Posted by:
6th Dec 2020

If Our Family Ought to Matter to God

As a church, we joyfully and prayerfully anticipate, within a short period of three months, holy matrimonies of ten young adults. The prospective weddings are those of Darrell & Dahlia, Cornelius & Abigail, Jordy & Sarah, Yeh Wen & Hua See, Benjamin & Clara. May the Lord’s blessings be upon each of their families, that they may live together for His glory! I write this pastoral exhortation to every family in Gethsemane, especially to all young Christian couples, to tell you that if your family ought to matter to God, your family must focus on matters that matter to God – and that’s what really matters to be a blessed Christian family.

Why do our families matter to God?

It is God who has ordained family life. Families are God-ordained institutions. The family is meant to be a spiritual institution which ought to reflect Christ’s loving leadership of the church, and the church’s loving submission to Him. God’s Word – in Ephesians 5:22-33 – declares in no uncertain terms those divine intentions and plans concerning Christian families: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

As the above biblical exhortation insists, the goal of every Christian family is to promote the glory of Christ and His redemptive, sanctifying love and truth. God expects every Christian’s domestic life to exist and function for His glorious purpose concerning His church – that is the theology of the Christian family.

What shall then matter to our families?

Knowing God’s particular purpose for Christian families, nothing ought to matter to Christian couples more than being the servants of the LORD, be it within their domestic life or without. Every Christian home ought to be covenanted to the Lord to be His servants, as reflected in the words of Joshua: “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

Every family must avow to be a biblical family, committing itself only to desires, pursuits and conduct that are in total conformity with God’s Word. God expects Christians’ families to be spiritually-minded in all aspects of life. The life and activities of the family members must be characterised by reverence and devotion to the LORD.

“Fear of the LORD” must characterise every Christian husband, the head of the household, as he labours and guides his wife and children (cf. Psalm 128). Nurturing a God-fearing family must be his primary goal. For this purpose, he himself must be a man of strong faith and abiding devotion to the LORD. Though there are situations when special grace is given to a lady (like a widowed mother, or the wife of a severely disabled man) to guide the family in the ways of God, it is the unalterable duty of the Christian man to nourish and nurture his family. Husbands who are negligent or complacent, and fail to actively guide their families into godly living and service to the Lord are guilty of dereliction of the most solemn duty that God has entrusted to them.

Every man must examine himself always to keep himself focused and committed to his God-given task of nurturing his family. He must persistently ensure that the counsels of God’s Word guide his thoughts and affections, that he may carry out the solemn charge of building his family for the Lord’s glory. It is indeed an accursed thing to encourage or allow the family to pursue an unscriptural, worldly manner of life. Every man who would not instruct his family to follow the Scriptures strictly is like Eli, the priest, who spurned his fatherly duty of rebuking and correcting his sons. Let none of us be vessels of God’s wrath “because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not” (1 Samuel 3:13).

Christian wives must steadfastly support and encourage their husbands to build a thoroughly devout, God-fearing family. The wife must be submissive and meek, prayerfully fulfilling her duties at home. For this purpose, she must examine herself and see whether she adheres to God-given duties of the young married women: “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5). It is for the accomplishment of this divine calling for every Christian wife that Scripture admonishes every young woman in the church to “marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Timothy 5:14). Concerning women who neglect their biblical duties to be homely and godly wives, it is written as a warning that “some are already turned aside after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:15)!

Christian families, where husbands and wives throw the biblical instructions and admonitions to the wind, and pursue their self, material and worldly glory, are in great danger of reaping shame and sadness. If any of you has failed in your God-given family duties, repent and plead for God’s mercy, and amend your ways at once.

Testimony of God’s Goodness in My Life

All praise and glory be unto God for His goodness and faithfulness for giving me an opportunity here in Anda, Bohol, to serve Him in teaching the children. Who could have thought before the Covid-19 pandemic that I would be staying here, but God in His providence has brought me here. Indeed, God’s ways are higher than our ways. Isaiah 55:8 declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”

When my application to travel to Bohol was approved after two months of waiting, I believe it was an open door for me to go – and it was confirmed by Pastor Koshy’s and Pastor Reggor’s approval and support. But Anda was never part of the original plan. It was only later that Preacher Edsel decided it would be better if I could stay in Anda and minister to the children there. It started with only four of them, then the Lord slowly added more children, Sunday after Sunday. So much so that we started to face a good problem, when we came to a point of not having enough chairs for them. By God’s goodness and timely provision, we were able to make long chairs and tables for the children. Praise God for His goodness and faithfulness! I am thankful to God for this opportunity to impart to them the spiritual truths from the Word of God. May God be pleased to grant them salvation, in His own time and according to His will.

I thank God also for the many opportunities He has opened for me wherein I can minister to the brethren here and even be of help in the neighbourhood. Thank God for one instance whereby He enabled me to assist a neighbour in the delivery of her twins (a boy and a girl)! And may God enable us to share the Gospel with the parents of the twins, their relatives and neighbours.

Being hands-on in the field is never easy, for I often find myself inadequate for the tasks in front of me; but God is so good in sustaining and helping me week after week, and His grace is always sufficient. There were many challenges and trials along the way which sometimes did cause me to be drained emotionally, physically and mentally. But God has His ways of cheering me up, and giving me strength to press on and move forward through His Word, as well as through the children whom God used to remind me of my calling – which is to go and “preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 10:7)!

I am thankful also for using the messages preached by Pastor Koshy (especially those on the Book of Ecclesiastes) to rebuke and comfort me. Of particular note to me are the lessons drawn from: Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”; and Ecclesiastes 3:11a – “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time”.

Indeed, every thing has a time, every thing has a season, and it is determined by God. Every thing has a purpose, every thing has a set of direction in God’s plan. Only God can make all things beautiful for us – in His time, of course. God is sovereign and He is in control of everything. May God continue to help us to patiently wait for His perfect time. While waiting, may God continue to sanctify us to be ready for the work He has purposed for us to do.

Brethren, please continue to pray for us.

Posted under 'Pastoral Exhortation'