What Really Matters
By: Mike Stokes
Beyond being a book of words, dictionaries are a chronicle of our times. It’s entries come and go; old words disappear or gain the label, archaic. New words find their place as technology, politics, and teenagers ever-evolving words come and go. Definitions are appended as old words take mew meanings. Some say it takes 15 years for new words or definitions to find their way into Webster-Dictionary. if thats true, we should soon be seeing a new entry following the word “family,” the definition we grew up with has become obsolete. The definition of the word family is: “The basic unit in society having as it’s nucleus; a father, and mother, living together in one house, and cooperating in the rearing of their own or adopted children.” From a biblical perspective, the modern family has strayed a long way from it’s traditional model, and wandered even further from the model found in scripture. Unlike the animal kingdom, man was created in the image of God, able to reason and choose. So, along with our masculinity and femininity God gave us the institution of marriage. Not only that, he gave us the guidelines for a good marriage.
Although God’s guidelines for the family is relevant for all time and culture, society changes the rules as often as the decade changes. Considering this, what in life really matters?
(1) Biblical principles are more important than traditional opinion. (Matthew 15: 1-6)
In this passage, the Pharisees were nitpicking about religious custom; Jesus disciples were not following the tradition of hand-washing before eating. To answer, Jesus draws a clear line between, folk-wisdom and the scripture. Folk-wisdom was the common held beliefs and opinions. It is often easy to follow the trends, opinions, and behavior of others, instead of following advice of the scripture.
(2) Family priorities are more important than church priorities. (1 Timothy 3: 4-5)
In this passage, are qualifications for church officials. They are aimed directly at men who have families. Whether one is a church official or church goer, the priority is the same, some churches are reluctant to embrace this principle, to the detriment of the family.
(3) Unconditional forgiveness and acceptance is a necessary ingredient in a happy home. (Ephesians 4: 32, 2 Samuel 14: 1, 19: 4)
In many ways David is the hero of our heart, he was like many parents, he made mistakes. Perhaps his greatest regret was forgiving too late. His son Absalom was a rebel, perhaps because of Davids’ absence of involvement as a father. When Absalom was killed David finally realized the enormity of his mistakes, he was forgiving, then, but it was too late, he had no son to forgive.
Two final thoughts emerge from this: 1) Keep the big picture in mind; what happens in the present, stretches into the future, don’t let todays mistakes be tomorrows regrets. 2) Make your Christianity easy to live with; focus on-What Really Matters.