September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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How does the gospel transform our families? In part three of our series, “Relationships and the Gospel,” we examine how God uses family to form us, what happens when Jesus is at the center, how He can redeem and restore our relationships, and how we can glorify Him in difficult and dysfunctional situations.
In this section, we’ll give a brief overview of the topic and some key talking points to consider and reflect on before you dive into the discussion.
Memory Verse of the Week: Genesis 18:19 (NIV)
“For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
Icebreaker Question: Would you rather travel back in time to meet your ancestors or travel to the future to meet your descendants?
Across the board, God has crafted families to be the place where we’re formed into the people we become. So, what’s the key to godly family formation? Romans 12:9–10 (CSB) provides us with a solid basis for these foundational relationships: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another.”
To foster healthy and God-honoring families, we must make love the center of our homes. But not just any kind of love. The word used here for love is the Greek word agape, meaning an unconditional, steadfast love. This love must be genuine and sincere. This is not mere feelings, but actions done out of a genuine heart. This allows us to love well, do what is good, and honor and serve with humility even our most difficult, contentious, and dysfunctional family members. Consider the words of Paul in 1 Timothy 5:8 (NLT), “But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith.”
Not only that, but this genuine love displayed toward those in our family will carry over and bless others. If all our homes were filled with evidence of God’s love, what would our neighborhoods, counties, and nations look like, not only now, but generations to come? God promised Abraham his family would be a channel of blessing for the entire world, and He intends to do the same with ours.
Below, you’ll find some key discussion questions to personally reflect on and/or discuss in your small group, with your family, or in your circle of friends.
Discussion Question 1: What did you pick up from your parents? What habits, mannerisms, philosophies, or character traits did you develop from observing them as a kid? What did they instill in you, whether intentional or not, during those all-important formative years?
Discussion Question 2: In what ways has the gospel influenced the way you interact with your family? How has it changed your parenting, the way you interact with your parents and other elders in your family, and your sibling dynamics?
Discussion Question 3: On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate how well love is displayed in your home? What are some things currently present in your family dynamic that are contributing to that score?
Discussion Question 4: What are some ways you positively impact your family’s culture for the gospel?
Discussion Question 5: How can you love, serve, and honor your family members well this week?
Connect with your family this week. Send an encouraging text or call them up and see how you can serve them this week. If possible, visit them and bring by their favorite food and a game!
In the final part of our series, “Relationships and the Gospel,” we’ll examine how the gospel impacts our work and relationships with our coworkers and those in the world! Discover how work is part of our purpose as people and how our work has a divine purpose.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.