How Can We Build A Successful Family?

Bible Book: Psalms  127 : 1
Subject: Family; Home; Marriage

If we would build successful families, we must turn to principles that come from the Lord. Note the first principle we find in the Word of God for building successful families.

I. Dependency

There must be a Dependency upon the Lord. Say that aloud with me , “There must be a dependency on the Lord.” “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…” Psalm 127.1.

Eugene Peterson translates Psalm 127:1 this way: "If Yahweh doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks." The Message

How many of your parents or grandparents read the story of the “Three Little Pigs” to you growing up? Most of you know the story revolves around the big bad wolf and the three little pigs who want to protect themselves from the hungry wolf. They decide the best way to shield themselves was to each build a house to cover them.

The first pig built his house on straw. The wolf said if the pig didn’t let him in he would “Huff, Puff, and Blow his house down,” which is exactly what happened.

Threatened for his life, the first pig ran to the home of the second pig who built his home with wood. The big bad wolf makes the same remark that if they didn’t let him in he was going to, “Huff, Puff, Blow…” While the second pig’s house was stronger than the first, it was still demolished after a few attempts.

Both pigs ran for their lives to the home of the third pig. Now this third little pig was smart! He had total confidence that his house could face any kind of storm because his house was built with rock. The wolf came looking, asking, huffing and puffing, despite all of his attempts to destroy that house and have bacon for breakfast his, he went home empty. Why? That third pig’s house was built with the right kind of material – it was built upon the Rock.

For our families to be successful families (in the eyes of God, not the eyes of the world) we can’t afford to build with straw and wood – they must be built on something far stronger, for more durable, more trustworthy – the Rock we must build on is the Solid Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, life is not an imaginary story like the Three Little Pigs. Life is hard. Times are tough. Families are breaking in two. Our own sinful choices can bring disharmony, division in our families. On top of this, there is an enemy – your adversary the Devil who seeks to tear down and devastate your life. Don’t  let him do it and don’t let him tell you that it’s weak to depend on God. If having a family makes you weak and dependent on God, that’s great! God wants us to trust in Him – to turn from trying to do it alone – and to confess our total dependence on Him to be Lord of our lives.

Having God at the center of your home does not mean there will be no storms or difficulties. However, it does mean you are going to come out on the winning side. Storms are common to every family. Our family is going through a season of storms right now. My sister losing her baby; mom is having neck surgery this week; my dad’s memory is going downhill fast. When we go through these storms, sometimes our emotions get out of hand and we say things we shouldn’t say and do things we shouldn’t do. Left on our own, our family will fail and that’s why we must encourage one another to build our lives on the Solid Rock of Christ Jesus. Listen very carefully to the word of Jesus. He said, “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.[a] 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell.[b] And the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:47-49

The floods are going to hit the homes of the godly and the ungodly. Why does one stand and one fall? The foundation is different! Why must we let God be the center of our life and family? The hymn says it best, “On Christ, the Solid Rock the stand, All other ground is sinking sand.” Also remember if God can create this wonderful world by the word of His mouth, certainly He can hold your family together through it all. God is the Master Architect of your family. The architect is the one with the blue prints and can see from beginning to end.

How many of our homes today are in shambles because instead of making dependence on God their foundation, they have sought another way? They lean on the wisdom of this world rather than the wisdom of His Word. Families fall apart when finances are low, when anger takes control, when faithfulness to one another is not practiced. We need God as the center of our family life to be successful.

When I was a young boy, I was in the Cub Scouts. Every year we had something called the Pinewood Derby. Each scout receives a special box with the contents to the special car they are to make. I had no idea what to do with it and couldn’t really understand the instructions. Finally, I took it to my dad. I asked for his help in making a championship car. Unless my dad had helped me, I would have built that car in vain. Isn’t that what the Psalmist is saying, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…” Psalm 127.1a

If we build our home with dependency on God at the center we will reap mighty benefits. Now, let’s look at a second principle for building a successful home.

II. Destiny

Instill a sense of Destiny in each person of the home. The home ought to be the place where every person learns to believes the truth that they are someone special and of great worth to the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again for every person in your family. To Him, he is worth His very life’s blood.

Too often, families tie one another’s worth to their ability to perform in sports, earn certain grades, dress a certain way, make a certain amount of money, etc. They grow up feeling they are only worth something if they “measure up” to family standards. If God loved us based on our ability to meet His standards none of us could be in His family. That’s how much God loves you and desires you in His family. Even when you were lost, hopeless, defeated, He loved you through the cross of Calvary.

Apart from your performance, you are worth everything to Him! Every person needs to know this truth continually. God loves and accepts you in His family – not because are the best cook, coach, you are on the honor roll, you are at the top of the company. He loves you and accepts you – totally apart from your performance.

A school superintendent recently said, “The greatest problem in our schools is so many youth with a lack of self-worth.” He went on to say that those who lack self worth, will turn to all kinds of negative behavior in an attempt to get someone to notice them or put some kind of label on them – even if it’s bad.

A young man grew up in church at a time when single parents were few and far between. He was born out of wedlock and didn’t know who his father was. Kids at school wouldn’t talk to him and made him feel like a real nobody. Even when he went to town, he felt like others were staring at him like he was an alien. One day the church he attended called a new pastor who was friendly and tried to know everyone. The young man would always try to sneak out of church as quickly as possible so the preacher wouldn’t talk to him. One day, the preacher caught him and asked, “‘Who are you, son? Whose boy are you?’ The young man felt so embarrassed – he already felt bad enough. ‘Wait a minute!’ he said. ‘I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God.’ With that he slapped me across the rump and said, ‘Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.’

The young man’s name was Ben Hopper – Hopper later was a governor of Tennessee. Hopper said, "Those were the most important words anybody ever said to me, and I’ve never forgotten them."

Do you understand what I’m saying here? Parents, grandparents do you see the awesome gift God has given you to instill a sense of destiny in the life of your family? Tiger Woods dad Earl called Tiger a champion from his birth. “You are going to grow up and break all the records,” Tiger’s dad would say. Is it any wonder Tiger has more confidence and is actually the best golfer in the world? Daddy Earl instilled a sense of destiny in his child.

Families should be the starting place of encouragement rather than discouragement. We can steer our family into the destiny God has if we practice speaking words of truth, life, faith. The Bible places a big emphasis on the words we choose to speak. In the Book of James it says, “With it (tongue) we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” James 3.9-10

We should bless our families by reminding them God has a plan and a future. That God can help them in their time of trouble and temptation. That God will never leave or forsake them. Where should a sense of destiny begin? The government? The schoolhouse? The latest movie star? Friends?

Movies? Facebook? No! It ought to begin in the home of parents and grandparents who instill the truth of the Word of God into those precious kids.

Robert S. McGee in his book, “The Search for Significance” say, “If Satan had an equation for self worth it would be as follows: Self Worth = Performance + Other’s Opinions.”

How many parents have believed that lie, accepted it, and passed that down on to their children. We need to teach them God’s formula of success and that is to trust in what He did for them at the cross! Neither our successes or failures can give us the proper self worth we need. Jesus Christ alone in His sacrifice on the cross is the answer to fulfillment, joy, peace, destiny in life.

The other day, I was giving Bella her bottle. Jon David crawled up beside me and said, “Daddy, I love Bella.”

“Why do you love Bella?” I asked him.

His answer was so simple, yet profound. “I love Bella because she is my sister!”

Bella doesn’t have a great performance right now. All she can do is basically, eat, sleep, and mess up her diapers. That didn’t figure into Jon David’s equation of her self-worth. She’s loved simply for who she is – a member of our family! It’s similar, yet in a much greater way with the Lord! You can do this! Let God work through you for future generations. We’ve looked at two ingredients of building a successful family, (Dependence, Destiny, and the third is Discipline.

III. Discipline

Discipline means we must become Passionate about our faith in Christ being both taught and caught. Turn with me to 2 Timothy 1.5-7. The Apostle Paul is trying to motivate his spiritual son in the faith Timothy to do what God has called him to do – even though it’s not easy. Paul encouraged Timothy to think about his grandmother’s faith and his mother’s faith. He says, “when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Evidently, Timothy’s Grandmother Lois had received Christ at a certain time in her life and then effectively passed that faith down to her daughter Eunice. The Bible says they both had a “genuine” faith. Does that mean they were perfect? No. However, It does mean there had come a time in their lives when they become convicted of their sin and called upon the Lord Jesus Christ to be their personal Savior. They were actively following the Lord Jesus.

Parents and grandparents, God is using you to shape your family for eternity. What a privilege. What an honor! James Merritt says, “To give your children an education, yet never teach them the knowledge of God. To buy your children clothes, yet leave them naked to the attacks of the devil. To give your children a car, yet not teach them to steer their lives to heaven. To give your children food, yet let them starve to eternal death because you did not feed them the Bread of Life.

Is your faith in Jesus Christ genuine? Has He truly changed your life and made you new on the inside? Are you living in a vital relationship with Him? Our kids know if our faith in genuine or not. If we only praise the Lord and Sunday but live like the devil Monday through Saturday – they know that is hypocritical and that will drive them away from Christ and His church. On the other hand, if grandparents and parents are honest and they can share their need for Jesus and His forgiveness, if they apologize when they’ve done wrong, if they seek to live a life that is pleasing to Christ – most likely their children will know they are the real deal.

Parents, we must discipline ourselves to teach our children not only what they Want To Hear, but also what they Need To Hear. They need to understand about their sin. They need to hear from you about why Jesus had to come and die on the cross. They need to know that not only have they rebelled at times against Mommy and Daddy, but most importantly, God. They need to know they will answer to God one day. They need to know salvation is a gift we receive because we trust in Jesus, not because we always do what is right. Go ahead and share your faith in Christ with your children, grandchildren. Do all you can to lead them to the Lord through your witness and through your prayers.

Every single one of us are blessed if we have had someone in our family to take the time to share Christ with us! Some of God’s best evangelists are not out on the road on the weekend. They are not traveling overseas to share the gospel with someone who’s never heard – they are faithful with the first congregation God’s gives and that is the First Baptist Church of Home! Mom and Dad can preach some powerful sermons through their simple words, “God loves you and so do we.” “Don’t worry about what that person said, it’s what God says that really matters.” “God will make a way where there seems to be no way.” I’m privileged to be able to say my parents faith was both caught and taught. Where they perfect? No. Ever make mistakes? Yes. But through their life and with their words they communicated to Andria and me that Jesus was alive and worthy to be worshipped/followed.

Why should a family seek to become successful in God’s eyes? We are going to answer to God one day with the way we treated our families. May He find us faithful to forgive, encourage, love, support, and leaving the results in His hands. (Show Bluefish TV Video – Mother’s Day Off)

After seeing that clip, how many men need to go home and discipline themselves to help out. How many kids need to go home and discipline themselves to help mom with chores, dishes, folding clothes and say thank you for all that she does. How many parents need to recommit themselves to coming to church and worshipping together every chance they can? To do that is going to take discipline. A certain amount of effort is going to be required. Doing what is right even when you don’t feel like it. Doing what God says to do on the good days and bad days.

Discipline is not a bad word – its’ a Lack Of Discipline that’s bad. Listen to what Paul went on to tell Timothy, knowing full well that life is tough, people are not easy, situations can get out of control. He said, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

What is he saying? In essence he was saying, “Timothy, when you answered God’s call on your life with a yes, He took that seriously. You can’t quit and run out of here because it’s tough. There are people around you who don’t know the way to salvation – you know – go tell. There are other people around you who need the Word of God – go give it to them. There are young people, older people, rich and poor who need to look up to you as example. God gives you what you need totally. You’ve got an incredible faith. God’s given you three powerful tools – Power, Love, Sound Mind. Therefore, discipline yourself to follow Jesus Christ as Lord of your life and your faith will be one that is both taught and caught!”

We are working together with God to build a successful family. We’ve found some necessary ingredients are dependence, destiny, discipline, and now delight.

IV. Delight

Delight in your family. This means we really Enjoy the family God has placed us in and determine with His power and might to make it the best family we can. You are the key to you family’s happiness. Be a blessing to your family. Be an encouragement. Be a source of joy. Be a source of love and care and concern.

Some say, “I’d be delighted about my family if we just had more money, bigger home, better cars.” That’s not what makes a family successful. There are millions of families and young people today who are miserable and empty because they still haven’t found what they are looking for. A family that loves and serves Jesus together is richer than the richest family who has everything – but doesn’t know Jesus as personal Lord and Savior.

May I ask you a personal question this morning? With God’s help are you committed to joining Him in building a successful family? Nothing can replace your family. Be careful with your relationships in your home. Instead of complaining about the things that are done badly, make yourself available to make things right. It has been said, “You can’t do anything about your ancestors, but you can do something about your descendants.”

When Joseph Stalin’s daughter fled to the West, reporters asked her, “Why?” She said, “It is impossible to exist without God in one’s heart!”

Let’s return to God in our homes. Let’s commit afresh to depend on God, to instill a destiny in every member of the family, to discipline our family, and to delight in our family.