Happily Ever After?
And They lived…..
As a little girl growing up I loved fairytales. Sure they had their problems. The evil step mother, the wicked witch, the mean step sisters, that scary evil lurking in the woods. It didn’t matter what nemesis or evil the hero faced, I knew that in the end good was going to win and I was going to get my happily ever after. I could close the book or watch the end of the movie and smile knowing all was well. Imagine my shock to grow up and discover that’s not how life works. (Well not life here on earth anyway. I suppose if we really wanted to we could come up with an elaborate illustration regarding the evils of life with heaven being the happily ever after. I’ll spare you that analogy for today though.) The fact is life is messy. Families fall apart. Relationships end. Life isn’t a fairy tale. Insert sigh here.
When we look at Genesis 3, we see exactly how sin entered the world with Adam and Eve. We see the immediate and long term consequences that their sin had on them and all people that would follow them. We see how sin affected Adam and Eve’s family, both the marriage relationship and this couple’s relationship with God. The first family (and every family that would follow this first family) was broken by sin.
So what do you do when something is broken?
We live in a world where when something is broken, we tend to throw it away. Unfortunately this seems to be the way families are going today too. Here’s the thing though. While the fact is that families and relationships are very much broken by sin, we don’t have to let that be what defines them. It can explain a lot about them, but it doesn’t have to be what defines them.
So what defines your family? Is your family defined by sin and the struggles that come with that or by the Savior that saves you from that sin?
If you and your family are struggling by being defined by the problems you face and the struggles you’re going through, I’d like to invite you to make a change.
God’s design for families is pretty incredible (despite the fact that sin entered the picture). When we see parenting done as the Bible shows us we are able to catch a glimpse of God as the perfect father. When we see marriage done God’s way it exemplifies Christ’s relationship with the church. When we see husbands leading their families we see Christ as the head of the church. When we see wives submitting to their husbands we see how the church submits to Christ. When we see children learning how to obey their parents we see them obeying their heavenly father too. When we have trusted in Christ as our Savior, we have the opportunity to show in our families and relationships what the family of God looks like.
If you and your family have chosen Christ, if you are no longer defined by the sin and circumstances but rather defined by the Savior who died for your sin then the question remains what are you doing to protect yourself and your family from sin? An overwhelming task, right?! There is so much out there today that we need to guard ourselves and our families against. How does one even begin to battle the temptation and sin available today? If I could challenge families, parents, singles, teens, and kids with one thing it would be this:
Don’t sit back and let sin get a foothold in your families. Take the offensive. How you ask. Try this:
Learn God’s Word. That’s what Jesus did. In Matthew, when Jesus was tempted by Satan to sin, He used God’s Word. That’s all He needed. God’s word. The truth of God’s Word had the ability to stop Satan. Let’s say that again just for affect. The truth of God’s Word had the ability to stop Satan. Imagine how it could change your family.
Pray. Are you praying for God’s help in this area? Are you praying for your spouse? Are you praying for your kids?
Be aware. Ever heard the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’. It’s true. It is. Unfortunately though ignorance isn’t innocence. Protect yourself. Protect your children. Don’t put yourself in situations that are going to lead to temptations. Don’t expose yourself to things that will lead to sin. Step back and take a look at you and your family’s lives. What are you watching or reading? What are your kids watching and reading? What are you doing to protect your kids on the internet? Who are your kids hanging around? Who are you hanging around? What relationships are you in that you shouldn’t be?
Be willing to confess and repent. Unfortunately the fact remains that none of us are perfect. We still choose to sin. And that sin has consequences that affects those around us. Take care of it. Confess it. Seek forgiveness. Make it right.
It’s true that life isn’t a fairy tale. But I’ll take seeing God work in people and families over any happily after ever any day.
(2014. Family Month. The Point Church)