I’ve felt God leading me to preach a series of messages on marriage and the family for some time. I put it off for a long time, but I have finally submitted to God’s direction. We will begin “Gospel Centered Homes: Following Christ for the Life of Your Family” this Sunday evening, September 12th. The services will begin at 6:15 in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church Henryville.
I will start this Sunday with an overview of what the series will look like, but I’d like to briefly explain where we’re going right now. We’ll be dividing the series into three major sections, basically following a flow of “Creation-Fall-Redemption.” Each division will in some ways be a small series in itself, and will hopefully help organize our time and direct its flow.
First, I will start with creation and seek to answer the basic questions of what and why God created us the way he did. What are people? Why do we need relationships? How do we display the image of God? Why are we male and female? What are God’s designs for marriage, sex, children, and family?
In the second section we will move to the fall, where sin entered into the world. We will take a detailed look at how sin has damaged and devastated us, corrupting who we are, and damaging our marriages and families as well. We will cover issues like marital spats. (I don’t know why people say spats when really they mean “knock-down-dra- out-fights”). Anyway, we are going to look at those conflicts. We will discuss sexual corruptions, infidelity, pornography, divorce, abortion, raising children with disabilities, parenting rebellious children, living with finances, childlessness, and dealing with the deaths of spouses, children, and parents. We want to take an honest and open look at what has gone wrong with the good creation that God designed.
In each of these first two sections, the message of the Gospel will be central, but in the last part of the series we will turn triumphantly and totally to the good news of the Gospel, seeing how the death and resurrection of Christ restores what the fall damaged. We will take a look at Gospel-drenched families, being “on mission families,” the purposes of a church family, adoption, forgiveness, grace, the roles of husbands and wives, and so much more.
That’s the basic structure of where this series is headed, but you may still have some questions. What if your spouse doesn’t want to come? Well, you come anyway and let your spouse see God working in your life and it could compel them to come. What if you have children and know that it will be impossible to make them sit still in order to listen? I’m glad to tell you that child-care will be provided for all ages, and I’m also excited about the beginning of the AWANA ministry on the same night for children of all ages. The AWANA ministry is an incredible time for children. They will play games, have lessons/stories, memorize scripture, get awards, and have a blast learning about Christ. AWANA begins at 6:15 on Sunday nights, so your children can grow in Christ and dive into God’s word while the adults are upstairs doing the same thing.
For right now we are leaving the length of this series open. I’m honestly not sure how long it will last, but it will continue indefinitely. It will be grounded in God’s word, and so the sermon will be central to everything we do on Sunday evenings, but some of the services will be different. Sometimes we will have panel discussions, where several couples will discuss questions dealing with issues we’ve been studying. In some of the services I will take questions from the congregation in a dialogue, and at other times we may explore other means of digging into what God has to tell us through His Word.
Regardless of the format, I’m really excited about what God is going to do in our lives. I believe with all my heart that you will be impacted by coming. Whether you are married, single, widowed, engaged, thinking about getting married, divorced, or divorced and remarried, your being a part of this series will encourage your life and be used by God to grow you in the gospel. If you have a blissful marriage and a happy family, then this series is for you. If you have a battered marriage and a hurting family, then this series is for you. If you’re not sure what to think of your family, or if you’re just confused about what God wants for your life and how the Gospel radically changes who we are, then this series is for you!
I want to invite each one of you to come dive into God’s Word with us, and see how God has a plan for your life, your marriage, and your family. If you have any questions please give us a call, or send me an e-mail. 812-294-1431, firstname.lastname@example.org