hates divorce.

ii. God will never be a witness to the wedding ceremony of a couple and at the same time be a witness to their separation (Mal. 2:14-16), God forbid!

iii. Couples should bear in mind that:

* God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16a)

* It is full of agony, pain, regrets, etc. (Prov. 17:22)

* It always places scars on the couples and painful impact on their children and future generation. Be warned!

iv. Having considering the above, a broken home can be restored as follows:

* The couples must have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour wholeheartedly --- genuine repentance.

* The couples should seek the face of God for forgiveness and as willing to be restored (1 Jhn. 3:22).

* A godly and experience mentor needs to be involved. He/she may be a minister of God.

* Be willing to forgive yourself and your spouse as Jesus did to His enemies. If you refuse to forgive, forget about the kingdom of God (2 Cor

2:5-11; Jam. 1:21)

* Process a godly heart to forget the past offences, arguments or blames.

* Do everything possible to restore that home knowing fully well that you are going to give account of that home on the judgment Day.

* Restore that home for the sake of God and His kingdom.

* Pray for your spouse, home and yourself (I Joh. 5:14)

* Commit the heart of your spouse in God's hand

* Believe and have faith in God --- the source of home

* Let God's Word be our guide (Heb. 12:14)

* Stop trying to win argument but always settle for no victor no vanquish. You will be glad you took such a step and God will be pleased too.


LIFE APPLICATION

There was once a couple whose arguments and misunderstandings eventually led to divorce. Before their separation, the woman was threatened by her husband to leave the house after three children, but the woman said she had vowed right from her childhood never to leave her husband's house for any reason. One day, the man removed all the windows and doors to frustrate the woman out, but she won't leave. He used other means to scare her out for the new bride to pack in, yet, she won't bulge. One day, the husband came home with a dagger to kill her, but the neighbours quickly intervened, and the woman left the house. Would God allow things to go like this without intervening?


God, in His greatness, revealed that He alone owns the home. Years after the divorce, God instructed the man to go in search of his divorced wife and bring her back home, if he wanted the peace that had seriously eluded him. To the glory of God, the man eventually found the 'ex-wife', and through God's intervention, she joyfully returned to her home; the marriage was restored to the excitement of the once estranged children. Do everything possible to maintain God's presence, love, peace and grace in your home. God can never support separation or divorce for any reasons.


CONCLUSION

God is never happy with families that refuse to cooperate with Him to fulfil the divine purpose of bringing them together as husband and wife, and eventually as parents and children. We must avoid God's wrath by doing everything possible to keep, persevere, enjoy and cooperate in God's purpose.


DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK TWO

  • Mon. 15: Foundation Should Be On Jesus (Matt. 7:24-27)
  • Tue. 16: Faithful Families Still Face Challenges (Lk. 1:5-21)
  • Wed. 17: Faithfulness To Each Other Helped Them (Lk. 1:22-25)
  • Thur. 18: Fornication Is Suicidal (Judg. 16:16-31)
  • Fri. 19: Follow The Christ-Church Example (Eph. 5:22-33)
  • Sat. 20: Family Challenge Isn't The End (1 Cor. 10:13)

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