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Family Time (LHCOC)

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Family Time

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Introduction

1.                   On July 21, 1983, 288 construction workers waited for the sound of a gun. They were going to begin the construction of a house in Palmer, Alaska for Rocky and Pat Weldon. Believe it or not, the $80,000 house was finished in less than four hours.

2.                   You may build a house that fast, but you can’t build a marriage, a home, and a family like that.

a.                   Building relationships takes time.

b.                  Ask any member of a family what he/she would most like to have from other members of the family, and the answer will likely be “Time.”

3.         We all fight a daily battle with the clock, and it is a battle that we must learn how to win (Eph. 5:15-16).

4.         In this lesson, I want to mention some things we must find time to do in our families.

Discussion

I.                   WE MUST FIND TIME TO LISTEN

A.                Listening is important to any relationship (Jas. 1:19)

1.         All too often, we are formulating our responses while someone else is talking, and we never really listen.

2.         Dr. David Mace, past president of the American Association of Marriage Counselors, has said: “Poor communication is the main problem of 86% of all troubled marriages.”

B.                 Listening to others sends a powerful message.

1.                  When you listen to someone, really listen to him or her, you are offering a gift that cannot be purchased at any price—you are offering them yourself.

2.                  Listening says, “You are important to me. I care what you are thinking.”

C.        The problem is that listening takes both time and concentration.

1.         Aubrey Johnson in his book “The Barnabas Factor” gives the following  suggestions for listening.

a.         Listen with your…muscle (put yourself wholly into the conversation).

b.         Listen with your…ears (eliminate noisy distractions such as the tv or radio).

c.         Listen with your…eyes (Let your eyes show alertness and interest. Avoid staring off into space.)

            d.         Listen with your…lips (Use small talk or reassuring words)

            e.         Listen with your…heart (Listen empathetically. Apply the Golden

Rule by

2.         Be the kind of listener you would want if you were doing the talking.

II.                WE MUST FIND TIME TO EXPRESS OUR EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS

A.                This follows listening, for it is only when we are willing to listen that we have earned the right to speak.

B.                 We often assume that people know what we like, want, or are thinking.

1.                  We need to become more open and honest than we are.

2.                  Solomon said, “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed” (Prov. 27:5).

C.        I am not suggesting that we always speak what is on our mind, but we should let love tell us when to speak (1 Cor. 13:4-8a).

III.             WE MUST FIND TIME TO ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER

A.                Our world is full of hostility, and there is so must to tear us down and wreck our self-esteem.

1.         The average American child watches TV 1,680 minutes per week.

2.         The average American parent spends 38.5 minutes per week in good conversation with their kids.

B.                 The home should be the place where we hear words of encouragement.

1.                  A marriage that is 85% good and 15% bad will seem nearly 100% bad when we spend most of the time arguing about the 15% that is actually bad.

2.                  New Testament verses, which are usually not considered in this light, do apply, however (cf. Matt. 7:1-5; Eph. 4:32).

IV.             WE MUST FIND TIME TO HANDLE PROBLEMS AND CONFLICTS PROMPTLY

A.                Problems will arise in even the best of families.

B.                 Paul urges people to “. . . speak evil of no one, but be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Tit. 3:2).

C.                 I would suggest the following guidelines for handling problems.

1.                  Do not let things simmer and seethe().

2.                  Clarify the issue.

3.                  Deal with the issue and do not attack the person.

4.                  Chose a time when you can talk without anger.

5.                  Taste your words before you say them.

6.                  Resolve the problem and then go forward.

V.                WE MUST FIND TIME FOR GOD

A.                This must be the priority in our lives, if we are to have happy, successful homes (Matt. 6:33).

B.                 Parents must see that there is time for God in the home (Deut. 6:4-9;

Eph. 6:4).

C.                 Do we take time to read the Bible and pray together? Attend the services of the church? Share our faith with others?

1.         An estimated 92% of Americans own a Bible; the average household owns four. The New Yorker estimates Bible publishers sell 25 million copies a year. But just 45% of Americans read it in a typical week, says the Barna Research Group.

2.         We may read our bibles in class or in a sermon, but do we read them at home?

Conclusion

A.                You may build a house in less than four hours, but you cannot build a home like that.

B.                 It takes time, patience, perseverance, commitment, and communication—down in the trenches—to build a home.

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