The Path of the Righteous is Level
Big Idea: Building a strong city and building a strong family are not difficult, and the promises of God to those who do it are worth any price that we pay.
Scripture: In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city; (think family)
He sets up walls and ramparts for security.
Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter,
The one that remains faithful.
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.
For He has brought low those who dwell on high, the unassailable city;
He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He casts it to the dust …
Isaiah 26:1-5 NASB
The way of the righteous is smooth;
O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.
Indeed, while following the way of Your judgments,
O ‘Lord, We have waited for You eagerly;
Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls.
At night my soul longs for You,
Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently.” Isaiah 26:7-9a NASB
Seven types of Fathers and the effects on his family that each has:
“The Secrets Men Keep” by Ken Druck
- The Admiral Father
He supervises, directs, gives orders a makes sure the sip is sailing according to the book.
May lack warmth, acceptance, intimacy and vulnerability.
- The Nice Father
Easygoing, agreeable and likeable. Passive and does not express his inner feelings. Avoids conflict and sets fuzzy boundaries.
- The Angry Martyr Father
Inwardly troubled, unhappy with his life. Doesn’t share his thoughts so frustration, anger and bitterness build up and explode. Family tip toes around him. Children feel sense of loss abandonment and guilt; feels unwanted by father.
- The Professor Father
His primary call is to teach his children what is right, in his eyes. Lectures family and denies them their individuality. Doesn’t read his kids or wife who are not listening. His children may feel insecure, low self-esteem because they don’t measure up.
- The Hardworking Father
He feels the primary way to show love is to be a good provider. Little space for emotional nourishment and playtime at home. He models to his family that work comes first, and identity comes from our job. He is often stressed out at home and lacks personal family time.
- Macho Father
Oozes strengths, stability, and perfection. Children are pushed to succeed, and failure is unacceptable. A distorted unbalanced expression of manhood. Affection and vulnerability are difficult to express, and a son may wonder if he ever lives up to dad’s expectations.
- Loving Accepting Father
He sacrifices other aspects of his life to be physically and emotionally present with his family. Open about his own weakness and expresses love easily. He allows his children to discover their own identities, gifts and passions.
Seven ways to build a strong family:
- As father, take the lead in God’s gift of Salvation. The influence and modelling of dad is more powerful than we can imagine. Fight the world’s two opposite attitudes that men are buffoons, or that we are the boss of the family. Without God’s grace evident in your life, it’s against the odds that your children will follow God. Wives undergird and support husbands. Let them be the man.
- Set up walls for security. One of father’s privileges is to build a wall of protection around your family. Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. Genesis 2:15 NASB. Our primary responsibilities are to produce and protect. What do we allow in by television, iTunes, or Internet? Who are our children’s influencers?
- Maintain healthy friendships. During early teens our primary influencers are our friends. Who are my friends? Our kid’s friends? Are your children involved with the church?
The righteous is a guide to his neighbour, But the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26 NASB
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20 NASB
- Trust God’s Word. The wisdom of God’s Word stands the test of time. Do you read the Bible? Can you tell Bible stories to your children? And apply Bible principles to your teens? With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
Psalms 119:10-11 NASB
- Remain faithful. “More is caught than taught” What do you children see in your habits? What’s more important, church or my own interests? Do your children see you serving in the church? Paul wrote: Look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2 NLT
- Watch out for pride: We’re all good at something, because God gave us our talents, skills and gifts. Make sure to honour God with whatever you do well. Teach your children to be thankful for their skills and successes. Do your children see you repent and say you’re sorry when you are wrong? Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NLT
- Seek God diligently. Have your children heard you pray? Do they see you worshipping? Where does your mind go when you have a quiet time in the car or in bed?
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees!
Psalms 119:5 NLT
God’s promises when you do what he says.
- You’ll have a strong family
- God will keep you in perfect peace
- The Lord will be your rock and hold you steady when storms come.
- He’ll keep your path level.
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