I recently preached a message from Ecc. 4:9-12, entitled,”A Call for Companionship”. The unusual thing about the message is that it didn’t pertain to friendship or marriage. Instead, I stressed the importance of Christians being connected to a church– having a role in it’s ministry rather than just having their name on the roll. I emphasized the fact that we need others and they need us.
Our attendance was good and the message was well received, but for some reason it seems to have just increased the burden on my heart regarding those who don’t see the need. And, it’s not just the church connection, or lack thereof, that troubles me. Many fail to see the need even in regards to the dearest earthly relations. They are like those described in 2 Timothy 3:3″– without natural affection–“.
This is a strange day in which we live. Most people today don’t even love the members of their own family. They would deny this of course, but the facts speak for themselves. They would argue that they do love their family, but the facts prove otherwise. If you define love as it is depicted in the Bible, which is what we should do, it is obvious that most people lack love for their closest relatives. That’s hard to understand!
How in the world can we expect church members to love and care for one another when they don’t even love their parents, children, siblings, grandparents, etc.? Some of the same people who worry about the attack on the family institution, crusading for laws to protect it, etc., are themselves responsible for its demise. They talk about their concern for the nation and church, but they show no concern for their own family. What’s up with that?
The family is the basic building of society. Failure here leads to failure everywhere. All our efforts to save our nation, improve our communities, and strengthen the churches are futile if families fail. But getting people to see that seems almost impossible. Every piece of evidence submitted for proof is met with an objection. People are hell -bent on trying to defend the indefensible. But their guilt is obvious.
When you ignore the needs of others, show no interest in their special days, refuse to offer a helping hand without remuneration, make no effort to please them, never congratulate them, etc., etc. how can you speak about loving them? That’s not love! If you want to know what love does read 1 Cor. 13. I dare you to read it and then examine yourself.
The failure in families is obvious. And just saying you love someone doesn’t mean you do. The love just isn’t there in most families, and we all pay the price. Just look at the sad condition of our nation– the hand-writing is on the wall. We claim we want the world to be a better place to live, and that we want to see churches on fire for God, and safe communities for our children, but none of this is possible without love.
There was a time (There’s a good theme for a message) when people depended on the family for everything, and folks loved one another, but those days are long gone. Families today are so disconnected that you can hardly recognize it–and it’s getting worse. Even where all are living under one roof, a rarity, there is little love to be found. I realize there are exceptions, but that’s the problem– such is the exception rather than the norm. Every family ought to be baptized in love and operating in grace. My heart hurts for those precious children who know nothing about such an experience.
Here’s something else that needs to be considered. The children raised in this environment today will be our leaders tomorrow. Their ideas and beliefs will be what shapes our future as a nation– a future that looks anything but bright. That’s a pitiful thought. How can those who have no understanding of what a family ought to be rightly govern our nation? What is learned in childhood eventually enters the halls of Congress and dictates what we do as a nation.
We have good reason to expect love to be lacking from the world in general, but Christian homes ought to be different. “Christian” homes will be different! You can’t change the world but you can do something to transform your family. You can brighten the day for your sweet mother, dear old dad, a needy child, or your siblings. Just because you’re not getting help from them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be giving of yourself to help them. If you profess Christ as your Lord and Savior you have an obligation to love others. Unless we do that there is no chance for happy homes, spiritual churches, safer communities, and a better nation. Love has a power unlike anything else on earth. It can bring a little bit of heaven into a home, create compassion in a church, and change to our community. Without it everything falls apart. Without love we don’t stand a chance.
Considering that God loved you so much that He gave His Son to save you, why would you not love others for whom He died? The best evidence that we truly appreciate His love is love for Him and others. Our relationship with others is but a reflection of our relationship with God. So, how are you doing in that regards? Be honest! You can sing your lungs out and shout the rafters down on Sunday at church but it doesn’t mean a thing unless you love your family everyday of the week. We deceive nobody but ourselves. Love always shows itself in undeniable ways– if others don’t see it, it doesn’t exist.
It’s time that we re-connected with our family members! The divide and damage has gone on far too long. But the only way it will happen is if we first repent of our sins. When we get right with God we will make things right with others, and that just might lead to them getting right. Think about it!