Everyone wants a good family and a comfortable life. This is ordinary and I expect estimable. However Jesus has a little different angle on family. Jesus is calling us to trade the dream for the Kingdom.
I think you can live for one of two objectives in life, for pleasure or for purpose. This is in tune with what I’ve heard said from a preacher “When preaching you have a choice between entertaining or challenging.”
The church is a great place to build a family. I think with the constant reinforcement of positive values from the scriptures and an environment that supports this is important. These with a family life style exhibited at the direction of parents is essential. This will provide an opportunity for the greatest pleasure in life and the best possible family you could develop. Awesome!
However we need family to find its place in the hierarchy of God’s values. How does the family fit and where on His priorities?
Let’s look at three scriptures: Matt 6:33, Mark 10:29-30, and 1 Tim 5:8. In short Mark says to seek first His Kingdom and God will provide for you, the second says those who leave family for the gospel will gain eternal life and persecution, and the last in 1 Tim says provide for your family. Now how do we make these mesh? Kingdom first, leave family, and provide for your family.
Your family isn’t first but the Kingdom is. That means you put family behind the Kingdom while still providing for them. So what does that look like?
I don’t know what would be better than using your family to achieve the ends of advancing the Kingdom. Do what you need to do to provide for your family. Does this mean that you get everything the culture and Disney deem for your family? Of course not, you give them what they need. They need love, food, shelter, education and direction and most importantly Kingdom values.
Use kid’s sports and activities for the Kingdom. Use family events for advancing the gospel, prompt children to adopt careers for the purpose of extending God’s mercy. Go to work to have something to give to the poor and show the work place His Kingdom in your life.
In the church it normally looks like each is using God to advance their kingdom and pleasure. There is no salvation in this. This is self-serving and God sees right through it. You see it too, and that is why many call church the bless me club.
We gain a lot of blessing form adhering to God’s principles of living. But this blessing has a purpose. It is blessing of the dying world around us. It is your pleasure or His Kingdom, choose this day whom you will serve.