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                         "THE PEACE OF CHRIST"

                       Making Peace With Families

INTRODUCTION

1. We have seen that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, offers...
   a. Peace with God, through justification and reconciliation
   b. Peace with mankind, through abolishing barriers
   c. Peace with oneself, one that surpasses understanding and guards
      our heart

2. What about peace with families?  Did not Jesus say...
   a. His disciples would be persecuted by their own families? - Mt 10:
      21-22
   b. He came to set family members against each other? - Mt 10:34-37

3. It is true that following Jesus sometimes causes family turmoil...
   a. When unbelieving family members cannot accept one's conversion to
      Christ
   b. Where resistance to such faith results in expulsion and
      disinheritance, or worse

[Even so, when families are willing to submit themselves to the will of
God, Jesus and His apostles show the way to true peace within families.
But first, let's consider...]

I. THE NEED FOR PEACE WITH FAMILIES

   A. MANY FAMILIES ARE DYSFUNCTIONAL...
      1. Where conflict, misbehavior and even abuse on the part of
         individual members of the family occur continually, leading
         other members to accommodate such actions. - Wikipedia
      2. Where children grow up understanding such conduct to be normal
      -- Dysfunctional behavior is often passed down from generation to
         generation

   B. FAMILY DYSFUNCTION DESTROYS PEACE...
      1. Between husbands and wives, leading to fights and divorce
      2. Between parents and children, leading to mental and physical
         abuse
      3. Between siblings, leading to life-long alienation
      -- Dysfunctional behavior often creates a volatile home
         environment

[Where peace is not in the home, it is rarely in the heart.  When we do
not have peace in the home, we often lash out at others at work, at
school, at church.  But now let's examine how...]

II. JESUS OFFERS TRUE PEACE FOR FAMILIES

   A. BY HIS TEACHING ON MARRIAGE...
      1. Jesus taught that marriage is to be for life
         a. It was God's plan for the family from the beginning - Mt 19:
            3-6
         b. So much family turmoil is caused when spouses divorce - cf.
            Mal 2:16
      2. Jesus gave only one reason to dissolve a marriage
         a. That reason is fornication - Mt 5:31-32; 19:6-9
         b. Obeying Jesus prevents quick and easy divorces
      -- Commitment to marriage is a big step toward preserving family
         peace!

   B. BY HIS APOSTLES' TEACHING ON FAMILY...
      1. Husbands are to love and respect their wives
         a. They are to love their wives - Ep 5:25-29
         b. They are not to be bitter towards their wives - Col 3:19
         c. They are to understand and honor their wives - 1Pe 3:7
      2. Wives are to love and submit to their husbands
         a. Older women are to teach the younger women to love their
            husbands - Tit 2:3-4
         b. Wives are to submit to their husbands as the church submits
            to Christ - Ep 5:22-24
         c. It is fitting in the Lord, even as we all submit to one
            another - Col 3:18; cf. Ep 5:21
         d. In so doing, they become "daughters of Sarah" - cf. 1Pe 3:
            1-6
      3. Parents are to raise their children properly
         a. Fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath - Ep 6:4;
            Col 3:21
         b. Fathers are to bring them up in the training and admonition
            of the Lord - Ep 6:4
         c. Mothers are to love their children, manage the house - Ti
            2:4; 1Ti 5:14
      4. Children are to obey and honor their parents
         a. They are to obey their parents in the Lord - Ep 6:1
         b. They are to honor their father and mother - Ep 6:2-3
         c. This is well-pleasing to the Lord, who also submitted to His
            parents - Col 3:20; Lk 2:51
      -- Commitment to family duties produces peace and harmony in the
         home!

[Through such teaching by Jesus and His apostles, the peace of Christ
can be enjoyed in many families.  Before we conclude this lesson, allow
me to share a few observations about...]

III. THE PEACE JESUS OFFERS TO FAMILIES

   A. BY THEIR FRUITS YOU SHALL KNOW THEM...
      1. Many oppose what the Bible teaches concerning marriage, divorce
      2. They rebel against such concepts as wives submitting to
         husbands
      3. But consider the lives and families of those who protest so
         loudly
      -- As Jesus said, "...by their fruits you will know them" - Mt 7:
         15-20

   B. WISDOM IS JUSTIFIED BY HER CHILDREN...
      1. Compare marriages and families of those who submit to Biblical
         principles; e.g.:
         a. My wife's grandparents were married 77 years
         b. My wife's parents were married 53 years, my parents 57 years
         c. My wife's brother 43 years, my three brothers and I 41, 34,
            26, 23 years (as of 2007)
      2. Life-long marriages and loving families can be the norm for
         generations, not the exception, where the teachings of Christ
         are followed!
      -- As Jesus said, "...wisdom is justified by her children" - Mt
         11:19

   C. OUR TRUE FAMILY IS GOD'S FAMILY...
      1. Despite one's best efforts, sometimes other family members do
         not cooperate
      2. Spouses may not become believers, and even leave - 1Co 7:12-15
      3. Family members may become enemies over the faith - Mt 10:21
      4. We have a much larger family that can offer support - Mk 10:
         28-30
      -- There can be peace of mind in knowing one's true family - Mt
         12:48-50

CONCLUSION

1. The best hope for peace with the family comes from above...
   a. Don't listen to "family experts" whose own lives and families are
      a mess
   b. Listen to the God of peace who ordained the institutions of
      marriage and family

2. Put your trust in His Son Jesus Christ, who together with His
   apostles...
   a. Provide clear teaching concerning marriage and family
   b. Will lead you and your families into the paths of peace!

   "To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
           To guide our feet into the way of peace." - Lk 1:79
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