Living Free - September 19, 2016

Today's Scripture

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2 NIV

Thoughts for Today

The  family has become so fragmented in our society it is difficult to describe what normal family life is. The traditional family was once our core foundation and stabilizing force. Now special interest groups, sociology professors, and even marriage counselors who do not have a clue about what "family values" mean are giving advice to families. 

In the minds of many people, singles having children, homosexual marriages, and sexual relationships outside marriage are an acceptable norm. Many people's values are formed or changed by television programs, Internet blogs and social media, movies, and what they see and hear in the news and the behavior of celebrated people. Even Christians can easily be lulled into accepting sinful relationships and lifestyles. Some states are legalizing same-sex marriage.

The breakdown of the family is cradled in moral erosion. In a society where there are no boundaries, morality is defined by whatever fits the situation. Without a foundation of biblical principles, husbands and wives have difficulty understanding each other because the male and female role differences become blurred. The term "for better or worse" is more likely "if you make me feel good and meet my needs." According to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second, and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.

Consider this …

With today's maze of family life, we are much like a dog chasing its own tail—going in circles and becoming more confused and sick. Many parents say, "I really want to be a good dad, mom, husband, or wife, but I am not sure how. I did not have a role model." With family fragmentation, busy lifestyles, relocations, and an increase in second and third marriages, we have lost much of the continuity with the past we once had. 

Looking to the world for answers does not help. Today's Scripture cautions us not to conform to the patterns of the world, but to be transformed—through his Word. Only then will we understand God's plan for the family. And his is the only plan that will work.

This week we will take a brief look at that plan.

Prayer

Father, help me better understand your plan for my family. As I search the Scriptures, I pray my mind will be transformed and I will know your good, pleasing, and perfect will. In Jesus' name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner, D.S.W. This study helps to minister to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. The curriculum deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Ministers to families from abusive relationships
  • Ministers to victims of family violence
  • Deals with wounded emotions
  • Deals with control and intimacy issues
  • Presents a strong message of Christ as healer of abusive relationships

Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

 

 

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