Monday, September 7, 2009

Needed: Men and Women Who Are True to their Families

Following is an excellent comment by Jonathan Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA concerning the extramarital affair and subsequent murder of former NFL quarterback Steve McNair.

This is everyday life. It happens.

Those of the words of former all-pro NFL running back Eddie George, commenting to NBCs Lester Holt this week on the extramarital affair and subsequent murder of his onetime teammate Steve McNair.
Mr. Holt added that many husbands, seeing the McNair story unfold in the headlines, were surely saying to themselves, There but for the grace of God go I.

I have no doubt that hes right.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us there is nothing new under the sun (NKJV) and certainly people have been falling into the tragic sin of adultery since soon after the original fall. But it seems that there is an increase in this problem in modern times. From politicians to pastors, we have seen a disturbing number of people in the spotlight because they could not stay true to their marital promises. In the aftermath, we see the spouses and children of these individuals left to face the humiliation that these infidelities brought about.

Infidelity is something that can happen to anyone who is not constantly on guard to prevent it from happening. There is no place for carelessness when our marriages, our children and our Christian testimonies are at stake. For the Christian, being on guard also means being constantly attuned to the faultless God who lives within us, allowing Him to be our strength against any temptation we might face.

Further, as Christians, we must allow Gods love to shine in us so that we can effectively love our spouses and families. Jeremiah 31:3 says, The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you. By experiencing the matchless love that God affords us, we can then properly love in return.

In 2005, my father brought a sermon titled, Faith, Family and Traditions, wherein he listed five daily duties of a successful Christian father. They are:

1. He must openly and obviously love his childrens mother;
2. He must have a personal and intimate relationship with his children;
3. He must build self worth in his children;
4. He must encourage vision, hope and purity. He must be verbal and positive;
5. He must guarantee perpetual endowment.

This is such a pertinent inventory for Christian men who desire to be a godly leader at home while remaining true to the promises they made to their wife on their wedding day. Note that these five items should be at the forefront of our efforts on a daily basis; they should be atop our list of priorities without fail. I can personally attestas can my mom, brother and my sisterthat my Dad lived out this list every day of his life and by doing so he inspires all three of us to do the same today.

I fear that too many men, and women, are playing a hope-for-the-best game with their families. There just doesnt seem to be a commitment to their families beyond the superficial. This is a dangerous routine and I see the consequences of this type of lifestyle on a regular basis. I imagine most pastors could bear out this scenario.

Christian husbands, we must be persistently investing ourselves into the lives of our families, while also spending much time in prayer, Bible study and positive Christian fellowship in order to strengthen ourselves in this essential effort. It is the role God intends for us to take on heroically for the sake of our families. Failing to do so should not be an option.

Christian wives, you too must be fully invested in the lives of your family. And, likewise, fully invested in your own spiritual growth. Your commitment of growing closer to God each and every day is vital to the success of your family.

I want to close by pointing out that most people who come to Christ do so before the age of 18, with many of them doing so in the home. Christian fathers (and mothers), honor God in all you do so that your children will see the Spirit of Jesus Christ as a living example through your lives.