Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Family Driven Faith - Chapter 8 - Enjoy the Gifts Without Forgetting the Giver

Many Christians live and work in this world, as if their Christianity was a low priority in life, and this world and its pleasures were all important; when indeed the things of this world are fleeting and Christianity is the one thing we need most.

John Bunyan

Voddie begins with the call by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:12 as they have been brought from slavery into the new land that they were not to forget God. The call to a family driven ministry is also a call to see things differently. As believers we are called to be in the world but not of it. However all too often believers take to one extreme or the other, total separation or total assimilation. The answer to this dilemma is to make sure that we do not get so enthralled by the gifts and blessing we receive that we neglect the giver of those gifts. That families do not fall by the wayside as a result of being enamored by worldly success.
This idea of focus on the gifts and not the giver is not the bane of the rich as it can even happen in meager surroundings as we begin to see our success in parenting as “our” success and not God’s. Often we think that if we just give our family more than we had things will be great so we give so much to our children as Voddie says:

“….our children are screaming at us from beneath the piles of untouched toys and unworn clothes begging for a few minutes of our time. Time we simply don’t have because we are too busy trying to find that one thing we can add to the pile that will make the screaming stop.”

Before we think that this issue of not spending time with family is the sole issue of the world ask how often have we have seen families, make sure we include ours, sacrificed in the name of spending time doing God’s work. Also, keep in mind I have heard the opposite reasoning used so as to justify not being involved in the local church in an integral way. Voddie gives four excuses often used to justify this behavior of a lack of family time: Other Families Suffer Worse Than Ours, My Kids Want to be Like Me, The Benefits Outweigh the Costs and Momma will fix it. In all of these reasons I think if we are honest with ourselves before God we should be convicted as in some way we all fall into these traps

The last reason is one that I think most men fall into and this is that our wives will take care of the family while we take care of the “bacon.” Well the problem is that while our wives are an integral part of raising our families we are responsible not only for the outcome but the path to that outcome.

Voddie gives a look at the path to “A Better Way” which starts with deciding what is important from a Biblical perspective. The guidelines he gives in this area are: God is Not Opposed to Prosperity, Prosperity Vs. Idolatry, Prosper as God Allows, Prioritize Family, Being a Wife and Mother Is an Honorable Calling, You Can’t Have it All….and You Don’t Need It All and Lastly A Life Invested is Never Wasted. We need to take heed of these guidelines as if we, with the best intentions, attempt to have a Family Driven Faith it will all be for nought if we do not do things as god calls for them to be done in His word.
This was one of those chapters that should not make any of us comfortable. However, it is this lack of comfort that can get us to move in the direction we need to move. We should come away from this section asking if we are not only spending adequate time with our families but are we spending God driven time. I think it is a misnomer that our children and families need quality time over a quantity of time. The truth is they need a good quantity of quality time and that time needs to be biblically directed.

Next, Chapter 9 – The Coming Revival: Is the Church Ready for Family Driven Faith?

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