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Recovering a Vision for The Role of Families in Discipling Nations

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1 Recovering a Vision for The Role of Families in Discipling Nations
Monday Church Project September 2007 Scott Allen


3 Basic Assumptions Families are the basic building blocks of any nation
Healthy families produce healthy nations (in every sphere) Healthy families are the fruit of an intentional application of Biblical teaching on the purpose and design for marriage and family. The church globally has largely lost this vision. As a consequence, we have unhealthy families and broken nations. One of the most urgent needs of our time is to recover a Biblical vision for the family, and live it out.

4 Jonathan and Sarah Edwards’ Descendants
One Vice President of the United States Three U.S. Senators Three mayors of large cities Three state governors Thirteen college presidents 30 judges 65 professors 66 physicians 100 lawyers Over 100 pastors Over 100 cross-cultural missionaries Others were leaders in industry, commerce, banking Jonathan Edwards ( ) Pastor, theologian and missionary Contemporary of John Wesley and George Whitefield One of Americas most important philosophical thinkers and perhaps its greatest theologian His sermon’s were a catalyst for America’s first “great awakening” He had a profound influence on many of America’s founding fathers. What was his most greatest legacy in the discipling of America? His role as a husband and father! Notice that his descendants impacted nearly every sector/sphere of society. Question: What will your greatest legacy be? Question: What will be your most important contribution to the discipleship of your nation?

5 Table Exercise Why Get Married? How does your society answer?
How do you answer? Wrap Up We have a vision crisis in the church! The church has largely lost the Biblical vision and pattern for marriage and family and we desperately need to recover it! Christian families are being molded and shaped according to the patterns of the surrounding culture. “If the church doesn’t disciple the nations, the nations will disciple the Church.” This is nowhere more true than in the area of the family. Why is this the case? To answer this question it will be helpful to review the concept of worldview and the impact of worldview on marriage/family.

6 Worldview & Family

7 Worldview is… Beliefs, Values, Behaviors The total set of assumptions,
held consciously or unconsciously, that shape ones view of reality, and establishes ones Beliefs, Values, Behaviors Point: Worldviews are important because they determine our behaviors—how we live. Ideas have consequences!

8 Eyeglasses for the Mind
Point 1: There is a real, objective world that God created. It doesn’t change, but depending on your worldview, you will see it totally differently. Point 2: You will live your life based on how you see the world. Question: Where do our worldviews come from? Our worldview doesn’t change the object of our vision, …it changes how we see it.

9 Our worldview governs our thinking even when –
Understanding worldview is a bit like trying to see the lens of one's own eye.  We do not ordinarily see our own worldview, but we see everything else by looking through it.  Put simply, our worldview is the window by which we view the world, and decide, often subconsciously, what is real and important, or unreal and unimportant... Our worldview governs our thinking even when – or especially when - we are unaware of it."  -- Phillip Johnson (from the foreword to Nancy Pearcey's Total Truth)

10 Worldview and Culture The Family Values, Behaviors Lifestyles
Structures Lifestyles Institutions Laws The Family Politics Economics Values, Behaviors Education Worldview Law Point 1: The dominant worldview of a society will establish its values, which will shape its institutions—INCLUDING THE FAMILY! Point 2: God has a worldview—and because He is the Creator and center of all reality, His worldview is True—it is the only one that aligns with reality as it actually exists. Point 3: We understand God’s worldview largely through the Word of God—the Bible. Point 4: When our lives align with the Biblical worldview the consequence will be healthy, prosperous fruit. Read Psalm 1. Our lives will be like the strong, healthy, fruitful tree. The water is the Word of God. Business Environment The Arts

11 Lies vs. Truth [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (Jn. 8:44) [Jesus said] “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn. 8:31) Point 1: Behind all distortions of the real, objective world stands Satan, the Liar. “Did God say?” Point 2: His lies lead to bondage and destruction. Point 3: Jesus is the Truth! He came to testify to the Truth. His life perfectly aligns with the Truth. The Truth liberates! Point 4: Central to Biblical discipleship is the process of recognizing and repenting from Satan’s lies and deliberately choosing and applying the Biblical worldview. Read Rom. 12:2 and 2 Cor. 10:5

12 Growing Healthy Families
Lies a culture holds to be true Truth the culture embraces These trees represent the families of a nation The soil represents the dominant worldview of the nation/culture Transition: Let’s look at two major lies that Satan uses to destroy families and nations

13 Lies that Destroy Families
and Nations

14 Consequence: The crushing of women
Sexism The Lie: Men are superior to women! The Result: Husband’s authority is exercised as raw power. Women are held as property or slaves. This satanic lie is perhaps the single greatest cause of poverty in the world today. Consequence: The crushing of women

15 The Crushing of Women Domestic Violence – 25 to 50% of adult women worldwide are victims of domestic violence. Sexual Violence – Worldwide, it is estimated that between one in five and one in seven women will be raped in their lifetime. Pornography – In America, the pornography industry has an annual revenue rate of approximately $12 billion. Sex Trafficking – Worldwide, approx. 2.5 million females per year are forced into sex slavery. Abortion – Globally, there are 46 million abortions per year (126,000 per day). The vast majority of these are sex-selected abortions of female infants. Today there are 100 million “missing women” as a result of this lie—victims of domestic violence, sex-selected abortion, etc. Domestic Violence – At a conference in Rwanda about men’s attitudes towards women, one participant proclaimed without shame that in his culture “real men beat their wives!” A Korean proverb says, “Dried fish and women are both better after they are beaten.” In Pakistan, 70-90% of women have been abused by their husbands. Sexual Violence – In S. Africa, a widespread rumor holds that a man who has sex with a virgin will be protected from AIDS. Needless to say, this folktale has brought devastation to the lives of young girls. Pornography – This amount ($12 billion) is greater than the combined revenue of all the professional football, baseball and basketball franchises and is greater than the total revenue for all Hollywood movies. Abortion – In Russia, 70% of pregnancies end in abortion. In India, between 2-5 million female babies are aborted each year. An Indian abortion clinic advertises: “It is better to spend $38 now to terminate a female fetus than $3,800 later on her dowry.” And I haven’t spoken of prostitution, sex tourism, forced sterilization of women, and female sexual mutilation (2 million girls each year!) BEHIND ALL THIS STANDS SATAN AND HIS LIE—MEN ARE SUPERIOR TO WOMEN!

16 Consequence: The crushing of the family
Secularism The Lie: There is no God or spirit-realm, no ultimate purpose. Secularism asserts that public life is to be governed by laws that are not influenced by the Bible, religion, or any transcendent sacred beliefs. Secularism says: “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” There is no ultimate purpose to life—or to marriage/family. Secularism sees the “family” as a human invention that can be redefined to suit modern sensibilities. Consequence: The crushing of the family

17 The Crushing of the Family
Redefinition of marriage: Same-sex marriage movement. Rapid rise in rates of divorce. Rapid rise of cohabitation and decline in traditional marriages. Sexuality separated from marriage and reproduction – Sex becomes a recreational and spectator sport. Steep declines in rates of reproduction. Children are seen as net economic drain and thus a threat to personal comfort. Biblical roles of husband and wife are rejected leading to the masculinization of women and feminization of men. Rapid rise in out-of-wedlock births, abortions, and fatherless households. Same-sex marriage -- Now recognized as legal in several European nations, Canada and parts of the United States. Divorce – Over 50% of first marriages end in divorce in the United States. Over 65% in Russia. Cohabitation – In the US, number of cohabiting couples increased 75% from 1990 to Far more common in Canada, Sweden and parts of Latin America. Corresponds to a 50% drop in marriages in the US since Cohabiting couples have 2x the breakup rate as married couples and 40% bring children in their shaky, non-committal relationships. Also significantly higher rates of assault, depression, and abortion. Rates of Reproduction – For a stable population, you need a total fertility rate of 2.1 births per woman. No society has ever recovered once rate drops to 1.3. Greece is 1.3, Italy is 1.2, Spain is 1.1. by 2050, 60% of Italians will have no brothers, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles. These nations are literally going out of business. Compared to Islamic nations: Niger is 7.5, Mali is 7.4, Yemen is 6.6. How tragic for these former Christian nations!!

18 The Church: Being Discipled by the Nation
Rates of divorce, cohabitation, out-of-wedlock births, and abortion are the same within the evangelical church in the US as outside. Rates of fertility are nearly the same within the church as outside. In the Industrial West, the secular view of marriage and family is promulgated 24/7 through the media, schools, and social elite. It has become the dominant and dominating view and it is discipling the church, not vise versa! Unless the church stands firmly against the lies of secularism and sexism and intentionally provides the Biblical vision for marriage and family, Christians will continue to default to whatever the social/cultural norm is. My story: I was not given the vision or taught the Biblical pattern at my evangelical church. I learned it outside the local church and only after I was married…nearly too late. Even today at my church, the vision and Biblical patterns are not taught. When marriage and family are discussed, it typically centers around divorce recovery, helping develop good interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, etc. HOPE: God is working in this generation to envision His Bride with a Biblical view of marriage and family—and the purpose of the family in discipling the nations. In the US: Promise Keepers, Homeschool movement. Minority of churches are courageously and standing against pornography, sex trafficking, abortion. There is a lively debate re: homosexual marriage and evangelical feminism leading to a rediscovery of the Biblical vision for family. TRANSITION We’ve looked at the lies and their consequences, now let’s look at the Truth—let’s attempt to glean principles from the Bible for the purpose and design of marriage/family.

19 The Truth that Liberates
Recovering a Biblical Vision for Marriage and Family

20 Marriage is Sacred It is God-created, God ordained and God-designed
It is the first social institution created by God and the only one created prior to the Fall. We cannot re-make it without serious consequence! Let’s begin with some basic building blocks of a Biblical understanding of marriage and family… First, marriage is sacred because it is God-created. He has a specific purpose and design for marriage which we will examine later.

21 Adam & Eve: The Paradigmatic Couple
Intended to be the model/pattern for all marriages. Because God created Adam and Eve male and female, homosexuality is excluded. Because Adam could find no helper suitable for himself among the animals, bestiality is excluded. Because God created just one woman for Adam, the pattern of monogamy is clearly established.

22 The Pattern for Marriage…
…is found in the Triune God. Marriage/family is part of our human “imago Dei.” Unity and diversity in marriage is rooted in the unity and diversity of the Godhead: Unity In the Godhead – One God, three co-equal persons living in loving relationship. In Marriage – Husband and wife are co-equal image-bearers of God with equal value, worth and dignity. Diversity In the Godhead – Hierarchy and function. God the Father is head, the Son carries out His commands (Jn. 14:31), and the Spirit glorifies the Father and Son. In Marriage – Hierarchy and function. Husband is the head and husband and wife have different yet complimentary roles. The godhead is our ultimate pattern for marriage, and as we look to the godhead we find community, love, unity, diversity, authority and hierarchy. These are all reflected in the marriage of husband and wife. Does hierarch/authority and headship make you uncomfortable? It did for me! YET it is rooted in the very fabric of creation! 1 Cor. 11:3: Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. We are uncomfortable because we do not understand Biblical headship. Biblical headship is NOT exercising raw power and lording it over another. This is worldly authority. Mark 10:42-45: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The primary biblical picture is “shepherd” (Ps. 23). Tenderly leads Cares and provides Is oriented towards the well-being of the flock If necessary, gives his life for the sheep

23 The Roles of Husband and Wife (Gen. 2)
Verse 7: The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Verse 8: Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. Verse 15: The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Verse 16-17: And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Verse 18: The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Gen. 1:26-28 is general, but Gen 2:2-24 gives a fuller, more detailed picture. Verse 7: God forms man first Verse 8, 15: God gives man (remember, Eve is not yet created) the dominion task. Verse 16-17: God gives man the moral law (before Eve). Here we must assume that it was Adam’s responsibility to teach Eve the law. This reflects the headship of the man. Verse 18: For man to fulfill the dominion task, he needs a “suitable helper” as it is “not good” for man to be alone. Wife (Eve) is to be Adam’s helper and companion.

24 The Role of Husband and Wife (Gen. 2)
Verse 19: Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. Verse 20: So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. Verse 21-23: So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Verse 24: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Verse 19-20: The act of naming the animals indicates authority. The one doing the naming has headship authority over the one being named. Under His headship, God gave Adam authority over the animal kingdom. Later (in verse 23) Adam names Eve indicating his headship. “She shall be called woman” Verse 21-23: The woman was created from the man (not from the earth) She is a completion of him. She is his perfect compliment She was created to help man fulfill the dominion task. Reinforced in NT, 1 Corinthians 11:9. He could not do this on his own. Couldn’t bear and rear children on his own. Lacked the full compliment of gifts/skills to fulfill mandate Seatbelt Illustration. One part of the latch is not better than the other, but they are different, they are a perfect compliment, and BOTH are needed to fulfill the larger purpose. POINT: Together, husband and wife are designed to compliment each other as a perfect team with diverse, indispensable roles in fulfilling the dominion mandate.

25 The Model for Husband/Wife Relationships
As we understand how God related to Israel in the Old Testament and Christ related to the Church in the New Testament, we discover THE model for Biblical husbands and wives. “A husband must always remember that as a husband, he is a living picture of the Lord Jesus. This remembrance is his first duty in marriage. Since, as a husband, a man is speaking constantly about the Lord’s relationship to His [Church], he ought to speak truthfully.” – Douglas Wilson What is the model for the husband-wife relationship? - God and Israel in the OT and Christ and Church in NT. God/Christ is the husband and Israel/Church is the wife. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Eph. 5:22-32) What is the pattern or model for your relationship to your spouse? Your parents relationship? Your married friends? Or… Christ and the Church discovered on the pages of Scripture?

26 God’s Ultimate Purpose
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD as the waters cover the seas.” - Habakkuk 2:14 We’ve covered some Biblical basis for understanding marriage. Now let’s look at the purpose of marriage. Why did God create it? To answer this question, we need to answer a larger question. What is God’s ultimate purpose? When we know the answer to this, we will have the appropriate context for understanding the purpose of marriage. We find God’s ultimate purpose in creation in Habakkuk 2:14 and other places…

27 God’s Strategy – Inside Out
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD as the waters cover the seas.” - Habakkuk 2:14 Nation Church Arts Governance Family Individual Media Not only does God have an ultimate purpose, he also has a God-given means or strategy for accomplishing it! This strategy is a plan of inside-out transformation starting with individual hearts and minds through the power of the gospel, then working outward into the social sphere first through the family, then the church and ultimately into every sector and sphere of society.| The key to transformation at every level is a turning from false worldviews and an embracing of Biblical Truth—individually, in the family, church and sectors of society. - Each level of transformation is contingent upon transformation of the previous level. - The family is the FIRST and MOST BASIC social unit of any nation. Thus, as the family goes, so goes the nation. Healthy families produce healthy nations (and vice versa) - Now we can understand the purpose that God has in mind for the family. Your family and mine. Law Commerce

28 The Purpose of the Family
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:27-28 God created families with a specific purpose in mind! The family (your family) exists to glorify God by carrying forth the dominion mandate (fill the earth with the knowledge of the Glory of God). God gives dominion mandate to both male and female in Gen. 1… Central to the dominion mandate is “fill the earth.” This cannot be done apart from the marriage! The family is God’s means to accomplish this.

29 Table Exercise Why Have Children? How does your society answer?
How do you answer?

30 Purpose 1: Be Fruitful and Increase
Has not the LORD made [husband and wife] one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. - Malachi 2:15 The first part of the dominion mandate is to “be fruitful and multiply.” In order to fill the earth with the knowledge of the Glory of God, God created the institution of marriage, and central to the purpose of marriage is to “fill the earth”… “with godly offspring.” As these godly offspring exercise godly dominion in every sector and sphere of society, the vision is increasingly realized… the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as waters cover the seas. Who has a vision for “filling the earth” today? Islam! Today in England, a nation with a Christian heritage, the #1 name for newborn boys is “Mohammed.” Who is discipling the nation? If you are newly married, consider this. If you have 12 children, and you train them up in Christ-like character. And if each of your children have 12 children and so-on for five generations, the total number will be 167,000 devoted followers of Christ discipling their nation—from one couple! What a vision!

31 Purpose 1: He is Seeking Godly Offspring
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. - Deut. 6:6,7 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. – Pr. 22:6 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. - Eph. 6:4 Point: Not just any offspring, but godly offspring. Offspring whose character is Christ-like. Point: Discipling the next generation is thus a central purpose of family! The family is a multi-generational unit that passes a worldview and a legacy to the next generation and the next. Example of Jonathan Edwards. It is the responsibility of the family—and the Father as head—to form the character of the next generation. The character of the child is largely formed by age five. Everything from that point forward either reinforces or retracts from what has already been laid. Yet today, many fathers outsource the greater part of the education of their children to non-Christians. As Christian fathers, we are commanded to train up our children to know, obey and delight in God’s Word. This is to be an ongoing task (when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, when you get up). We are to soak our kids head in the Scripture…in the Biblical worldview.

32 Arrows in the Hands of a Warrior
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. - Psalm 127:3-5 Point 1: Arrows are weapons of warfare. Children are likened to arrows in a battle against an enemy. The battle is for the advancement of God’s Kingdom and the discipling of nations. The enemy is Satan. Point 2: Why arrows? With a sword, we can attack only as far as we can reach. But with a properly made arrow can strike FAR beyond our own reach. Likewise, our children should far surpass us in their faithfulness and impact for the Kingdom! And their children should advance even further! Do you have this multi-generational vision? God does. He desires godly offspring! This is his desire for all marriages generally. Point 3: So… why have Children? How do we raise them? Answer: We have children and disciple them to proactively advance God’s rule and reign! Do we have a vision to raise up a generation of warrior-servants who battle in the Spirit with the Sword of Word at the gates of the city!

33 Every child is a promise – With a name, a passion, a story
And a place in HIS story Every child is unique. There are no ordinary children! - Elizabeth Youmans The Bible teaches that children are God’s creation and God’s image-bearers. Their lives are sacred. They are destined for immortality. Jesus called children “the greatest in the Kingdom of God” – Mt. 18:1-5. Every child has a destiny and a significant role to play in God’s redemptive plan. (God…set me [Paul] apart even from my mother’s womb and called me…so that I might preach Him among the gentiles” (Gal. 1:15-16). Because of this, historically, wherever the church has gone, it has stood against abortion and stood for the nurture and education of children.

34 Purpose 2: Rule—Exercise Godly Dominion
… Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. - Gen. 1:28 The most basic level of dominion is self-government and family is God-ordained laboratory for training in self-government. Unless godly self-government is taught at home, then government, dominion and social order at every level will suffer. This is why families are the basic building blocks of nations. Healthy families who train their children to self-govern will produce healthy nations.

35 Godly Dominion He who knows not how to rule a kingdom, that cannot manage a Province; nor can he wield a Province, that cannot order a City; nor he order a city, that knows not how to regulate a Village; nor he a Village, that cannot guide his family; not can that man Govern well a family that knows not how to govern himself. - Hugo Grotius ( )

36 The Microscopic Kingdom of God
As the first and most basic social institution, the family is to function as the microscopic Kingdom of God where the roles of the husband, wife, child, parent, and grandparent are brought into alignment with God’s revealed intentions. This process begins as the husband and father, as head of the family, declares along with Joshua, “but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) We need to put down our flag! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! We will turn from the cultural lies and embrace and walk in the Truth!

37 Role of Husband: Specifics
Protection of wife and children. Alertness to dangers and temptations. Initiative. Proactive. Sets the agenda, takes leadership action in relationship to wife and children. Is not passive! Vision. Clearly understand the biblical vision for family and teaches it to wife and children. Responsibility. As head, husband is ultimately accountable to God for his wife and children. Point 1: This is crucial. IF these roles are not rightly fulfilled, the couple will fail in their purpose to carry forth their basic purpose for marriage… the upshot is that nations won’t be discipled! Point 2: Husbands, your most important calling (vocation) after your call to follow Christ, is to fulfill your call as husband! It is more important, more primary, than your other dominion callings, whether teacher, evangelist, pastor, businessman, scientist, civil leader. Point 3: Our priorities must be (1) God, (2) Spouse, (3) Children, (4) other vocation(s)

38 Role of Wife: Specifics
Helper. “The man needs the help and the woman needs to help.” – Douglas Wilson Nurturer of Children. Thus, nurturer of nations! Educator. The husband, as head, is ultimately responsible, but he delegates to his wife the majority of the day-to-day teaching, particularly with younger children. Manager of the Household. Under the headship of the husband, the wife is vice-regent and manager of the home. (Prov. 31:27, Titus 2:5)

39 Application The Monday Church

40 Application for Families
Study God’s Word. Aim to become an expert of what the Bible teaches about marriage and family. Repent! Turn from Satanic lies and embrace the Truth about marriage and family. Pray! Pray for God’s grace to apply what you are learning. Form relationships with other like-minded Christians who can support you and hold you accountable. Have more kids! The Bible says they are a blessing, the world says they are an economic drain and a burden. What do you say? Train Up Your Children! Take seriously your responsibly to disciple your children in the Biblical worldview, their God-given design and self-government. Do an educational audit of who is training your kids and make adjustments. (Footings) Apply “Disciplines of Love” and “Seed Projects” as a family. We will default (naturally return to) the worldly, fallen patterns of marriage and family. That is why we must be very clear about the Biblical vision and purpose of family, and be very intentional in seeking to align to the Biblical pattern and model. As we follow the Biblical purpose and design for marriage and family, we will be very different—we will shine a bright light. Our family life should be a bright light for the Kingdom in the midst of our dark communities. REMEMBER, if you are a husband, wife, or parent, this is your primary vocation (calling) after your calling to Follow Christ. It is more important and more fundamental than your other callings, as important as they may be.

41 Application for Church Leaders
If necessary, REPENT! Impart VISION! TEACH the biblical pattern! MODEL the biblical pattern in your own family! HONOR the role of the husband/father as the head of the household. Empower them to lead. Check your programs. Focus on key teaching opportunities Begin with husbands/fathers Focus on teaching your youth Pre-marital counseling Join and support local, regional, national efforts to combat divorce, cohabitation, same-sex marriage, violence against women and other lies. Vision – Everyone in your congregation should understand the Biblical purpose of marriage in fulfilling the dominion mandate and discipling the nation! Teach – Don’t accommodate worldly patterns whether sexism, secularism. Make sure you and everyone in your flock understands the Biblical teaching we reviewed. Model – Recognize that most people learn by example. What example are you setting? Consider having a large family and letting your congregation know why! Honor Fathers – Because many fathers fail to fulfill their headship responsibilities, churches (and the State!) tend to jump in and do it for them. For example, Sunday School. Don’t. Encourage fathers and husbands to step up and fulfill their roles! Check programs – Do they tend to segregate families? Do you have so many that families are always at church and never have time to be together as families? Change!

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