1. Yes, every family goes through hard things. But some families go through hard times, relational struggles, health issues, you name it, and come out of those difficulties more firmly built on the Rock.
2. Other families are placed in the same difficult circumstances but just seem to dry up and fall apart. Parents and kids “come out of the storm” angry, hurt, jaded about life. And they part ways to more or less “do their own thing.”
What makes the difference? Listen to what Jesus says:
Two thousand years ago, our Lord Jesus Christ was sitting on a mountain with His disciples and the crowds. He was delivering what we now call the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
Jesus ended his message with a life-and-death contrast. Pay attention to this! This is the key to understanding the difference between the families who last and the families who don’t.
[ATTENTION: Many people tend to skim-read familiar things like Bible verses. Don’t do that. Read them carefully.]
The Wise Man
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
The result: His work lasted
The Foolish Man
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:26-27)
The result: He lost it all
Let’s face it. All of us are in a storm. What kind of storm? Satan hates us. He hates our families. We’re on his “To Destroy” list. And the brunt of his “blast” will be focused on what we believe and the choices we make because of our beliefs. The Wise Man believed the rock was the best place to build. So he chose to build his house there. The Foolish Man didn’t think it was “that big a deal.” So he made the foolish choice to build on the sand.
As we live our lives, what we ACTUALLY believe is going to be shown by the choices we make. Do you truly believe that Jesus’ words are the words of eternal life? Do you believe that hearing and doing His words is the most important thing to do in life? Look at the choices you’re making right now.
So, now the million dollar question: What choices are you making?
Will your family survive the storm? (Take the test)
1. Are you consistently reading the Bible as a family?
These times are so encouraging!
Either no one’s interested or it just doesn’t happen.
2. Are you regularly praying the Word over real-life situations as a family?
God’s answers are so amazing!
Not doing so great. Honestly, prayer is hard to get excited about.
3. Are you consistently worshipping (“Wow, God!!”) as a family?
These are increasingly joyful times for our family.
I’d like to be, but getting everyone even remotely interested is tough. Honestly, I feel pretty hollow myself.
4. Is the Word of God changing your families’ relationships, interests, study/work?
I’m not sure how we would function without the Bible.
I wish I could say yes, but I’m just not seeing lasting change in our family.
5. Is your family regularly sharing the life-giving truth of God’s Word with others?
We’ve been amazed at how powerfully God uses His Word to change lives.
We’re too busy, don’t know how, and frankly, it’s uncomfortable.
Now, let’s look at your results
If you found it hard to answer “yes” to any of the five questions above…we get it. None of us are perfect. We all desperately need Jesus. That said, we need to take this seriously. To the extent that we aren’t reading, praying, worshipping through, living out, and sharing God’s Word, we’re built on the sand. We’re vulnerable to the storm.
Feeling bothered? Good! That’s the first step forward. But Christ never intended us to stay “bothered.” If your family is not firmly anchored on the Word of God, there’s only one thing to do…
Start building in the power of Jesus Christ and don’t ever, ever quit!