Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. God is the creator and originator of all true love.
1 John 4:7-8 (ESV) Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
True love only comes from God. The love that these verses are talking about it agape love. Agape love is God’s unconditional love. Only believers are capable of having that agape, God-kind of love. Those who do not show agape love are those who don’t know God.
Not only does love come from God, God is love. God is characterized by His great unconditional love for each and every person. Unconditional love is a love that keeps on loving even when another person has hurt you. Conditional love stops loving if another person doesn’t reciprocate the love. Love between a man and a woman who are believers leads to the creation of a Christian family.
Today, we begin a new message series that I’ve entitled “Family Values.” We’re going to talk about what the Bible teaches on raising and living in a godly family. These messages will apply to you whether you have children in the home, hope to have children someday or your children have already gone out on their own. It’s important that we look to what the Bible has to say about family values. It’s important because the values of our society related to the family are often contrary to God’s Word. Our society, like most societies down through history largely consists of unbelievers in a biblical sense. The Bible refers to the culture of unbelieving society as the world. So, you have believers in Christ’s church and unbelievers in the world.
1 John 2:15 (ESV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
This verse warns us not to love or set our affection on the world around us. If we love the world, we will follow its beliefs and customs which are contrary to God’s Word. If we truly love God the Father, then we will not love the world and its ways.
Today, our message is entitled “Family Foundation.” We’re going to be looking at what the Bible teaches as the foundational truths for a family. These principles apply to every type of family, whether with children or without, whether with two spouses or just one. We’re going to be looking at a passage from Deuteronomy 6. In this passage, the children of Israel are about to enter the Promised Land, after 40 years of wandering in the desert. Moses is giving them final instructions before entering the land. He begins with …
Deuteronomy 6:1 (ESV) “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it,
This was a new beginning for Israel and its families. The instructions that Moses was going to teach were from the Lord Himself. Of course, the people needed to not just know, but to …
Deuteronomy 6:2 (ESV) that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.
Notice that the commands were for the parents, their children and their grandchildren. The goal was for the family to learn to fear the Lord. Some people try to say that the fear of the Lord is not really fear. That’s not true, the word is properly translated fear. We are to fear God by keeping His commands because of the negative consequences of disobedience. Our fear of God is demonstrated by keeping His commands. A person who doesn’t keep God’s commands, doesn’t fear the Lord. How are children and grandchildren going to learn to keep God’s commands?
Deuteronomy 6:7 (ESV) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
In order to teach your children to do anything, you must be doing it yourself as a parent. To teach God’s commands to children, the parents must be keeping God’s commands. Do as I say, not as I do, doesn’t work in parenting. The responsibility for teaching children did not lie with the priests or the Levites. The responsibility for teaching children God’s commands lies with the parents.
We see in verse 7 that parents are to diligently teach their children at all times. When you sit with them at a meal, when you walk with them, when you put them to bed, when they wake up in the morning. In order to do that, each parent must make God’s Word a priority in their lives.
So, if the parents have the main responsibility to teach children God’s Word, what is the place of the church? The church plays two roles. The first role is to teach and train the parents in God’s Word, so that they can teach their children. The second role of the church is to supplement the parent’s teaching in various children’s and youth classes.
What are practical ways to teach children at home? Having a family time of Bible study and prayer on a regular basis. Praying with your children and reading them Bible stories before they go to sleep at night. As your children grow older, you should teach them to have their own personal quiet times with God, as well as family times. You should also pray and seek to have your children commit their lives to Jesus at an early age.
If you have no children in your home, husband and wife should spend time together praying and sharing God’s Word. God’s Word is the most important foundation stone for a family. Next we need to learn to …
Deuteronomy 6:10 (ESV) “And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build,
God was going to give the people of Israel many great and good cities and things that they had not labored for. God is still the one who gives good gifts to His children. We honor God by …
Deuteronomy 6:11-12 (ESV) and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
When times are difficult, people find it easy to call on the Lord for help. But when times are good, when there’s plenty to eat and more left over, the temptation is to forget the Lord. Why? Because you think you no longer need Him, you’ve got everything you need. Of course, that’s not true, because everything good thing you have is from God.
So, God reminds His people in this verse to not forget where your blessings come from. Rather, remember and thank the Lord for everything you and your children have. It was God to brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt into the Promised Land. Not only should we honor God by remembering God’s goodness, we must …
Deuteronomy 6:13-14 (ESV) It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—
One of the temptations for every family is to follow the ways of the society and world around us. These temptations come to both parents and children today now more than ever. The children of Israel were tempted to go after the gods of the unbelievers who were living in the Promised Land. God warned them to fear God and serve Him alone.
Parents are to be examples to their children of honoring God. We honor God by being thankful for God’s good gifts to our families in family prayer times. We remember with one another the ways that God has blessed us in the past. We honor God by keeping our hearts and minds free of worldly temptations. We are careful what we watch and listen to on television or the internet. As parents honor God in the family, children will learn to follow your example. Finally, we are to …
Deuteronomy 6:20 (ESV) “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’
Children always ask a lot of questions, especially about the things they are taught about God. We need to be ready with answers to their questions. We need to …
Deuteronomy 6:21 (ESV) then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
The first thing to tell your children about God’s faithfulness is how he saved you. In the case of the Israelites, God delivered them from slavery in Egypt through mighty miracles. That deliverance is a picture of how God delivers people today from slavery to sin through saving them. Your children need to be told how God saved you, not just once, but many times. God saved us for a purpose.
Deuteronomy 6:23 (ESV) And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.
The Israelites were delivered from Egypt in order to bring them into the Promised Land. God had a plan and purpose for them. Children need to learn about God’s plan and purpose for their parents and for their own lives.
Deuteronomy 6:24 (ESV) And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day.
Children need to be taught that God’s commands are not arbitrary. Obeying God’s commands and learning to fear the Lord are for our good. When we walk in God’s ways, obeying His commands, He cares for us, He protects us, He provides for us. Not only does God give us His commands, He gives us His strength to obey His commands. Children should be taught that God is the one who takes care both of them and their parents.
Parents need to know God’s Word in order to answer their children’s questions properly. As you learn to explain God’s Word to your children, multiple good things are happening. First of all, you are teaching your children God’s ways. Secondly, you are learning to share your faith with another person. Thirdly, you are teaching your children to be able to share their faith.
Not only should you answer your children’s questions about God, you should tell them your faith stories. We’ve already talked about sharing with them how you were saved. But you have many other faith stories. Times when God did a miracle in your life or family. Times when God got you through a difficult season. Times when God provided or protected when there were problems. Share with them times that God spoke to you, you obeyed His voice and were blessed. You children need to learn that God’s Word is not just ancient history, but it works in our time. As you learn to share these kind of God Stories with your children, you are learning to share them with other people. You are learning to tell of God’s faithfulness.
God’s Word is the important foundation that every godly family needs. God’s Word provides parents with the essential instructions for themselves and to teach to their children. A godly family needs to learn to honor God both individually and together. Encouraging one another to remember God’s goodness and to remain faithful to God. Finally, parents and children need to learn to express their faith by telling others of God’s faithfulness. Each person, both parent and child, should learn to tell the story of their salvation. Each person should have God’s Stories, both big and small, to praise God for His care and protection. As you build on this foundation with God’s help, your family will grow stronger and be increasingly blessed.