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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”—Malachi 4:6 (NKJV)
God will restore families when He returns. Doesn’t that sound glorious? If there is one prevalent attack on the human race right now, it’s the attack on the family. We see families falling apart on every side. Marriages are falling apart, children are turning to substance abuse, families don’t speak to one another, and we wonder, Why? How is it that relationships have become so difficult to maintain?
My husband and I were youth pastors when we were in our twenties. We often told parents that rules without relationship lead to rebellion. That is the key to the hearts of our kids. We must build relationships with them. Easier said than done in this day and age. It’s hard to have a conversation without our children being distracted by the pull of technology or entertainment.
When I was a child we had Saturday morning cartoons and The Six Million Dollar Man on Thursday night. That was the extend of our television choices. Now my daughter has 12,000 shows to choose from. The fight to maintain a relationship with my child is real.
So where do we begin? How do we make our relationships the priority? I believe the first step is being available. We need to have time and space in our lives to invest in our relationships.
About two years ago, my husband and I built a deck in our backyard. It’s nothing fancy, just a rectangle of wood with a sofa, chairs, and a fire pit table. I can’t tell you the impact it has had on our family. The kids call it “The Porch Party.” We sit around the fire, eat, drink, laugh, listen to music, tell stories about our week, and just be together. We’ve had countless spontaneous evenings on that porch. It’s the one place in our home that is just about relationship, not television, cell phones, or computers. It’s a safe place where we can just be ourselves.
Maybe for you it’s picnics on the beach or weekends at the lake. It’s not about where or how, it’s about finding the time to invest in our relationships. Our culture is moving at such a fast pace. As believers, we have to be countercultural. We have to get off the merry-go-round of life and make time for our families to be a family. When we examine Jesus’ life here on earth, we see Him building relationships by doing this exact thing. He spent time with His disciples, simply talking and telling stories. That’s the key to relationship. Let’s turn our hearts to make our relationships a priority.
DIG: How can you make time and space in your life?
DISCOVER: Choose one relationship to invest in this week.
DISPLAY: Make your relationships your first priority.