By Don Gentry
We are in week three of a four-week series called the Ideal Family. When we say Ideal Family it is a little play on words because we know there really is no such thing as an ideal family. As we have been saying, every family has dysfunction, but we want to strive to minimize it. We want to challenge everyone to understand that God has established ideals for the family, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He has equipped us with the ability to minimize dysfunction.
I want to label dysfunction for what it is. Most of the time dysfunction is sin. Modern day Christians seem to have a difficult time calling themselves and others sinners. If we want to identify what an ideal family looks like, then we have to be willing to accept that it is sin that keeps us from God’s ideals. Dad is a sinner, Mom is a sinner, kids are sinners, even grandma and grandpa are sinners. Christ gave up everything to save us from our sins! He meets us in our sin and dysfunction, but we can never seek to attain His ideals if we don’t start with Him where He starts with us.
On Sunday, I am actually going to be speaking more about the ideal wife than the ideal mom. Let’s face it, if you are a mom and if we started with God’s ideals for the family, then you would have been a wife first. This is where society’s definition of mom and dad break down. Even Christians are trying to leave out the husband and wife role of being mom and dad.
If you are divorced or a a single parent, I am not saying your situation is hopeless or that you are horrible. Quite the opposite. We simply need to identify where we are with God. For example, if you are divorced and remarried, according to Jesus Christ’s very own words you are a sinner. As soon as I repeat these words of Christ, I am met with incredible resistance. Because of this resistance, we fail to meet Christ where he meets us. Remember He met the woman at the well who had been married five times right where she was. So I am not repeating His words with judgment, I am repeating his words with truth and love!
If we are going to establish a family built upon God’s “Ideals,” we have to start with identifying our families’ starting point. We are never beyond God’s healing touch. We can never “screw” up the system so badly that He cannot repair it. But He has to meet us in our sin. We cannot go back and fix what has been done. Christ’s forgiveness redeems all that. However, we can accept where we are and make changes for our future.
Family is built upon the foundational ideal of a man and woman being joined together in marriage. After marriage, the man and woman become one flesh. We cannot become the ideal dad or mom if we didn’t start in this order and have never asked Christ to forgive us and help us to start anew.
On Sunday, I will give more of what God identifies as ideal behaviors that we see in a wife and mom, but please don’t come thinking that we must return to the Leave It To Beaver days of womanhood.
Ideals are principles to aim at, principles that guide our personalities and behaviors. They are not ingredients for cookie cutter women or families. God gives us truths to live by in lieu of our personality. I hope to see everyone on Sunday as we discover how we can take the truths of God’s word and apply His principles to our current situation.