What a man sows he reaps – what a true saying and one we can sometimes try to flee from by putting on a cosy blanket of self-pity and playing the victim. Why do I say that? Building family takes years of sowing life-seeds. Family is not automatic when two people get married and have children. Yes, it is a union and, for some, a covenant, but family is something that needs to be built.
Any two people can be in love and get married, but making a family means that something has to be built; for something to be built, there needs to be a foundation; for a foundation to be laid, someone needs to dig some trenches. If you have ever built you will know that building is messy and hard work. It is the same with family. It is messy, hard work and sometimes just plain scary.
The foundation for a godly family is the Word of God. His Word is eternal, so that means it is relevant forever. As we become more ‘modern’ and more and more theories arise on how to make your marriage succeed, to raise clever, emotionally healthy kids, etc., we need to go back to the Word as the foundation. Like I said before, foundations need trenches and trenches are hard work to dig. To get the trenches in place, we need to dig deeply into the Word of God – we need to find what scriptures are relevant to whatever it is we are facing. We then fill the trenches with cement – those are the truths that we cement in our hearts as His Word becomes more of a reality than our circumstances. Then can we build the foundation that supports the structure.
Another aspect of building family is a father-figure. A father is the starting point of a family. Without the father-seed, there will be no offspring. In the original plan God had, He not only fathered those He created, but a family unit was non-negotiable. Today, a family unit with a steady father-figure can be a rare occurrence, but that was never God’s original intention. The amazing thing about God, though, is that He does not leave us stranded and fatherless. He sent us His only Son, Jesus Christ, so that when we believe in Him, we can and will be reconciled to the Father Himself. As we allow His Holy Spirit into our lives, He cries out adoption – He basically seals us with the deep security that we ARE adopted into His family. Jesus made room for more sons and daughters for God by dying on the cross.
Colossians 1:19-20 (NKJV):
For it pleased the Father that in Him(Jesus) all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Romans 8:15 (NKJV):
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
God made a plan for all of us to have a Father. He does not want to leave us fatherless; He Himself made a way through the sacrifice of His son, so that we can all be adopted and have a Father. The same goes for our children. The only perfect Father is God the Father and as we introduce the Word and God Himself into their lives, He can be that which their earthly father cannot be. He is always available and always present, BUT this truth needs to be cemented into the trenches of our hearts so that we can lay foundations on top of that, seeking Him, in faith, that He will answer.
In my life, I have found that my family has become the most amazing team. As we sowed life into our children’s lives, watering it with the Holy Spirit, we have started all building on the same foundations. Together, our foundations are much stronger and we can help each other fill the cracks that sometimes appear. As our children have grown older we can support each other to do great exploits for God – because the foundations are in place. We do not have to re-dig trenches every time; we build on top of the foundations we have faithfully built over the years. The main ‘ingredient’ is the Father. He remains the reason for it all – we have taught our kids that God the Father is the best dad ever! If they need anything, they can run to Him. Jesus made that way for us and we have encouraged them to run to Him – the way is wide open through Jesus.
We have also laid the Holy Spirit as a foundation. He is crucial to the ‘knowing’ that we are adopted! I believe there is no ‘baby Holy Spirit’ – the Holy Spirit is alive and can powerfully fill and guide our children from a very young age. He has shown Himself faithful and, with that, the foundations get stronger and more secure.
As the foundations are put into place and strengthened, God builds. He builds buildings that will bring glory to Him when others see them. A healthy family unit is a building – in a broken world this becomes a building that rises above the ruins that are around us. Others can see it and start calling out to the same Father who built our house. They can be introduced to a Father who never leaves and will help them build as well.
No matter where you are right now – living in ruins or living in a partially built house – God redeems and He can show you how to start again. Sometimes it will need breaking down ‘bad’ foundations – unhelpful attitudes and habits. It may be painful when we break the foundations out and start re-laying them – but God will help us build again, starting with His Word as the compass.
Be willing to surrender to His workmanship. He is – after all – the Master Builder.
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